A little more fancy than the proverbial welcome mat, the red carpet was traditionally used (I don't know when it first origionated) for dignitaries and diplomats arriving somewhere. A strip of red carpet was placed so that people would walk along it to wherever they were going. "Rolling out the red carpet" implies a fancy, no-holds-barred reception for someone or something. Also used in a sarcastic manner; ex: some military aircraft are approaching a target and see some AAA emplacements. One pilot would say to the other, "looks like they rolled out the red carpet for us."

Red Carpet is also the name of Ximian's next generation installer program. While the old Ximian Installer could only install GNOME software, Red Carpet also provides a front-end to common distribution tools (RPM, APT and like) and also provides "channels" from which more software can be got.

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