Linux Distribution

Even though the LinuxKernel and most of the programs usually used together with it are free, it is a tedious job to download, compile, install and configure them all. LinuxDistributions try to relieve the users from this burden.

Some of the widely spread distributions are (in alphabetical order):

ArchLinux
http://www.archlinux.org/
CalderaOpenLinux?
http://www.caldera.com/
DebianGnuLinux
http://www.debian.org/ (built with only free software and most growing GnuLinuxDistribution).
GentooLinux
http://gentoo.org/ (build linux from scratch... compile from source with custom optimizations)
GnoppixLinux
http://www.gnoppix.org/ (LiveCd)
LinuxFromScratch
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ (provides methods & materials to compile your own Linux system from source. For advanced users only).
MandrakeLinux (Mandriva)
http://www.mandrivalinux.com/ (best selling distro in the US (as of Summer 2000)).
Peanut
http://metalab.unc.edu/peanut (Small distribution for desktop use, based on KDE for its GUI)
RedHatLinux
http://www.redhat.com/ (best known distro (as of Summer 2000)).
RockLinux
http://www.rocklinux.org/ (a distribution build kit)
SlackwareLinux
http://www.slackware.com/ (Once one of the most popular, still very pleasant to use)
SuseLinux
http://www.suse.com/ (best selling distro in Europe (as of Summer 2000)).
TurboLinux?
http://www.turbolinux.com/ (best selling distro in Asia (as of Summer 2000)).
UbuntuLinux
http://www.ubuntu.com/ (arguably most popular distro)
UnitedLinux?
http://unitedlinux.com/ (a standardized GnuLinux distribution aimed at business users. It is developed, marketed, and sold by a partnership of companies.)

Clark Connect
http://www.clarkconnect.org/ (based on RedHat Linux. It turns a computer into a router with many extra features.

DebianGnuLinux has a DebianWiki at http://wiki.debian.net/index.cgi.

This list doesn't try to include all distributions, since there are already so many of them. Look at http://linux.com/links/software/distributions/ or the distribution page of the LinuxWeeklyNews, for a more comprehensive enumeration.

Labels like 'best selling' are of course subject to change. Especially when a distribution brings out a new version, it climbs up the ranks. LinuxWeeklyNews covers this problem a little bit on their main page on March 22, 2001: http://lwn.net/2001/0322/

If you have a fast internet connection, you can download most of these distributions as ISO CD images from http://www.linuxiso.org/ although buying the original's with documentation is a good idea too.

Overall though, you're still getting the same Linux with any one of the above distros. They all use the Linux kernel and open source applications, but they will differ in versions, in what software is automatically included, in how software is installed, and in their distribution philosophy.
Tired of using someone else's distribution of Linux? Create LinuxFromScratch.
Also see: LinuxQuestions

CategoryUnix, CategoryLinux

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