ALT Linux is a set of Russian RPM-based operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel and Sisyphus packages repository. ALT Linux has been developed collectively by ALT Linux Team developers community and ALT Linux Ltd.
ALT Linux Team arose from the merger of IPLabs Linux Team and the Linux community of the Institute of Logic, Cognitive Science and Development of Personality. The latter cooperated with Mandrake Linux and SUSE teams to improve localization (specifically Cyrillic), producing a Linux-Mandrake Russian Edition (RE).
Mandrake and Mandrake RE became different distributions and thus the decision was made to create a separate project. The name "ALT" was coined, which is a recursive acronym meaning "ALT Linux Team".