Life without Windows or OS X

GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Hard Choice

While there are certainly many versions ("distributions") of Linux to choose from, picking one that is right for you can be straightforward as long as you know your needs and are willing to do some research.
- The balance act: Red Hat Linux, Mandrake Linux, and SuSE Linux offer reliability, flexibility, and user-friendliness. They are the most popular Linux distributions.
- Simple and easy: Lycoris Linux, Xandros Linux and Linspire are good first-time choices.
- For those who are willing to give up convenience to experience the natural, unspoiled simplicity, stability, and security of original Linux distributions: Slackware would be a logical choice.
– Want to try Linux but don’t want to deal with the hassle of installing a new OS? CD-based distributions may be your answer.

Linspires’ one-click web based software installation is quick and easy. An annual fee is charged for accessing Linspire software pool.

Xandros Linux is a great choice for beginners who don’t mind to fork over a few dollars to get a worry free product. It is refined and reliable but with proprietary components that prevent re-distribution. No free download.

Mandrake Linux has become very popular in recent years, especially among new and home users. Installation is particularly user-friendly, and it runs by default the KDE Windows-like graphical desktop environment.

SuSE Linux is a serious alternative for Windows users, with solid, user-friendly installation and configuration tools. Its popularity is held back a little only by somewhat “un-Linux like” business practices, such as not providing ISO installation images for free download. They do, however, offer free FTP installation.

Lycoris is designed to be a user-friendly Linux distribution with particular emphasis on transitioning from Windows operating systems. Good choice for beginners.

Knoppix provides an excellent run-from-CD solution, with its powerful hardware detection features and pain-free set-up. If desired, the system can be optionally installed on the hard disk to improve performance. It also comes with plenty of software. It's also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom.

Slackware Linux is a good opportunity to learn about the Linux operating system. It gives you back a long-lost sense of control and empowerment. No longer will you be at the mercy of graphical set-up wizards and mysterious background demons.

Ubuntu The current Ubuntu release supports PC (Intel x86), 64-bit PC (AMD64) and PowerPC (Apple iBook and Powerbook, G4 and G5) architectures. Ubuntu is Free Software, and available to you free of charge. It's also Free in the sense of giving you rights of Software Freedom. Unlike many of the other commercial distributions in the free and open source world the Ubuntu team really does believe that Free software should be free of software licencing charges.

Red Hat Linux
is perhaps the best-known distribution of Linux. It has been around for a while and has acquired a reputation for consistency and reliability. It may not be the easiest to use or the most cutting-edge distribution, but it provides the type of high-quality support that is valued by companies, which made it the de-facto standard in corporate America.


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