FACTOID # 19: Cheap sloppy joes: Looking for reduced-price lunches for schoolchildren? Head for Oklahoma!
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Linux distribution

A Linux distribution (also called GNU/Linux distribution[who?]) is a member of the Linux family of Unix-like software distributions. Such distributions consist of a Linux operating system and a collection of applications. The operating system will consist of the Linux kernel and, usually, a set of libraries and utilities from the GNU project, with graphics support from the X Window System. Distributions optimized for size may not contain X, and tend to use more compact alternatives to the GNU utilities such as busybox, uclibc or dietlibc. There are currently over three hundred Linux distributions. Most of those are in active development, constantly being revised and improved. This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... Diagram of the relationships between several Unix-like systems A Unix-like operating system is one that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, while not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification. ... A software distribution is a bundle of a specific software (or a collection of multiple, even an entire operating system), already compiled and configured. ... This article is about Linux-based operating systems, GNU/Linux, and related topics. ... The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ... The GNU logo, drawn by Etienne Suvasa The GNU Project was announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman. ... Graphic redirects here. ... “X11” redirects here. ... BusyBox is a software application which provides many standard Unix tools, much like the larger (but more capable) GNU Core Utilities. ... uClibc is a small C standard library intended for embedded Linux systems. ... The dietlibc is a C library, similar to Glibc. ... This page provides general information about notable Linux distributions in the form of a categorized list. ...


Because most of the kernel and supporting packages are some combination of free software and open source, Linux distributions have taken a wide variety of forms — from fully featured desktop and server operating systems to minimal environments (typically for use in embedded systems, or for booting from a floppy disk). Aside from certain custom software (such as installers and configuration tools) a distribution simply refers to a particular assortment of applications installed on top of a set of libraries married with a version of the kernel, such that its "out-of-the-box" capabilities meets most of the needs of its particular end-user base. Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... Open source software is computer software for which the human-readable source code is made available under a copyright license (or arrangement such as the public domain) that meets the Open Source Definition. ... A router, an example of an embedded system. ... In computing, booting (booting up) is a bootstrapping process that starts operating systems when the user turns on a computer system. ...


One can distinguish between commercially backed distributions, such as Fedora (Red Hat), SUSE Linux (Novell), Ubuntu (Canonical Ltd.), MontaVista, and Mandriva Linux and community distributions such as Debian, Slackware and Gentoo. For other uses, see Red Hat (disambiguation). ... SUSE (pronounced IPA: , properly (in German), ZOO-za, loosely SOO-sa [1] in English) is a major retail Linux distribution, produced in Germany and owned by Novell, Inc. ... For the road bicycle racing team previously known as Novell, see Rabobank (cycling). ... Canonical Ltd. ... MontaVista Software develops systems software, development tools and Embedded Linux-based software targeting consumer electronics which includes automotive electronics, communications equipment, and television set-top boxes and other connected devices and infrastructure. ... Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is a Linux distribution created by Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft). ... Debian is a free operating system. ... Slackware was one of the earliest Linux distributions, and is the oldest, and most UNIX-like, distribution still being maintained[1]. It was created by Patrick Volkerding of Slackware Linux, Inc. ... The Gentoo Linux operating system (pronounced ) is a Linux distribution named after the Gentoo penguin. ...

Contents

History

Linux Distro Genesis, timeline representing the development of various Linux distributions.
Linux Distro Genesis, timeline representing the development of various Linux distributions.

Before the first Linux distributions, a would-be Linux user was required to be something of a Unix expert, not only knowing what libraries and executables were needed to successfully get the system to boot and run, but also important details concerning configuration and placement of files in the system.[citation needed] Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as or ® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ...


Linux distributions began to appear very soon after the Linux kernel was first used by individuals outside the original Linux programmers. They were more interested in developing the operating system than they were in application programs, the user interface, or convenient packaging.[citation needed] An operating system (OS) is a software that manages computer resources and provides programmers with an interface used to access those resources. ...


Early distributions included:

SLS was not well-maintained, so Patrick Volkerding released a distribution based on SLS, which he called Slackware; released July 16, 1993.[1] This is the oldest distribution still in active development. MCC Interim Linux is an obsolete Linux distribution, first released by Owen Le Blanc of the Manchester Computing Centre (part of the University of Manchester, England) in February 1992,[1] and has the distinction of being the first distribution capable of being independently installed on a computer. ... This article is about the File Transfer Protocol standardised by the IETF. For other file transfer protocols, see File transfer protocol (disambiguation). ... Affiliations: Russell Group, EUA, N8 Group, NWUA, Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), Association of Commonwealth Universities Website: http://www. ... Texas A&M University redirects here. ... Softlanding Linux System (SLS) was an early Linux distribution, founded by Peter MacDonald in mid-1992. ... Patrick Volkerding (born 1967) is the founder and maintainer of the Slackware Linux distribution. ... Slackware was one of the earliest Linux distributions, and is the oldest, and most UNIX-like, distribution still being maintained[1]. It was created by Patrick Volkerding of Slackware Linux, Inc. ... is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ...


Users were attracted to Linux distributions as alternatives to the DOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems on the PC, Mac OS on the Apple Macintosh and proprietary versions of Unix. Most early adopters were familiar with Unix from work or school. They embraced Linux for its stability, low (if any) cost, and for the availability of the source code for most or all of the software included. This article is about the family of closely related operating systems for the IBM PC compatible platform. ... Windows redirects here. ... IBM PC compatible computers are those generally similar to the original IBM PC, XT, and AT. Such computers used to be referred to as PC clones, or IBM clones since they almost exactly duplicated all the significant features of the PC, XT, or AT internal design, facilitated by various manufacturers... This article relates to both the original Classic Mac OS as well as Mac OS X, Apples more recent operating system. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... Proprietary software is software with restrictions on copying and modifying as enforced by the proprietor. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as or ® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ...


