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wanna try "linux"?

Which Linux?

Below summarizes the main Linux distributions along with their strengths and weaknesses.

Where to go for more information


Red Hat Linux

Red Hat Linux

Strengths:

  • Red Hat Linux is the most widely used Linux distribution used in the United States.
  • Easy installation and easy use.
  • Large support for different hardware
  • New releases available relatively quickly which supports new hardware and new features.

Weakness:

  • Relatively quick release cycle. This is both a strength and a weakness: Fewer releases would mean less upgrading.


Mandrake Linux

Mandrake Linux

Strengths:

  • Easy installation which includes the ability to resize NTFS (Windows 2000 and Windows XP) partitions.
  • Good for a home machine.

Weaknesses:

  • Not a good release for a server (not the right packages are included).
  • Not as widely used as some other Linux releases.

Suse

Suse

Strengths:

  • Most widely used Linux distribution in Europe.
  • Custom packages are available for specific market segments such as home office, enterprise servers, etc.

Weakness:

  • Suse uses rpm packages, but the filesystem layout is different than Red Hat Linux so some packages you download may install files in locations that do not work under Suse.


Debian

Debian

Strengths:

  • Easiest to add, remove, and update packages.
  • Easiest to upgrade to a new distribution.
  • You can upgrade software without rebooting.
  • Probably the most stable, solid, tested releases.
Weaknesses:
  • Not as easy to administer for first-time users
  • Text-only installation (not GUI/windows based).
  • New releases do not come out nearly as often as other major Linux releases. Consequently, sometimes newer hardware and software is not included.

Knoppix

Knoppix

Strength:

  • Knoppix is a version of Linux that is run completely from the CD!
    That means you can put the Knoppix CD into your windows system, boot the Knoppix CD, and "test drive" a Linux system, without changing anything on your existing disk drive(s). It is definiltey worth checking out.
Weaknesses:
  • Your system needs 96 MB of RAM in order for the window system to work (otherwise you'll stay in text mode).
  • Knoppix supports a lot of hardware configurations, but not all. With most versions of Linux, if you have unusual hardware, you can usually download and install drivers for the unusual hardware. However, with Knoppix running completely from the CD, adding new drivers is not usually practical.

Turbolinux

Turbolinux

Strengths:

  • The most widely used Linux distribution in Japan and throughout Asia.
  • Most focused on clustering technology, high availability/fail over, etc.
Weakness:
  • Not as easy to use as some of the other Linux distributions.

Slackware

Slackware

Strengths:

  • Stable and proven. Slackware has been around longer than most versions of Linux.
  • Also works well on older and slower hardware.

Weakness:

  • Not as easy to install and configure for new people to Linux. Installation and configuration is command-line based rather than graphical user interface-based.

Where to go for more information

Linux Quick Reference Home
Linux Migration Home


linux or nothing...