Manjaro is taking their popular Linux distro to the next level with the creation of a separate business entity, Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG, This allows the company to work as the legal entity for Manjaro performing such functions as offering professional services and handling commercial agreements. The community will assume the responsibility of the Manjaro project and other related activities.
Since hitting the Linux scene in 2011, the Arch Linux-based distro has experienced a phenomenal rise in popularity over the past eight years. This is especially impressive when one considers it originated as just a passion project three people, Bernhard, Jonathan, and Philip.
Manjaro currently ranks as the second most popular Linux distro on the Linux distribution site, DistroWatch.com. It’s enjoyed that position for at least the past 12 months.
According to the official announcement, the two main changes are:
- To transfer donation funds to a non-profit “fiscal host 126,” which will then accept and administer donations on the project’s behalf. This secures the donations and makes their use transparent.
- A newly established company, Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG, to enable full-time employment of maintainers and exploration of future commercial opportunities.
The announcement also explicitly lays out how they think the new structure will make things better for the Manjaro Community:
- enable developers to commit full time to Manjaro and its related projects;
- interact with other developers in sprints and events around Linux;
- protect the independence of Manjaro as a community-driven project, as well as protect its brand;
- provide faster security updates and a more efficient reaction to the needs of users;
- provide the means to act as a company on a professional level.
“The mission and goals of Manjaro will remain the same as before – to support the collaborative development of Manjaro and its widespread use. This effort will continue to be supported through donations and sponsorship, and these will not, under any circumstances, be used by the established company.”
The company side of Manjaro, the newly formed Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG acts as the business free to engage in commercial agreements, offer professional services, and form partnerships.
The Manjaro Community cannot be held accountable for nor take credit for any of the contracts made, transaction, or other contracts signed or take credit for any of contracts signed or any other official actions taken by Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG.
Also, Blue Systems will serve as an advisor to enable full-time employment of maintainers and exploration of future commercial opportunities.
From my point of view, I see this as both a win for the Manjaro community. I envision the new structure to work much like the Red Hat, and the Fedora Project has over the past few years.
The influx of cash and new developers will have a positive effect on Manjaro. Manjaro community should expect excellent software only to get better.
Having both a Manjaro community project along with the commercial interests provides financial security for Manjaro, but also strengthens their ties with businesses and organizations in the Linux arena. It also puts the Linux community on notice that Manjaro is a serious player and a force to be reckoned with.