The distributions were originally simply a convenience, but today they have become the usual choice even for Unix or Linux experts. To date, Linux has proven more popular in the server market, primarily for Web and database servers (see also LAMP), than in the desktop market. The World Wide Web and WWW redirect here. ... This article is about computing. ... The acronym LAMP refers to a solution stack of software, usually free software / open-source software, used to run dynamic Web sites or servers. ...


Components

A typical desktop Linux distribution comprises a Linux kernel, GNU tools and libraries, additional software, documentation, a window system, window manager, and a desktop environment. Most of the included software is free software/open-source software which is distributed by its maintainers both as compiled binaries and in source code form, allowing users to modify and compile the original source code if they wish. Other software included with some distributions may be proprietary and may not be available in source code form. The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ... GNU (pronounced ) is a computer operating system composed entirely of free software. ... A windowing system (also windows system or window system) is a standard part of all modern computer graphical user interfaces, as opposed to command line interfaces. ... A window manager is computer software that controls the placement and appearance of windows within a windowing system in a graphical user interface; they are typically associated with X Window (see X window manager), but alternative shells for Microsoft Windows have also emerged. ... Information in this article or section has not been verified against sources and may not be reliable. ... Free software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with minimal restrictions only to ensure that further recipients can also do these things. ... Open source software is computer software for which the human-readable source code is made available under a copyright license (or arrangement such as the public domain) that meets the Open Source Definition. ... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ... A diagram of the operation of a typical multi-language, multi-target compiler. ... Source code (commonly just source or code) is any series of statements written in some human-readable computer programming language. ...


Many provide an installation system akin to that provided with other modern operating systems. Self-hosting distributions like Gentoo Linux, T2 and Linux From Scratch provide the source code of all software and include binaries only of a basic kernel, compilation tools, and an installer; the installer compiles all the software for the specific microarchitecture of the user's machine. Self-hosting refers to the use of a computer program as part of the toolchain or operating system that produces new versions of that same program—for example, a compiler that can compile its own source code. ... The Gentoo Linux operating system (pronounced ) is a Linux distribution named after the Gentoo penguin. ... T2 is a flexible Open Source System Development Environment (SDE) that allows the automated creation of Operating System with bleeding edge technology. ... Linux From Scratch (LFS) is the name of a book written by Gerard Beekmans and others. ... To a large extent, the design of a CPU, or central processing unit, is the design of its control unit. ...


Package management

See also: Package management system and Linux package formats

Distributions are normally segmented into packages. Each package contains a specific application or service. Examples of packages include a library for handling the PNG image format, a collection of fonts, or a web browser. Illustration of a package management system being used to download new software. ... Linux package formats are the different file formats used to package software for various GNU/Linux distributions. ... PNG (Portable Network Graphics), sometimes pronounced as ping, is a relatively new bitmap image format that is becoming popular on the World Wide Web and elsewhere. ... An example of a Web browser (Mozilla Firefox) A web browser is a software application that enables a user to display and interact with text, images, videos, music and other information typically located on a Web page at a website on the World Wide Web or a local area network. ...


The package is typically provided as compiled code, with installation and removal of packages handled by a package management system (PMS) rather than a simple file archiver. Each package intended for such a PMS contains meta-information such as a package description, version, and "dependencies". The package management system can evaluate this meta-information to allow package searches, to perform an automatic upgrade to a newer version, to check that all dependencies of a package are fulfilled and/or to fulfill them automatically. Illustration of a package management system being used to download new software. ... A file archiver combines a number of files together into one archive file, or a series of archive files, for easier transportation or storage. ... In computer science, dependency or coupling is the degree to which each program module relies on each other module. ...


Although Linux distributions typically contain much more software than proprietary operating systems, it is normal for local administrators to install software not included in the distribution. An example would be a newer version of a software application than that supplied with a distribution, or an alternative to that chosen by the distribution (e.g., KDE rather than GNOME or vice versa). If the additional software is distributed in source-only form, this approach requires local compilation. However, if additional software is locally added, the 'state' of the local system may fall out of synchronization with the state of the package manager's database. If so, the local administrator will be required to take additional measures to ensure the entire system is kept up to date. The package manager may no longer be able to do so automatically. For the NYSE stock ticker symbol KDE, see 4Kids Entertainment. ... This article is about the mythical creature. ...


Most distributions install packages, including the kernel and other core operating system components, in a predetermined configuration. Few now require or even permit configuration adjustments at first install time. This makes installation less daunting, particularly for new users, but is not always acceptable. For specific requirements, much software must be carefully configured to be useful, to work correctly with other software, or to be secure, and local administrators are often obliged to spend time reviewing and reconfiguring assorted software.


Some distributions go to considerable lengths to specifically adjust and customize most or all of the software included in the distribution. Not all do so. Some distributions provide configuration tools to assist in this process.


By replacing everything provided in a distribution, an administrator may reach a "distribution-less" state: everything was retrieved, compiled, configured, and installed locally. It is possible to build such a system from scratch, avoiding a distribution altogether. One needs a way to generate the first binaries until the system is self-hosting. This can be done via compilation on another system capable of building binaries for the intended target (possibly by cross-compilation). See for example Linux From Scratch. Compiling a program takes place by running a compiler on the build platform. ... Linux From Scratch (LFS) is the name of a book written by Gerard Beekmans and others. ...


Types and trends

Further information: Comparison of Linux distributions

Broadly, Linux distributions may be: Technical variations include support for different hardware devices and systems or software package configurations. ...

