Linux Distribution Chart
For this LJ distro chart, we selected distributions and categories based on suggestions from Linux Journal editors and readers, and gathered the information from each distro's Web site and DistroWatch.com. Linux Journal readers shared their comments, favorite distributions and thoughts about each distro's best use in our readers' poll on LinuxJournal.com. We include a few readers' comments here with the chart, but be sure to visit www.linuxjournal.com/content/what-each-distribution-best and www.linuxjournal.com/content/which-linux-distribution-do-you-use-most-frequently-0 for many, many more comments and to add your own feedback—we're sure we left out at least a few people's favorites! Note that under the “Best for” category on the chart, all distributions were voted as favorites on both desktops and servers, so in the interest of avoiding repetition, we left those out. Also note that in the on-line readers' poll for “Most Frequently Used Distro”, 2% voted for “other”.
|Distribution||Latest Stable Release (Date)||First Release||Release Cycle||Support Lifecycle||Based on||Developed by||Sponsored by||Package Format||Package Management||Default Desktop Environment(s) (Version)||Linux Kernel||Default Filesystem||Official Ports||Derivative Distributions||Most Frequently Used (Readers' Poll)||Best For (Readers' Poll)|
|Arch Linux||2009.08 (08/10/2009)||03/11/2002||3–4 months (follows kernel releases)||None (rolling releases)||None||Aaron Griffin & Community||None||tar.gz||Arch Build System, Packman||None (user selected||188.8.131.52||None (user selected||x86, x86-64||None||7%||Ease of upgrade, education, older hardware|
|CentOS||5.4 (10/21/2009)||12/2003||2 years (follows Red Hat Enterprise Linux)||7 years||Red Hat Enterprise Linux (open-source SRPMs)||CentOS Project||None||rpm||RPM, YUM, up2date||GNOME (2.16)||2.6.18||ext3||x86, x86-64||None||2%||Ease of installation, proprietary hardware support, security|
|Debian||5.0 “Lenny” (02/14/2009)||08/16/2003||2 years (beginning with 6.0 “Squeeze”)||3 years||None||Debian Project||None||deb||dpkg, APT, Synaptic||GNOME (2.22), alternate CDs: KDE, Xfce, LXDE||2.6.26||ext3||x86, Alpha, SPARC, PowerPC, SPARC, PowerPC, ARM, MIPS, Itanium, HP PA-RISC, s/390, AMD64, ARM EABI||Ubuntu, Knoppix, Damn Small Linux, Linspire, Maemo||9%||Ease of upgrade, getting support, security|
|Fedora||12 “Constantine” (11/17/2009)||11/05/2003||6 months (approximate)||13 months (approximate)||Historically: Red Hat Linux||Fedora Project||Red Hat||rpm||RPM, YUM, PackageKit||GNOME (2.28), Fedora Spins: KDE, LXDE, Xfce||184.108.40.206||ext4||x86, x86-64, PowerPC||Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Yellow Dog Linux, Moblin||9%||Ease of installation, new users, security|
|Gentoo||None (versionless)||03/31/2002||Rolling releases||None (rolling releases)||None||Gentoo Foundation||None||ebuild||Portage||None (user selected)||2.6.32||None (user selected)||Stable: x86, x86-64, PA-RISC, PowerPC, SPARC 64 bit, DEC Alpha; Development: MIPS, PS3, SystemZ/s390, ARM, SuperH||Sabayon||4%||Education, older hardware, real-time apps|
|Linux Mint||8 “Helena” (11/28/2009)||08/27/2006||6 months (follows Ubuntu)||18 months (follows Ubuntu)||Ubuntu||Linux Mint Team||None||deb||dpkg, APT, MintInstall/MintUpdate||GNOME (2.28); Community: KDE, Xfce, Fluxbox||2.6.31||ext3||x86, x86-64||None||7%||Ease of installation, multimedia, new users|
