Linux Standard Base

The Linux Standard Base (LSB ) is a working group of the Linux Foundation, which was in the late 1990s launched. The LSB defines standards for binary interfaces, libraries, and other operating system components with the aim to improve the compatibility between different Linux distributions, eg with regard to the ability to run programs. To date, only a small part of the Linux distributions meets the requirements of the LSB, and the requirements are not yet comprehensive enough to define a complete operating system platform.

  • 4.1 Summary Table


Over the history of Linux, a number of different Linux distributions have developed different approaches adopted in many details, such as incompatible software package formats, different directory structures or different versions of the integrated software packages. This independent software vendors ( ISVs) are forced to adapt their software specifically for each distribution ( to make or adapt) and separated to provide a huge added expense.


The aim of the LSB is to create a unified binary compatible platform for software installations on Linux with standards and guidelines. She makes, inter alia, provisions which essential programs and software libraries must be present on an LSB -compliant system and acting in accordance with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard directory structure fixed. The base of the LSB standards were the POSIX and the Single Unix specification, which have been extended. Meanwhile, however, gives way to the LSB standard in some aspects specific to Linux from the Open Group Unix standards from.


The end of the 1990s, launched LSB project had originally planned to fully comply with the POSIX and the Single UNIX Specification and extend them only in some places, so the Open Group had also offered to conduct a certification for a U.S. $.

POSIX incompatibility

However, in 2005, the LSB began to insist on certain Linux distributions standard deviations ( incompatibility ) can not be eliminated. Since then there have been in the process for achieving the UNIX standard conformance no progress, the objective of full POSIX and SUL - conformity appears to have been abandoned in favor of the usual in existing Linux systems conventions. On the contrary, Linus Torvalds has repeatedly made ​​it clear that he is willing to diverge from POSIX, if there are good reasons for it.

Drepper criticism

In 2005, the LSB has been criticized by glibc maintainer Ulrich Drepper ineffective, specifically he complained erroneous test suites. Jeff Licquia of the LSB admitted that tests were incomplete and flawed code, but the test would still have a significance. In addition, defined and verifiable standards are no alternative for a free, interoperable software market.


The first version 1.0 of the LSB comprised older, already more common standards. In early January 2004, the LSB has been submitted for the first time the International Organization for Standardization ( ISO). The next version 2.0 supported more architectures. The LSB 3.0 is characterized by updates to the existing standards. In early November of the same year, it became known that the ISO the LSB had recognized as an international standard. The accepted version is the version 2.0.1. Newer versions of the LSB to follow.

Summary Table

  • New Application Binary Interface (ABI ) for C with support for 32 - and 64 -bit hardware architectures
  • Support for IBM PowerPC 64, S390 and s390x and AMD 64 -bit processors
  • Updating the Application Binary Interface (ABI ) for C
  • Librt recording the real-time library
  • Support for Qt 3.3 and Qt 4
  • Support for portable desktop applications
  • Modular design
  • Support for Perl and Python
  • Additional pressure interface
  • Support for portable printer driver
  • Replacement of optional modules by trial -use modules, thereby now supported, inter alia, the ALSA sound system libasound
  • Primary focus on Qt 4; Qt 3 is no longer supported
  • Specification for shell scripts
  • Separate Software Development Kit ( SDK)
  • Encryption support for Mozilla's Network Security Services (NSS ) and Netscape Portable Runtime ( NSPR )
  • Receiving the standard libraries GTK 2.10 and Cairo 1.2.0
  • Distance from Java