  • Commercial or non-commercial;
  • Designed for enterprise or for home usage;
  • Designed for servers, desktops, or embedded devices;
  • Targeted at regular users or power users;
  • General purpose or highly specialized toward specific machine functionalities, for example firewalls, network routers, and computer clusters;
  • Designed and even certified for specific hardware and computer architectures;
  • Targeted at specific user groups, for example through language internationalization and localization, or through inclusion of many music production or scientific computing packages.
  • Differently configured for security, usability, portability, or comprehensiveness
  • Supported on different types of hardware

The diversity of Linux distributions is due to technical, organizational, and philosophical variation among vendors and users. The permissive licensing of free software means that any user with sufficient knowledge and interest can customize an existing distribution or design to suit his or her own needs. Internationalization redirects here. ... In the music industry, record producer designates a person responsible for completing a master recording so that it is fit for release. ... Scientific computing (or computational science) is the field of study concerned with constructing mathematical models and numerical solution techniques and using computers to analyze and solve scientific and engineering problems. ...


Installation-free distributions (Live CDs)

Main articles: Live CD and Live USB

A LiveDistro or Live CD, is a Linux distribution that can be booted from a compact disc or other medium (such as a DVD or USB flash drive) instead of the conventional hard drive. Some minimal distributions such as tomsrtbt can be run directly from as little as one floppy disk without needing to change the hard drive contents. Gnoppix 0. ... A live USB is a USB flash drive containing a full operating system which can be booted. ... CD redirects here. ... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc - see Etymology) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ... JumpDrive redirects here. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... tomsrtbt (pronounced: Toms Root Boot) is a very small Linux distribution—MiniLinux. ...


The read-only nature of CDs and DVDs means that user data cannot be stored with the operating system, but must be written to some other device (such as a USB flash drive or an installed hard drive) if any is to be kept. Temporary operating system data is usually kept solely in RAM. RAM redirects here. ...


The portablility is advantageous for applications such as demonstrations, borrowing someone else's computer, rescue operations, and as installation media for a standard distribution. Many popular distributions come in both "Live" and conventional forms (the conventional form being a network or removable media image which is intended to be used for installation only). This includes SUSE, Ubuntu, Mepis, and Fedora. Some distributions, such as Knoppix and Dyne:bolic, are designed primarily for Live CD or Live DVD use. SUSE (properly pronounced , but often pronounced /suzi/) is a major retail Linux distribution, produced in Germany. ... MEPIS refers to a set of Linux distributions distributed as LiveCDs which can be installed onto a hard disk. ... Fedora (previously called Fedora Core) is an RPM-based, general purpose Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. ... Knoppix, or KNOPPIX, is a complete Linux distribution on a CD. This includes a working computer operating system and a powerful suite of graphical user software which can be used as a live CD. It is a Debian-based Linux distribution, developed by Linux consultant Klaus Knopper. ...


Examples

The logos of various Linux distributions.

Image File history File links No_image. ... Image File history File links No_image. ... Image File history File links SuSE_logo. ... Image File history File links No_image. ... Image File history File links Mandriva logo. ... Image File history File links No_image. ... Image File history File links Gentoo stylized g logo. ... Image File history File links Ubuntu_Logo. ...

Popular distributions

Well-known Linux distributions include:

  • CentOS, a distribution derived from the same sources used by Red Hat, maintained by a dedicated volunteer community of developers with both 100% Red Hat - compatible versions and an upgraded version that is not always 100% upstream compatible
  • Debian, a non-commercial distribution maintained by a volunteer developer community with a strong commitment to free software principles
  • Fedora which is a community distribution sponsored by Red Hat
  • Gentoo, a distribution targeted at power users, known for its FreeBSD Ports-like automated system for compiling applications from source code
  • Archlinux, a distribution based the KISS principle with a rolling release system.
  • Knoppix, a Live CD distribution that runs completely from removable media and without installation to a hard disk
  • Linspire, a commercial desktop distribution based on Ubuntu (and thus Debian), and once the defendant in the Microsoft vs. Lindows lawsuit over its former name.
  • Mandriva, a Red Hat derivative popular in France and Brazil, today maintained by the French company of the same name
  • MontaVista Software, a commercial embedded Linux distribution found in everything from consumer electronics, networking, mobile, to health, mil/aero, retail and industrial automation devices.
  • openSUSE, originally derived from Slackware, sponsored by the company Novell
  • PCLinuxOS which is the number 2 distribution on DistroWatch as of April 29, 2008. PCLinuxOS is derived from Mandriva
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is a derivative of Fedora maintained and commercially supported by Red Hat
  • Slackware, one of the first Linux distributions, founded in 1993, and since then actively maintained by Patrick J. Volkerding
  • Ubuntu, a newly popular desktop distribution maintained by Canonical that is derived from Debian.