|Mandriva||2010 (11/03/2009)||07/23/1998||6 months||18 months (base updates); 12 months (desktop updates); 24 months (server updates)||Historically: Red Hat Linux||Mandriva S.A.||Mandriva S.A.||rpm||urpmi/rpmdrake||KDE (4.3.2), GNOME (2.28.1), Xfce & twm||220.127.116.11||ext4||i586, i386, x86-64, PowerPC, MIPS, ARM||PCLinuxOS||6%||Ease of installation, education, new users|
|Mepis||8.0.15 (01/12/2010)||05/10/2003||Unspecified (6 months to 1 year)||Unspecified||Debian/Ubuntu||MEPIS LLC||MEPIS LLC & Community||deb||dpkg, APT||KDE (3.5)||18.104.22.168||ReiserFS, ext3||x86, x86-64||SimplyMEPIS, antiX||2%||Ease of installation, new users, olderhardware|
|openSUSE||11.2 (11/12/2009)||03/1994||8 months||2 releases + 2 months||Historically: SUSE Linux||openSUSE Project||Novell||rpm||RPM, YaST, Zypper||GNOME (2.28), KDE (4.3.1)||2.6.31||ext4||x86, x86-64||SUSE Linux Enterprise||11% (with SUSE Linux Enterprise)||Ease of installation, new users, proprietary hardware support|
|PCLinuxOS||2009.2 (06/30/2009)||11/2003||Unspecified||Unspecified||Historically: Mandriva||PCLinuxOS Development Team||None||rpm||APT-RPM, RPM, Synaptic||KDE (3.5.10)||2.6.16||None||x86||None||4%||Ease of installation, multimedia, new users|
|Puppy Linux||4.3.1 (10/17/2009)||06/18/2003||Unspecified||Unspecified||None||Puppy Community||Puppy Foundation||.pup, .pet||PetGet||JWM/IceWM||22.214.171.124||SquashFS (ext2)||None||None||1%||Ease of installation, new users, older hardware|
|Red Hat Enterprise Linux||5.4 (09/02/2009)||03/26/2002||18–24 months||7 years||Fedora||Red Hat||Red Hat||rpm||RPM, YUM||GNOME (2.16)||2.6.18||ext3||IA-32, x86-64, PowerPC, i386, ia64, s390, s390x||CentOS||1%||Getting support, proprietary hardware support, security|
|Slackware||13.0 (08/26/2009)||07/16/1993||Unspecified||N/A||Historically: Softlanding Linux System||Patrick Volkerding & Community||Slackware Linux, Inc.||txz/tgz (tarball)||installpkg/upgradepkg (pkgtool)||Blackbox, Fluxbox, FVWM, KDE (4.2.14), WMaker, Xfce; Community: GNOME||126.96.36.199||ext4||x86, x86-64, IBM S/39||Slam64, SLAX, VectorLinux||4%||Education, older hardware, security|
|SUSE Linux Enterprise||11 (03/24/2009)||03/1994||Major: 24–36 months; Service Packs: 9–12 months||5–7 years||openSUSE||Novell||Novell||rpm||YaST, Zypper||KDE (4.1), GNOME (2.24)||188.8.131.52||ext3, JFS, ReiserFS||XFSIA-32, x86-64, PowerPC, Itanium||None||11% (with openSUSE)||Getting support, proprietary hardware support, security|
|Ubuntu||9.10 “Karmic Koala” (10/29/09); long-term support “Hardy Heron” (04/24/2008)||10/20/2004||Biannually (April/October)||18 months; long-term support: 3 years for desktop, 5 years for server||Debian||Ubuntu Community||Canonical||deb||dpkg, APT, Synaptic, Ubuntu Software Center||GNOME (2.28)||2.6.31; long-term support: 2.6.24||ext4; long-term support: ext3||x86, x86-64, ARM, SPARC||Kubuntu (KDE), Edubuntu, Xubuntu (Xfce), Ubuntu Studio, Linux Mint, Crunchbang, Ubuntu Netbook Edition||31% (any flavor)||Ease of installation, getting support, new users|
|Yellow Dog||6.2 (06/29/2009)||1999||Unspecified||Whichever is longer—1 year from launch or 3 months from new version||RHEL, CentOS||Fixstars Solutions||Fixstars Solutions||rpm||YUM||Enlightenment, GNOME (2.16.0), KDE (3.5.4)||2.6.29||ext3, JFS, ReiserFS||XFSPower||None||0%||Gaming, older hardware, proprietary hardware support|
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
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