Founding members of the group, dubbed the Debian Common Core Alliance (DCC Alliance), include Knoppix, Linspire, MEPIX, Progeny, Sun Wah, UserLinux and Xandros.
"The first preview release of DCC 3.0 PR1 was made available last week," Progeny chairman and Debian founder Ian Murdock wrote in his blog. He added that the next version was due late this week or early next week.
The initial release only runs on 32- and 64-bit x86 architectures, as well as Intel's Itanium chips, he said.
In a posting to the alliance's e-mail mailing list, Murdock noted the DCC's Linux distribution was developed by taking a base installation of the most recent version of Debian, and adding security updates as well as software to ensure the operating system was compatible with standards set by the Linux Standard Base project (LSB).
The project aims to develop and promote a set of standards which will increase compatibility among Linux distributions from different vendors.
"We believe we have reached LSB 3.0 compliance in DCC 3.0PR1," Murdock said in his e-mail to the list, although he noted the alliance has yet to begin its compliance testing procedure.
Meanwhile, the group has attracted some criticism from within the Debian community. A Web site has been set up mimicking the alliance's own site, and poking fun at the official group's attempt to get around using the 'Debian' trademark by instead utilising the acronym "DCC".
The spoof site "exists in order to counter the idea that the use of the Debian trademark is permissable if it's hidden inside an acronym," it says. While no creators are detailed, Debian developer Matthew Garrett -- a candidate for the project's recent leadership elections -- is listed as the press contact.