DistroWatch maintains a popularity ranking of distribution information on its web site, but this is not considered to be a reliable measure of distribution popularity. CentOS is a freely available Linux distribution which is based on Red Hats commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) product. ... Debian is a free operating system. ... Fedora (previously called Fedora Core) is an RPM-based, general purpose Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. ... For other uses, see Red Hat (disambiguation). ... The Gentoo Linux operating system (pronounced ) is a Linux distribution named after the Gentoo penguin. ... A power user is a user of a personal computer who can utilize advanced functions and programs which are outside the reach of normal users due to the complexity and advanced knowledge required to perform these specialized tasks. ... The FreeBSD Ports Collection provides an easy and consistent way of installing software ported to FreeBSD. It uses Makefiles laid out in a directory hierarchy, so software can be installed and deinstalled with the make command. ... Arch Linux is a Linux distribution founded by Judd Vinet that emphasizes simplicity. ... The term KISS is an acronym of the phrase Keep It Simple, Stupid, and the KISS principle states that design simplicity should be a key goal and unnecessary complexity avoided. ... Knoppix, or KNOPPIX, is a complete Linux distribution on a CD. This includes a working computer operating system and a powerful suite of graphical user software which can be used as a live CD. It is a Debian-based Linux distribution, developed by Linux consultant Klaus Knopper. ... Gnoppix 0. ... Removable media are transportable drives or disks that can be moved easily from one computer to another. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Microsoft v. ... Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is a Linux distribution created by Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft). ... MontaVista Software develops systems software, development tools and Embedded Linux-based software targeting embedded systems such as automotive electronics, communications equipment, and television set-top boxes and other connected devices and infrastructure. ... openSUSE is a community project, sponsored by Novell, to develop and maintain a general purpose Linux distribution. ... For the road bicycle racing team previously known as Novell, see Rabobank (cycling). ... PCLinuxOS, often abbreviated as PCLOS, is a desktop Linux distribution. ... Distrowatch is a website devoted to tracking, categorising and advertising Linux distributions. ... PCLinuxOS, often abbreviated as PCLOS, is a desktop Linux distribution. ... Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is a Linux distribution created by Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft). ... Red Hat Enterprise Linux (often abbreviated to RHEL) is a Linux distribution produced by Red Hat and targeted toward the commercial market, including mainframes. ... Fedora (previously called Fedora Core) is an RPM-based, general purpose Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. ... For other uses, see Red Hat (disambiguation). ... Slackware was one of the earliest Linux distributions, and is the oldest, and most UNIX-like, distribution still being maintained[1]. It was created by Patrick Volkerding of Slackware Linux, Inc. ... Patrick Volkerding is the founder and maintainer of Slackware Linux. ... Canonical Ltd is a private company founded (and funded) by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth for the promotion of Free Software projects. ... Distrowatch is a website devoted to tracking, categorising and advertising Linux distributions. ...


Niche distributions

Jesux[2] was a fake Christianity-inspired distribution that used the Bourne Again Shell by default, provided hex modes in order to avoid typing "666", and allowed the user to optionally restrict logins on the Sabbath.[3] Another, the Buddhist Yellow Hat GNU/Linux, was an April Fools' Day hoax perpetrated by Richard M. Stallman.[4] More recently, however, two forks of the Ubuntu distribution have made serious attempts at marketing Linux to Christian clergy and organizations: Ichthux, and Ubuntu Christian Edition both bundle Bible-oriented applications and theological dictionaries in their main distributions. This article is about the UNIX shell named Bash. ... For other uses, see Sabbath. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by... April Fools Day and April Fools Day redirect here. ... Richard Matthew Stallman (RMS; born March 16, 1953) is the founder of the Free Software movement, the GNU project, the Free Software Foundation, and the League for Programming Freedom. ... Ubuntu Christian Edition (also referred to as Ubuntu CE) is a complete operating system designed for Christians and based on the popular Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution. ...


Other distributions are targeted at other specific niches such as the tiny embedded router distribution OpenWrt, the Ubuntu project to create Edubuntu for educational users, and KnoppMyth which wraps Knoppix around MythTV to ease building Linux-powered DVRs. OpenWrt is a GNU/Linux based firmware for embedded devices such as residential gateways. ... Edubuntu is a branch of the Ubuntu Linux project designed for classroom use. ... Knoppmyth is a portmanteau of Knoppix and Mythtv. ... Knoppix, or KNOPPIX, is a complete Linux distribution on a CD. This includes a working computer operating system and a powerful suite of graphical user software which can be used as a live CD. It is a Debian-based Linux distribution, developed by Linux consultant Klaus Knopper. ... MythTV is a Linux application which turns a computer with the necessary hardware into a digital video recorder, a digital multimedia home entertainment system, or Home Theater Personal Computer. ... The initialism DVR, when used by itself, can refer to: Digital video recorder Digital voice recorder Discrete valuation ring Distance Vector Routing Dynamic voltage restorer Category: ...


Interdistribution issues

The Free Standards Group is an organization formed by major software and hardware vendors that aims to improve interoperability between different distributions. Among their proposed standards are the Linux Standard Base, which defines a common ABI and packaging system for Linux, and the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard which recommends a standard filenaming chart, notably the basic directory names found on the root of the tree of any Linux filesystem. Those standards, however, see limited use, even among the distributions developed by members of the organization. The Free Standards Group is an industry non-profit consortium that primarily specifies and drives the adoption of the open source standards. ... The Linux Standard Base, or LSB, is a joint project by several GNU/Linux distributions under the organizational structure of The Free Standards Group to standardize the internal structure of Linux-based operating systems. ... In computer software, an application binary interface (ABI) describes the low-level interface between an application program and the operating system, between an application and its libraries, or between component parts of the application. ... The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) defines the main directories and their contents in Linux and other Unix-like computer operating systems. ...


The diversity of Linux distributions means that not all software runs on all distributions, depending on what libraries and other system attributes are required. Packaged software is usually specific to a particular distribution, though cross-installation is sometimes possible on closely related distributions.


Tools for choosing a distribution

There are tools available to help making the decision, such as several different versions of the Linux Distribution Chooser[5][6][7] and the universal package search tool, whohas.[8] There are some easy ways to try out several Linux distributions before deciding on one. Multi Distro is a Live CD that contains nine space-saving distributions.[9] Tools are available to make such CDs and DVDs, among them Nautopia.[10] Gnoppix 0. ...


