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is available in many flavors (read distributions) with each
flavor having its own pluses and minuses. Which distribution
is right for your enterprise needs; one that would support
multitude of server apps and at the same time offer scalability,
stability and low TCO.
Here's a brief overview of the main features these mainstream
Linux distributions offer. Of course, each of them is a
complete Linux system in its own right, with each offering
more or less similar functionality. However, each distribution
is tweaked to perform a particular task or set of tasks
more efficiently than others.
Installing Caldera is simple--just boot the CD and you're
in business. A graphical install guides you through the
setup process, including formatting and partition creation.
You also get a choice of pre-packaged installs, including
workstation, business, development workstation, custom and
OpenLinux is Caldera's "distribution" or package
of Linux and is bundled with utilities, graphical interfaces,
installation procedures, third party applications, and much
more. OpenLinux is ideal for small, medium, and large companies
who must optimize their investment in existing systems,
hardware & training.
Caldera also offers Caldera eServer (check the Network Magazine
CD for the latest version of Caldera eServer)-a distribution
fine-tuned for Web and e-commerce applications in addition
to the normal server functionality that it provides.
If you're new to Linux and want a system that is easy to
set up and use, Caldera could be a good choice.
Debian Linux has one of the most complex installation
procedures of all the Linux versions mentioned here. It
assumes you known what you are doing; novices will most
likely get frustrated with this approach.
Debian's installation process is completely text-based not
very intuitive but it offers flexibility. More experienced
users will appreciate the setup options you wouldn't normally
see in other Linux distributions.
Also Debian supports x86 Intel machines, as well as Alpha,
ARM, Motorola 68K, PowerPC and SPARC systems. Overall, this
is a very complete system, but possibly not a good starting
point for an average Windows user.
Red Hat Linux is the most popular commercial Linux distributions
on this side of the universe. It is the largest selling
Linux distribution and also acts as the base for many other
popular Linux distributions. The improved graphical installer
works flawlessly on most PCs/ Servers. Red Hat is one distribution
that is suitable for both desktop PCs as well as high-end
Red Hat supports most graphical interface cards available,
a problem that can turn out to be a nightmare for many Linux
users especially those who prefer using X Windows as a functional
interface. Red Hat also has a wide range of other products
like the High Availability Server, Secure Web Server, Red
Hat Enterprise optimized for Oracle, and Red Hat Embedded
Software Development kit. Apart from support for the Intel
platform, Red Hat is also available for Alpha & Sparc.
Linux Mandrake has gained popularity primarily because it's
easy to install. With a full graphical install, you shouldn't
have too much trouble getting your system up and running.
One of the biggest problems most users have with installing
Linux is to partition your hard disk for the real Linux
experience. Mandrake makes this easy by giving you a unique,
graphical view of your hard drive and its partitions. You
can click on a section of the drive to see how it is partitioned,
and then change the sizing of the partitions to suit your
needs. Mandrake also helps you set up the security level--something
not often seen in a Linux distribution.
SuSE is the leading European Linux distribution. If you
want a distribution that comes with everything, this is
definitely the one for you. SuSE comes with six CDs, (and
a DVD) all packed full of just about every application you
could ask for.
SuSE is famous for its own system administration tool, called
YAST. Not only does this program install the SuSE distribution
for you, it comes in handy to configure your system. The
installation process is painless,even somewhat trivial,
compared to other Linux distributions.
Slackware Linux, once the earliest Linux distribution, is
still very much available, and is being actively developed.
The installation is simple, text-based, but it's not for
newbies. If you are already familiar with Linux or Unix,
this could be your distribution of choice.
Unlike a lot of the newer distributions with flashy graphical
interfaces, installation is accomplished by carefully reading
the on-screen instructions and selecting or entering proper
The LinuxPro installation is similar to Red Hat's and allows
PC Card support as part of the basic package. There's lot
of prompting, but this allows better control of what's loaded.
X Window is automatically configured if the video card is
properly identified. There are only few applications included
with the package, so other than the installation process,
there's not much to crow about.
TurboLinux is designed for networked corporations. The installation
procedure is among the best
available for Linux and adds a new fdisk variant
TurboLinux is pre-configured for number of standards setups,
and installation of X Windows is automatic. A good set of
applications is included. For experienced users who want
to deploy a network on the fly, TurboLinux is a great choice.
Available in English, Japanese and Chinese, TurboLinux offers
Linux solutions geared towards corporate needs as well as
the home desktop.
TurboLinux also offers a unique clustering solution that
allows for the construction of highly available and scalable
networks based on low-cost commodity components. TurboLinux
currently offers the choice of Gnome, KDE or the TurboDesk
Corel Linux gets you up and running fast with its simple
four-step installation program, uncomplicated configuration
and familiar point-and-click interface. With a full-featured
file manager, easy system updates, a Web browser, e-mail,
and a friendly graphical desktop environment, Corel Linux
combines Linux power with intelligent simplicity.
are number of factors you need to consider while selecting
a Linux distribution including scalability,
stability and low TCO
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