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Linux Magazine: Distribution Roundup

Apr 21, 2000 — by Rick Lehrbaum — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

New to Linux? Wondering which Linux distribution is right for you? Linux Magazine has just posted an online article, by William Wong, that compares eight popular “standard” (desktop/server) Linux distributions. The distributions covered are: Caldera, Corel, Debian, Mandrake, Red Hat, Slackware, SuSE, and TurboLinux. There's a writeup on each one, plus a table summarizing their similarities and differences. Wong writes . . .

“We could devote an entire magazine to examining the possible permutations of Linux distributions and still not get anywhere toward helping you make your choice. Linux Magazine labs has looked at eight of the most popular Linux distributions, all of which are available in either a free download version or in a shrink-wrapped box. We've poked and prodded at the shrink-wrapped versions of Caldera OpenLinux 2.3, Corel Linux, Debian GNU/Linux 2.1, Linux-Mandrake 6.1, Red Hat Linux 6.1, Slackware 7.0, SuSE Linux 6.3, and TurboLinux 4.0. — all with the aim of giving you some sense of what might be the distribution for you.”

“The current crop of Linux distributions is an impressive lot, and they show just how much and how quickly Linux has improved. Graphics-based installation is becoming a standard feature, and simple installations are the norm, not the exception. The X Window System and desktop managers like GNOME and KDE can be installed with a simple click of a menu box. No need to wrestle with packages and hand-editing configuration files — that type of fine-grained customization is still available, but the expertise bar has definitely been lowered enough to open Linux to the masses, not just the gurus.”

“Rating each of the different distributions proved to be a thorny task . . .”

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