Linux Distributions

 in
When people first start looking at Linux there are some hurdles. The first one is understanding that Linux is free. Because so much softwre is licensed, the idea that you can get a copy and legally give it to all your friends and use it on all your computers seems to take some getting used to.
Debian

This is a new distribution currently in beta test. I have not run this but am on the developer's list. It seems to be progressing rapidly toward a professional-quality distribution. It also appears that Debian will be adopted as the official Linux distribution of the Free Software Foundation. In structure Debian is much like Slackware, but the level of effort going into it is going to make it a very clean product.

Linux/PRO

This is a professional-quality Linux distribution. It is currently being distributed in Holland with U.S. distribution planned in the near future. Again, I have not worked with this distribution, but it is being developed by a new company, ARIS, as a commercial-quality product.

Which one should you get?

That depends on your needs and what equipment you have. If you have a CD-ROM drive, buying Linux on a CD is a good choice. A CD can hold over 600MB of files, and most of the CD distributions have hundreds of megabytes on them. The low price tag (less than $50) makes a CD an inexpensive way to get the information.

If you don't have a CD-ROM drive, but you do have Internet access, downloading the files from one of the ftp sites is an alternative.

If you don't have Internet access, try looking around on local bulletin board systems. Hundreds of them offer Linux distributions. Or contact your local Unix (or Linux) user's group. Many of them know people who will make a copy of one of the distributions for you if you supply the disks.

If all else fails, there are people who copy distributions to floppy disks and sell them. Costs are generally around $2/disk.

There is a manual called Linux Installation and Getting Started, written by Matt Welsh, that I highly recommend (see the review in LJ #1, page 10). This runs about 200 pages and offers answers to many of the common questions about getting your Linux system up and running. It is available for ftp access on many of the Internet sites that have Linux distributions. It's also available on paper, comb bound from SSC.

In conclusion, if you have been thinking about Linux, take the plunge. It works. It's a real operating system, useful both to help you learn about Unix-like systems and to use for real projects.

______________________

Webinar
One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Webinar
Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix