OF LINUX DISTRIBUTIONS
current Linux distribution most likely contains the software needed
to do your job, including kernel and drivers, libraries, utilities
and applications programs. Most people favor the first distribution
they successfully installed, or, if they had problems with the first,
they favor the next distribution they install which addresses the
problems of the first.
are a few distributions that might help the users in deciding the
kind of distribution a user desires.
is easy to install and understand. It is well designed
to install from floppy disk, and packages were in floppy-sized
chunks. There are, however, costs associated with this simplicity.
Software is saved in compressed tar files. There is no information
within the distribution that shows how files interrelate, no
dependencies and no good path for upgrades. Not a problem if you just
want to try something, but for a multi-computer shop with long-term
plans, this initial simplicity can have unforeseen costs in the long
had some GUI-based configuration tools and showed a lot of promise.
Over the years, Red Hat has continued to evolve and is easy to
install and configure. Red Hat introduced the RPM packaging system
that offers dependencies to help ensure loaded applications work with
each other and updating is easy. RPMs also
offer pre– and post-install and remove
scripts which appear to be underutilized. The install sequence is
streamlined to make it easy to do a standard install. Red Hat has
evolved into the most “retailed” distribution. First it was in
books by O’Reilly, then MacMillan and now
IDG Books Worldwide. It also appears to have a large retail
shrink-wrap distribution in the U.S.
is one of the oldest distributions, but because development is
strictly by a team of volunteers, it has tended to evolve more
slowly. Since development is performed by a geographically diverse
group, the ability to manage and integrate upgrades is of primary
importance. To that end, you can always upgrade a system by pointing
it at an FTP site and instructing it to get the latest versions of
all the packages currently installed.
Debian deviates from the common RPM packaging format (although
can install RPMs) by using its own .deb format. The .deb format is
the most versatile and includes dependency checking as well as pre-
and post-install and remove scripts. The most difficult thing about
Debian is the initial installation. Or, put another way, fear of
the installer program. The design of deselect
is old, and while it made sense when there were only 50-100 packages
in a Linux install, it is out of control now that there are around
is a German distribution with an installation “look and feel”
similar to Caldera. It also uses the RPM package format and offers a
save/restore configuration option during installation. Two things
make S.U.S.E. stand out from the others.
First, XFree86 support tends to be better than other distributions
because S.U.S.E. works closely with the
XFree86 team. Second, there are more applications and utility
programs in this distribution. YAST, the install/administration tool,
can handle .deb and .tgz packages as well
as RPMs. Also, upgrades are quite easy and can be performed by
putting in a new CD or pointing YAST at the files and telling it to
perform the upgrade.
8. (a) If
you like to roll your own–that is, you expect to compile and
install everything yourself–Slackware is probably for you.
you want to “go with the crowd” today, install Red Hat.
you want “everything”, install S.U.S.E.
the politics of free software is important to you and/or you want to
get involved in development of a distribution, pick Debian.
9. Since it has been
decided to customize a linux distribution to suit the needs, hence i
chose Slackware as the base distribution.
as a base Distribution
first Slackware release, 1.00, was released on 16 July 1993 by
Patrick Volkerding, founder and lead
developer. It was based on the SLS Linux distribution and supplied
as 3½” floppy disk
images that were available by anonymous FTP. Slackware is the
oldest maintained distribution to date, celebrating its 12th
anniversary in 2005. In the early releases of Slackware, the
distribution had three user accounts, “satan“,
“gonzo” and “snake”.
These were provided as examples, but were removed from later releases
as they were a potential security risk. In 1999, Slackware’s
release numbers saw a large increment from 4 to 7. This was explained
by Patrick Volkerding as a marketing effort to show the Slackware was
as up-to-date as other Linux distributions, many of which had release
numbers of 6 at the time. In 2004, Patrick Volkerding became
seriously ill and the future development of Slackware became
uncertain. He has since recovered and the development of Slackware
has continued. Throughout Slackware’s history, there have been
distributions and LiveCDs based upon
Slackware. Some popular distributions derived from Slackware include
SUSE, College Linux and SLAX.
takes a different approach than other popular distributions such as
Red Hat, Debian, Gentoo, SUSE and Mandriva
in that it tries to be a Unix-like Distribution. It has a policy of
incorporating only stable releases of applications and has a
distinctive absence of
distribution-specific configuration tools found in other
distributions of Linux. Partisans have been known to say, “When
you know Slackware, you know Linux… when you know Red Hat, all you
know is Red Hat.”