Virtual machines such as QEMU, VirtualBox and VMware VirtualPC permit booting of Live CD image files without actually burning a CD. It has been suggested that Qemu-Launcher be merged into this article or section. ... Sun xVM VirtualBox is an X86 virtualization software package originally developed by German software company innotek GmbH. As such it is an application installed on an existing host operating system; within this application, additional operating systems, each known as a Guest OS, can be loaded and run, each with its... VMware, Inc. ... Screenshot of Virtual PC 6. ...


Details and interest rankings of Linux distributions are available on DistroWatch and a fairly comprehensive list of Live CDs is The Live CD List. Some websites such as OSDir.com and OSVids.com offer screenshots and videos as a means to getting a first impression of various distributions. Distrowatch is a website devoted to tracking, categorising and advertising Linux distributions. ...


Workspot provides online Linux desktop demos using Virtual Network Computing (VNC). Workspot is a Linux desktop Web Service, that provides personal computing without computer ownership. ... Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a desktop sharing system which uses the RFB (Remote FrameBuffer) protocol to remotely control another computer. ...


Advocacy

As part of the free software movement, Linux User Groups (LUGs) still provide the primary face-to-face forum for demonstration of Linux. Commercial exhibitions also provide Linux demonstrations to potential new users, especially corporate buyers. The free software movement, also known as the free software philosophy, began in 1983 when Richard Stallman announced the GNU Project. ... A Linux User Group or Linux Users Group (LUG) is a private, generally non-profit or not-for-profit organization that provides support and/or education for Linux users, particularly for inexperienced users. ...


Installation

There are many ways to install a Linux distribution:

  • The most common method of installing Linux is by booting from a CD-ROM or DVD that contains the installation program and installable software. Such a CD can be burned from a downloaded ISO image, purchased alone for a low price, provided as a cover disk with a magazine, in some cases shipped for free by request, or obtained as part of a box set that may also include manuals and additional commercial software. New users tend to begin by partitioning a hard-drive in order to keep an existing operating system. The Linux distribution can then be installed on the new partition without affecting previously saved data.
  • Early Linux distributions were installed using sets of floppies but this has been abandoned by all major distributions. Nowadays most distributions offer CD and DVD sets with the vital packages on the first disc and less important packages on later ones. They usually also allow installation over a network after booting from either a set of floppies or a CD with only a small amount of data on it.
  • Still another mode of installation of Linux is to install on a powerful computer to use as a server and to use less powerful machines (perhaps without hard drives, with less memory and slower CPUs) as thin clients over the network. Clients can boot over the network from the server and display results and pass information to the server where all the applications run. The clients can be ordinary PCs with the addition of the network bootloader on a drive or network interface controller, and hard disk space and processor power can be offloaded onto the client machine if desired. The cost savings achieved by using thin clients can be invested in greater computing power or storage on the server.
  • In a Live CD setup, the computer boots the entire operating system from CD without first installing it on the computer's hard disk. Some distributions have a Live CD installer, where the computer boots the operating system from the disk, and then proceeds to install it onto the computer's hard disk, providing a seamless transition from the OS running from the CD to the OS running from the hard disk.
  • Mini CD images allow Linux to be installed from a disk with a small form factor.
  • As with servers, personal computers that come with Linux already installed are available from vendors including Hewlett-Packard and Dell, although generally only for their business desktop lines.
  • On embedded devices, Linux is typically held in the device's firmware and may or may not be consumer-accessible.

Anaconda, one of the more popular installers, is used by Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and other distributions to simplify the installation process. The CD-ROM (an abbreviation for Compact Disc Read-Only Memory (ROM)) is a non-volatile optical data storage medium using the same physical format as audio compact discs, readable by a computer with a CD-ROM drive. ... DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc - see Etymology) is a popular optical disc storage media format. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Cover disks (also commonly called by the single word coverdisks) were floppy disks with pre-installed content sold with issues of home computer magazines. ... In computer operating systems, disk partitioning is the creation of logical divisions upon a hard disk that allows one to apply operating system-specific logical formatting. ... A floppy disk is a data storage device that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible (floppy) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. ... A HP T5700 thin client, with flash memory A Neoware m100 thin client. ... MiniCDs are smaller form-factor CDs Amongst the various formats are the CD single, an 80-mm disc. ... The Shuttle XPC SN25P Small form factor (SFF) computers are housed in smaller cases than typical desktop computers. ... In information technology, a server is an application or device that performs services for connected clients as part of a client-server architecture. ... The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly known as HP, is a very large, global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. ... This article is about the corporation Dell, Inc. ... A microcontroller, like this PIC18F8720 is controlled by firmware stored inside on FLASH memory In computing, firmware is a computer program that is embedded in a hardware device, for example a microcontroller. ... Categories: Computer stubs ... Red Hat Enterprise Linux (often abbreviated to RHEL) is a Linux distribution produced by Red Hat and targeted toward the commercial market, including mainframes. ... Fedora (previously called Fedora Core) is an RPM-based, general purpose Linux distribution, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. ...


Installation on an existing platform

Some distributions let the user install Linux on top of their current system, such as WinLinux. Linux is installed to the Windows hard-disk partition, and can be started from inside Windows itself. Similar approaches include coLinux. WinLinux simulates a Linux on a running Windows operating system (only Windows 95, 98 and Me are supported. ... Cooperative Linux, or coLinux for short, is a piece of software that enables the Linux kernel to run under Microsoft Windows without significant runtime overhead. ...


