From the Editor
There was a time when Linux existed, but there was no such thing as a distribution. You had to put a Linux system together from scratch—a few floppy images, including kermit for file transfer, or tar to pull more files off floppies, or maybe mtools to read DOS-format floppies. Individual binaries were available from tsx-11.mit.edu and ftp.funet.fi. Distributions weren't necessary; it really was possible to build your own. I've done it several times. I would even consider doing it again—for fun. But when I want it done right, I get one of the Linux distributions and install it in a matter of minutes, or at most hours, most of which is consumed by the computer quietly pulling files off a CD-ROM without my assistance.
What I'm suggesting is very much like these distributions: the basic problem already solved, ready for site-based customization, provided in a convenient format. If you think that is a simplistic view of the need, remember that Slackware was created by one person who customized and bug-fixed SLS for his friends and college professors. Although it evolved from there, and doesn't meet everyone's Linux needs, Slackware was useful from the start.
Many of the advertisements in Linux Journal are for CD-ROMs with new versions of Linux and Linux tools. That is important; an easily-available supply of new tools has helped Linux spread even faster than it could over the Internet alone. However, based on my belief that Linux is growing and evolving, I suggest that in five more years, we will see more and more advertisements touting Linux-based products intended to solve a business problem, rather than impress geeks like me.
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Until recently, IBM’s Power Platform was looked upon as being the system that hosted IBM’s flavor of UNIX and proprietary operating system called IBM i. These servers often are found in medium-size businesses running ERP, CRM and financials for on-premise customers. By enabling the Power platform to run the Linux OS, IBM now has positioned Power to be the platform of choice for those already running Linux that are facing scalability issues, especially customers looking at analytics, big data or cloud computing.
￼Running Linux on IBM’s Power hardware offers some obvious benefits, including improved processing speed and memory bandwidth, inherent security, and simpler deployment and management. But if you look beyond the impressive architecture, you’ll also find an open ecosystem that has given rise to a strong, innovative community, as well as an inventory of system and network management applications that really help leverage the benefits offered by running Linux on Power.Get the Guide