- The Many Faces of Linux
- Obtaining the Linux OS
- Burning Your Images
- Selecting an Installation Class
- Partitioning the Drives
- Configuring the Boot Loader
- Configuring the Network
- Configuring the Firewall
- Configuring the Language Support
- Configuring the Time Zone
- Selecting a Root Password
- Package Selection
The Many Faces of Linux
Because Linux is Open Source, many different organizations have taken it upon themselves to modify/add to the kernel and then repackage the software. There is little that is, fundamentally, different between these distributions, each has its own cult following and is successfully in their own right. Each user will have their own favorite version, just as with so many things in life. The main difference between the distributions in their package management functionality.
Debian was founded by an initiative of the Free Software Foundation. Legend has it that Richard Stallmann was concerned about the rise of commercial Linux distributions (SLS, Slackware, Red Hat) and wanted to make sure that a completely free (as in freedom) Linux distribution would come into being. He offered a grant for someone to develop a Linux distribution that would be done in the spirit of the Free Software Movement and where all software would be available under licensing of the Free Software Foundation. Ian Murdock saw that ad in a magazine and responded to it. He began developing a Linux distribution and named it Deb-ian after the first names of his wife DEBorah and his first name IAN. Thus the name of Debian was created.
A merry band of co-conspirators grouped around Ian and began helping him to develop a new distribution . The grant ran out after a while and Ian gradually dropped out of the Debian Project. The merry band of co-conspirators continued the project and the project continued to increase and out came with what the Debian Project is today.
Debian/GNU Linux is the largest Linux distribution that exists (or so they say). Little is known about Debian though because Debian is not a commercial entity but rather a non-commercial organization run by volunteers; there is basically no commercial advertising for Debian. Debian has a budget of 10-30k/year or so. No one has a benefit from the sale of Debian.
Currently Debian contains over 9000 open source packages. Debian 3.0 aka "woody" is available on 11 different architectures. The Intel architecture is the most frequently used one and most folks only know about Debian because it was available for their PCs. But Debian also runs on the IBM mainframe (S/390) as well as on Palmtops. The freedom is the ability to modify, enhance and change the software at will to fit our needs. That in turn has led to a large number of contributors. Debian has around 1000 developers on file and numerous volunteers contributing in other ways to Debian. The Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG) prescribe that the software in Debian/GNU Linux must satisfy the following criteria:
- No restrictions on the redistribution of the software.
- The source code must be included and distribution of the source must also not be restricted.
- It must be possible to modify the software and redistribute the modifications.
- No discrimination: The license of the software must not restrict use by field of endeavor or persons and groups of people
A special flavor of Linux that can be automatically optimized and customized for just about any application or need. Extreme performance, configurability and a top-notch user and developer community are all hallmarks of the Gentoo experience.
Thanks to a technology called Portage, Gentoo Linux can become an ideal secure server, development workstation, professional desktop, gaming system, embedded solution or something else -- whatever you need it to be. Because of its near-unlimited adaptability, we call Gentoo Linux a metadistribution.
Portage is the heart of Gentoo Linux, and performs many key functions. For one, Portage is the software distribution system for Gentoo Linux. To get the latest software for Gentoo Linux, you type one command: emerge sync. This command tells Portage to update your local "Portage tree" over the Internet. Your local Portage tree contains a complete collection of scripts that can be used by Portage to create and install the latest Gentoo packages. Currently, we have over 4000 packages in our Portage tree, with new ones being added all the time.
Portage is also a package building and installation system. When you want to install a package, you type emerge packagename, at which point Portage automatically builds a custom version of the package to your exact specifications, optimizing it for your hardware and ensuring that the optional features in the package that you want are enabled -- and those you don't want aren't.
Portage also keeps your system up-to-date. Typing emerge -u world -- one command -- will ensure that all the packages that you want on your system are updated automatically.
KNOPPIX is a bootable CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a Linux demo, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB of executable software installed on it.
Mandrake Linux was created in 1998 with the goal of making Linux easier to use for everyone. At that time, Linux was already well-known as a powerful and stable operating system that demanded strong technical knowledge and extensive use of the "command line"; MandrakeSoft saw this as an opportunity to integrate the best graphical desktop environments and contribute its own graphical configuration utilities and quickly became famous for setting the standard in ease-of-use and functionality.
With this innovative approach, MandrakeSoft offers all the power and stability of Linux to both individuals and professional users in an easy-to-use and pleasant environment. Thousands of new users are discovering Linux each and every day and finding it a complete replacement for their previous operating system.
The GPL license (General Public License) governs the development and redistribution of Mandrake Linux. This license provides everyone the right to copy, distribute, examine, modify and improve the system as long as the results of these modifications are returned to the community. It is this development model that allows Mandrake Linux to collect the best ideas from developers & users from across the globe to result in a rich variety of techniques and solutions.
Red Hat Linux is one of the most popular distributions in the world. It is geared toward all levels of users. The beginner will find ease of installation and configuration. The advanced user will find a robust and highly configurable computing environment adaptable to any need.