Virtual machines (such as Virtual PC or VMware) also enable Linux to be run inside another OS. The VM software simulates an isolated environment onto which the Linux system is installed. After everything is done, the virtual machine can be booted just as if it were an independent computer. In computer science, a virtual machine is software that creates a virtualized environment between the computer platform and its operating system, so that the end user can operate software on an abstract machine. ... Virtual PC is a virtualization suite for Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems, originally created by Connectix, subsequently acquired by Microsoft. ... VMware, Inc. ...


Installation through an existing platform

Most recently, a Windows installer for Ubuntu was developed. This allows for one to download and install a Linux distribution without the need for hard drive partitioning or the need for an installation CD, thus allowing for the option to easily dual boot between either operating system on the same hard drive without losing data. This was followed by the release of a Windows installer for Debian. The Windows installer for Debian (known internally as win32-loader) is in the process of being integrated in official Debian CDs/DVDs.[citation needed]. Debian is a free operating system. ...


Proprietary software

Some specific proprietary software products are not available in any form for Linux. This includes many popular computer games, although in recent years some game manufacturers have begun making their software available for Linux. For example, Epic Games sells a Linux version of its Unreal Tournament 2004. This problem is also addressed by emulation and API-translation projects like Wine and Cedega, which make it possible to run non-Linux-based software on Linux systems, either by emulating a proprietary operating system or by translating proprietary API calls (e.g., calls to Microsoft's Win32 or DirectX APIs) into native Linux API calls. Epic Games, also known as Epic and formerly as Epic MegaGames, is a computer game development company based in Cary, North Carolina, United States. ... Unreal Tournament 2004, also known as UT2004 or UT2K4, is a futuristic first-person shooter computer game developed by Epic Games and Digital Extremes. ... This article is about emulation in computer science. ... Wine is a software application which aims to allow Unix-like computer operating systems on the x86 architecture to execute programs that were originally written for Microsoft Windows. ... Cedega (formerly known as WineX) is TransGaming Technologies proprietary fork of Wine (from when the license of Wine wasnt the LGPL but the X11 license), which is designed specifically for running games written for Microsoft Windows under Linux. ... Windows API is a set of APIs, (application programming interfaces) available in the Microsoft Windows operating systems. ... Microsoft DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces for handling tasks related to multimedia, especially game programming and video, on Microsoft platforms. ...


OEM contracts

Computer hardware is often sold with the operating system of a software original equipment manufacturer (OEM) already installed. It is uncommon for this operating system to be Linux, even though the portability features of Linux mean that it can be installed on most machines. In the case of IBM PC compatibles the OS is usually Microsoft Windows; in the case of Apple Macintosh computers it has always been a version of Apple's OS, currently Mac OS X; Sun Microsystems sells SPARC hardware with Solaris installed; video game consoles such as the Xbox, PlayStation, and Gamecube each have their own proprietary OS. That Linux is not installed by default on most computer hardware limits its market share: consumers are unaware that an alternative exists, they must make a conscious effort to use a different operating system, and they must either perform the actual installation themselves, or depend on support from a friend, relative, or computer professional. Original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, is a term that refers to containment-based re-branding, namely where one company uses a component of another company within its product, or sells the product of another company under its own brand. ... IBM PC compatible computers are those generally similar to the original IBM PC, XT, and AT. Such computers used to be referred to as PC clones, or IBM clones since they almost exactly duplicated all the significant features of the PC, XT, or AT internal design, facilitated by various manufacturers... Windows redirects here. ... The first Macintosh computer, introduced in 1984, upgraded to a 512K Fat Mac. The Macintosh or Mac, is a line of personal computers designed, developed, manufactured, and marketed by Apple Computer. ... Mac OS X (pronounced ) is a line of graphical operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. ... Sun Microsystems, Inc. ... Sun UltraSPARC II Microprocessor Sun UltraSPARC T1 (Niagara 8 Core) SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) is a RISC microprocessor instruction set architecture originally designed in 1985 by Sun Microsystems. ... The Solaris Operating System, usually known simply as Solaris, is a free Unix-based operating system introduced by Sun Microsystems in 1992 as the successor to SunOS. Solaris is known for its scalability, especially on SPARC systems, as well for being the origin for many innovative features such as DTrace... For the Xboxs successor, see Xbox 360. ... For other uses, see PlayStation (disambiguation). ... The Nintendo GameCube (Japanese: ゲームキューブ; originally code-named Dolphin during development; abbreviated as GCN) is Nintendos fourth home video game console, belonging to the 128-bit era; the same generation as Segas Dreamcast, Sonys PlayStation 2, and Microsofts Xbox. ...


However, it is actually possible to buy hardware with Linux already installed. Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Affordy,[11] and System76 all sell general purpose Linux laptops,[12] and custom-order PC manufacturers will also build Linux systems (but possibly with the Windows Key on the keyboard). Terra Soft sells Macintosh computers and PlayStation 3 consoles with Yellow Dog Linux installed. It is more common to find embedded devices sold with Linux as the default manufacturer-supported OS, including the Linksys NSLU2 NAS device, TiVo's line of personal video recorders, and Linux-based cellphones, PDAs, and portable music players. Lenovo Group Limited, formerly known as Legend Group Limited, is the largest personal computer manufacturer in the Peoples Republic of China, and as of 2004 is the eighth largest in the world. ... The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly known as HP, is a very large, global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. ... This article is about the corporation Dell, Inc. ... system76 is a computer hardware manufacturer. ... A Windows key on a black laptop keyboard The Windows key or Windows logo key (in short WinKey, or rarely Flag key) is a keyboard key originally introduced for the Windows 95 operating system. ... Terra Soft Solutions, Inc. ... The PlayStation 3 , trademarked PLAYSTATION®3,[3] commonly abbreviated PS3) is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment; successor to the PlayStation 2. ... Yellow Dog Linux (often abbreviated YDL) is a free software, open-source Linux distribution for Power Architecture hardware. ... The NSLU2 The NSLU2 is a device made by Linksys for making USB Flash memory or hard disk devices accessible over a network (NAS). ... TiVo (pronounced tee-voh, IPA: ) is a popular brand of digital video recorder (DVR) in the United States (and coming to Canada in December 7, 2007) and is a consumer video device which allows users to capture television programming to internal hard disk storage for later viewing (time shifting), provides...


