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Distro?

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linux-howto

http://ubuntuforums.org – I am a newcomer to linux/ubuntu. So is the term distro as it refers to various linux or debian type systems, simply a short version of distribution? When I look at the list of operating systems under linux, I wonder is this really freedom or limitation, wouldn't it be more appealing for someone developing software if all the distro's were combined into one , simply called linux? (Hardware)