When targeting Linux as a platform, application developers want to have some assurance that the code they write on one Linux distribution will run on other Linux distributions without having to go through extra effort. This matches their experiences on other popular platforms, such as Windows or Mac OS X.
In addition, application developers want to ensure that the platform as a whole does not diverge. Even if an application works on today's distributions, will it work on tomorrow's?
The LSB workgroup has, as its core goal, to address these two concerns. We publish a standard that describes the minimum set of APIs a distribution must support, in consultation with the major distribution vendors. We also provide tests and tools which measure support for the standard, and enable application developers to target the common set. Finally, through our testing work, we seek to prevent unnecessary divergence between the distributions.