Free Linux Distributions(part 1)
The good thing about Linux is that it offers lot of choice to the users. If one is short of disk space he can get a Linux foe even 50 Mb or 100 Mb. If one wants a full fledged Linux distro he can get that also. There are Linux distros(distribution) for specific applications like gaming, home use security or network management etc….
This choice itself becomes a bad for first time users because a user get afraid of the myriad of distros available and gets confused. So in this post I would like to tell about some major and minor Linux distributions and my views on those distros. I’m not going to do any comparative study about these distros but just give basic details about the distros and their download links.
Fedora project sponsored by Redhat corporation. This is the company which develops world famous redhat Linux which is widely used in servers around the world. Redhat proved that one can make money out of Linux. So one can expect the same professionalism in fedora also.fedora is in the Linux world for many years and one of the oldest Linux distros. Even Linus Torvald author of Linux kernel uses fedora. It has the right mix of beauty and power.Fedora’s mission statement is: “Fedora is about the rapid progress of Free and Open Source software. It has the right mix of beauty and functionality. It releases new version for every six months and always up to date with latest software’s and drivers so that it can support large number of devices. Since it’s being sponsored by a company which is the business of Linux for many years it is having very good stability. The fedora community is very good and spread all over the world.
Ubuntu is the worlds most famous and favourite distro.It has been based on Debian Linux.It is named after the South African ethical ideology Ubuntu (“humanity towards others”).It stands true to its name. Ubuntu is sponsored by the UK based company Canonical Ltd., owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. This only major distro which is not having backing of any commercial organisation. Cannonical Ltd. is a non profit organisation.
The Ubuntu promise
- Ubuntu will always be free of charge, including enterprise releases and security updates.
- Ubuntu comes with full commercial support from Canonical and hundreds of companies around the world.
- Ubuntu includes the very best translations and accessibility infrastructure that the free software community has to offer.
- Ubuntu CDs contain only free software applications; we encourage you to use free and open source software, improve it and pass it on.
I have tried many distros but none is as stable as Ubuntu.The main reason is that Ubuntu includes software packages and which are rigorously tested and proved to be stable. The downside of this is that most of the times it doesn’t include the latest software packages because it is not fully free of bugs.
Suse is the oldest Linux distribution and owned by Novell. Open suse is the free version of enterprise suse.It is being developed in Germany.It being sponsored by Novell and driven by openSUSE community has a theoretical cycle development of eight months and a lifetime (duration of the critical updates) of two years from the date of discharge. It is fully and freely available for immediate download, and is also sold in retail box to the general public. In November 3, 2006, the parent company Novell signed a landmark agreement with Microsoft covering three areas: improvement of the interoperability of SuSE with Microsoft Windows, promotion of both products and a cross-license on the use of patents and an agreement on the marketing, . This last point is judged as controversial by a part of the Free Software community.
Mnadriva formerly Mandrake is one the those Linux distros which is designed
with beginers in mind. It’s installation is really simple and working is also good to use. t’s a rpm based distro with a devolopment cycle similar to ubuntu and fedora.It has its head quaters in France and devoloped at Brazil.It also releases a new version for every six months. There ar3 versions
- Mandriva one(free)
- Mandriva Power pack
- Mandriva flash
Linux Mint is based on ubuntu Linux. Except for the user interface most of the things are common in both Ubuntu and Mint.The tag line of mint is“From Freedom Came elegance” and it lives up to it. It is really elegant and good looking. For persons who think Linux is all about complex commands Mint is the answer.It has a user interface which is uncluttered and very elegant. I have used both ubuntu and mint. My personal opinion is that Ubuntu has lot of security features which most of home users doesn’t want. Mint removes all those complications and gives some extra softwares like a graphical front end for NDISwrapper and by default it has all the codec’s. So it supports all media formayts out of the box. One point worth mentioning is that it has some visual effects for diffrent actions of the windows which are really amazing and it takes less amount of memory too. So if you want to make someone to move from Windows to Linux Mint is the best choice