Consumers also have the option of obtaining a refund for unused OEM operating system software. The end user license agreement (EULA) for Apple and Microsoft operating systems gives the consumer the opportunity to reject the license and obtain a refund. If requesting a refund directly from the manufacturer fails, it is also possible that a lawsuit in small claims court will work.[13] On February 15, 1999, a group of Linux users in Orange County, California held a "Windows Refund Day" protest in an attempt to pressure Microsoft into issuing them refunds.[14] In France, the Linuxfrench and AFUL organizations along with free software activist Roberto Di Cosmo started a "Windows Detax" movement,[15] which led to a 2006 petition against "racketiciels"[16] (translation: Racketwares) and the DGCCRF branch of the French government filing several complaints against bundled software. A software license is a type of proprietary or gratiuitious license as well as a memorandum of contract between a producer and a user of computer software — sometimes called an End User License Agreement (EULA) — that specifies the perimeters of the permission granted by the owner to the user. ... is the 46th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events of 2008: (EMILY) Me Lesley and MIley are going to China! This article is about the year. ... -1... Organized crime is crime carried out systematically by formal criminal organizations. ...


References

  1. ^ The Slackware Linux Project: Slackware Release Announcement
  2. ^ Jesux
  3. ^ Jesux hoax uncovered - ZDNet UK
  4. ^ http://www.stallman.org/articles/yellow-hat.html
  5. ^ zegenie Studios Linux Distribution Chooser
  6. ^ (:^tuxs.org) Linux Distribution Chooser
  7. ^ Desktop Linux At Home - Distro Selector
  8. ^ Philipp's Homepage: whohas
  9. ^ Linux.com :: Multi Distro is Linux times 9 on a single CD-R
  10. ^ Linux.com :: Multiple live CDs in one DVD
  11. ^ Affordy - TITAN Computers
  12. ^ Laptops/Notebooks with Linux Preinstalled
  13. ^ Getting a Windows Refund in California Small Claims Court
  14. ^ Windows Refund Day
  15. ^ Detaxe.org (French) Say no to bundled software - Say yes to informed consumers
  16. ^ (fr) Petition against software racketeers

See also

Free software Portal

Image File history File links Free_Software_Portal_Logo. ... This page provides general information about notable Linux distributions in the form of a categorized list. ... Technical variations include support for different hardware devices and systems or software package configurations. ... Cygwin (pronounced ) is a collection of free software tools originally developed by Cygnus Solutions to allow various versions of Microsoft Windows to act similar to a Unix system. ... The GNU/Linux naming controversy is a dispute among members of the free and open source software community about how to refer to the computer operating systems commonly called Linux. GNU/Linux is the term promoted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), its founder Richard Stallman, and its supporters, for... Gnoppix 0. ... The standard MiniLinux logo The term Mini Linux (or Mini Linux Distribution) refers to any Linux distribution that fits on memory card or a small number of floppies, usually one or two. ...

