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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (A+ 4 Real)
 9  Chapter 5: The Linux Operating System

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A Look Back to the Roots of Linux
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Linux Distributions
(Page 1 of 2)

With over 180 different distributions for Linux targeted at applications from embedded applications, to servers, to the desktop, to high-end super computing clusters there is a Linux distribution targeted for virtually any need. The following table shows a list of a few of these distributions that can be used on the desktop or in the server room. Linux installers have progressed to level that the novice can easily install distributions such as Red Hat (now Fedora), Mandrake, and for the Mac, it is Yellow Dog Linux. Go to the Web site for the distribution your choice shown to download the CD-ROM images for any of these distributions. Additionally Web sites such as or provide links to CD-ROM images of these and other distributions for download. Alternatively, you can purchase distribution CD-ROMs from either the vendor or such sites as

Table 8 provides information about some of the more popular Linux distributions.

Table 8: Common Linux Distributions





Debian GNU/Linux is the result of a volunteer effort to create a high-quality non-commercial Linux distribution, which is known as "The Debian Project


Community supported distribution to replace the Red Hat desktop distribution.


Gentoo Linux is designed for the developer, power user and enthusiast.


Knoppix, a Free and Open Source Live Linux CD. Knoppix is a GNU/Linux distribution that boots and runs completely from cd.


Specializes in ease-of-use for both servers and the home/office. French Distribution Mandrake is inspired by Red Hat™ Linux, with many improvements and preconfigured applications, which make it easier to use for beginners, and faster for everyone.


MEPIS Linux is a desktop Linux that is also easy to configure as a dedicated server. It is designed for both personal and business purposes. MEPIS comes in a Live-CD version that will boot and run directly from the CD.

Red Hat

Red Hat Linux is one of the most popular distributions in the world. Red Hat announced that it is terminating support for its desktop distribution and will only support enterprise solutions.


German Distribution. The S.u.S.E. distribution, by commercial vendor S.u.S.E., is another popular distribution. Owned by Novell .


Slackware Linux Project has aimed at producing the most "UNIX-like" Linux distribution.

Yellow Dog Linux

Derived from Red Hat Linux but runs on the PowerPC Processor found in Apple Computers.

Recently, Red Hat discontinued support of its popular workstation distribution and will now focus only on enterprise solutions. Red Hat has moved desktop support to the”Fedora Project”. The focus of this project as stated on the Fedora website is: “a Red-Hat-sponsored and community-supported open source project, to build a complete, general purpose operating system exclusively from free software.” Coupled with Novell’s announced purchase of the German Linux distributor SuSE made significant changes to the Linux desktop arena. Novell has been migrating to NetWare solutions, which have occurred in the Linux and it will now be an interesting alternative to Microsoft’s operating system for the business environment. Time will show how these changes will affect Linux and the operating system landscape in general.

Previous Topic/Section
A Look Back to the Roots of Linux
Previous Page
Pages in Current Topic/Section
Next Page
Further Links and Info
Next Topic/Section

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CertiGuide to A+ (A+ 4 Real) ( on
Version 1.0 - Version Date: March 29, 2005

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