External links

This article is about operating systems that use the Linux kernel. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For a broader comparison of closed source and Open Source software, see Comparison of open source and closed source. ... Criticism of Linux focuses on issues concerning use of the Linux operating system as a desktop workstation. ... The GNU logo, drawn by Etienne Suvasa The GNU Project was announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman. ... This timeline shows the development of the Linux kernel. ... The Linux Foundation (LF) is a non-profit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux. ... The Linux kernel is a Unix-like operating system kernel. ... Originally written for Intels i386 processor, very early in its history, the Linux Kernel was re-coded for easy portability. ... Linus Law can refer to two notions, both named after Linus Torvalds. ... The GNU/Linux naming controversy is a dispute among members of the free and open source software community about how to refer to the computer operating systems commonly called Linux. GNU/Linux is the term promoted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), its founder Richard Stallman, and its supporters, for... Tux, as originally drawn by Larry Ewing Tux (also known as Tux the Penguin) is the official mascot of the Linux kernel. ... Image File history File links Tux. ... Image File history File links Portal. ... Technical variations include support for different hardware devices and systems or software package configurations. ... Gnoppix 0. ... A LiveDistro is a Linux distribution that is executed upon boot, without installation on a hard drive. ... A live USB is a USB flash drive containing a full operating system which can be booted. ... The standard MiniLinux logo The term Mini Linux (or Mini Linux Distribution) refers to any Linux distribution that fits on memory card or a small number of floppies, usually one or two. ... Linux package formats are the different file formats used to package software for various GNU/Linux distributions. ... A screenshot of alsamixer ALSA (an acronym for Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) is a Linux kernel component intended to replace the original Open Sound System (OSS) for providing drivers for sound cards. ... Desktop Linux, also Linux on the desktop (LOTD) is the application of the GNU/Linux operating system on a desktop computer. ... Because of the open source philosophy that linux brings to the software world, many people have ported the linux kernel to run on devices other than a computer. ... Embedded Linux is a Linux based embedded operating system used in cell phones, personal digital assistants, media player handsets and other consumer electronics devices. ... Linux gaming refers to playing and developing games for Linux operating systems. ... The acronym LAMP refers to a solution stack of software, usually free software / open-source software, used to run dynamic Web sites or servers. ... Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) is an add-on package for Linux that allows many people to simultaneously use the same computer. ... Jono Bacon is a writer and developer based in the United Kingdom. ... Benjamin Mako Hill (b. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Ari Lemmke (born December 12, 1963) is the person who gave Linux its name. ... Andrew Morton is a Linux kernel developer. ... Ian Murdock (born April 28, 1973, in Konstanz, Germany) is the founder of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and Progeny Linux Systems, a commercial Linux company. ... Hans Thomas Reiser (born December 19, 1963) is an American computer programmer famous for his contributions to free software in the field of file systems. ... Scott James Remnant is a free and open source software developer. ... Daniel Robbins is a software developer best known as the founder and former chief architect of the Gentoo Linux project. ... Mark Richard Shuttleworth (born 18 September 1973) is a South African entrepreneur who was the second self-funded space tourist and first African in space. ... Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated rms,[2] is an American software freedom activist, hacker,[3] and software developer. ... Linus Benedict Torvalds ( ; ; born December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer best known for initiating the development of the Linux kernel. ... Patrick Volkerding (born 1967) is the founder and maintainer of the Slackware Linux distribution. ... When I first started selling mepis on my website I did it the legal way. ... Matt Zimmerman is a technologist and free software and open source developer. ... Enterprise Open Source Journal (or EOSJ) is a computing magazine self-published online magazine. ... The cover of the April 2006 issue. ... Linux. ... Linux Format was the UKs first Linux-specific magazine, and is currently the best-selling Linux title in the UK. It is also exported to many countries worldwide. ... The Linux Gazette is the name of two different monthly Linux webzines, though LinuxGazette. ... Linux Journal is a monthly magazine published by SpecializedSystemsConsultants (SSC) of Seattle, first published in March 1994. ... The Linux Magazin is a German professional journal. ... Linux Magazin (ISSN 1432-640X) is a German professional journal. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... LWN.net is a computing news site with an emphasis on Free/Libre/Open-Source Software and software for Unix-like operating systems. ... The current version of the article or section reads like an advertisement. ... Phoronix is a technology website that offers product reviews, Linux distribution screenshots, interviews, and news while maintaining a pure Linux orientation. ... This page provides general information about notable Linux distributions in the form of a categorized list. ... This is a large list of LiveDistros. ... The Access Linux Platform is a next-generation version of the Palm OS, with application compatibility layers for Java, classic Palm OS, GTK+, and GNU/Linux shell applications. ... Mobilinux is a Linux based OS targetting smartphones and announced by MontaVista Software on April 25, 2005. ... Ubuntu Mobile and Embedded Edition is a distribution of Linux planned to run on x86 mobile tablet and mini computers. ... The Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS Forum) is a consortium created by a group of companies as an effort to create standards aimed at fostering the use of Linux on mobile devices. ... A Linux User Group or Linux Users Group (LUG) is a private, generally non-profit or not-for-profit organization that provides support and/or education for Linux users, particularly for inexperienced users. ... The Linux Standard Base, or LSB, is a joint project by several GNU/Linux distributions under the organizational structure of The Free Standards Group to standardize the internal structure of Linux-based operating systems. ... Promotional poster for two disc edition of Revolution OS Revolution OS is a documentary which traces the history of GNU, Linux, Free Software and the Open Source movement. ... The SCO-Linux controversies are a series of legal and public disputes between the software company SCO Group (SCO) and various Linux vendors and users. ... The Tanenbaum-Torvalds debate is a famous debate started in 1992 by Andrew S. Tanenbaum with Linus Torvalds regarding Linux and kernel architecture in general on Usenet discussion group comp. ... CentOS is a freely available Linux distribution which is based on Red Hats commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) product. ... Debian is a free operating system. ... The Gentoo Linux operating system (pronounced ) is a Linux distribution named after the Gentoo penguin. ... Knoppix, or KNOPPIX, is a complete Linux distribution on a CD. This includes a working computer operating system and a powerful suite of graphical user software which can be used as a live CD. It is a Debian-based Linux distribution, developed by Linux consultant Klaus Knopper. ... Mandriva Linux (formerly Mandrakelinux or Mandrake Linux) is a Linux distribution created by Mandriva (formerly Mandrakesoft). ... Red Hat Enterprise Linux (often abbreviated to RHEL) is a Linux distribution produced by Red Hat and targeted toward the commercial market, including mainframes. ... Slackware was one of the earliest Linux distributions, and is the oldest, and most UNIX-like, distribution still being maintained[1]. It was created by Patrick Volkerding of Slackware Linux, Inc. ... This page provides general information about notable Linux distributions in the form of a categorized list. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Linux distribution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2094 words)
Before the first Linux distributions, a would-be Linux user was required to be something of a Unix expert, not only knowing what libraries and executables were needed to successfully get the system to boot and run, but also important details concerning configuration and placement of files in the system.
Distributions are normally segmented into packages, each package holding a specific application or service; one package may contain a library for handling PNG images, another may contain a number of fonts, while a third may supply a web browser.
Among their proposed standards are the Linux Standard Base, which defines a common ABI and packaging system for GNU/Linux, and the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard which recommends a standard filenaming chart, notably the basic directory names found on the root of the tree of any Linux filesystem.
Linux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (5243 words)
Linux started out as a terminal emulator written in IA-32 assembler and C, which was compiled into binary form and booted from a floppy disk so that it would run outside of any operating system.
Linux is increasingly common as an operating system for supercomputers, most recently on 64-bit AMD Opterons in the Cray XD1.
Linux and other free software projects have been frequently criticized for not going far enough in terms of ensuring usability, and Linux was once considered more difficult to use than Windows or the Macintosh, although this has changed.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m