Intro Glossary to Linux Distributions

By Blane Warrene
We teamed up with SiteGround
To bring you the latest from the web and tried-and-true hosting, recommended for designers and developers. SitePoint Readers Get Up To 65% OFF Now

Kudos to Martin Ferretti, a stockbroker by day and web junkie by night, has rolled out a nice starter guide to the major and some minor Linux distributions. That not to mention that his site also broadly serves as a resource to many other tools available to web professionals.

This is something I pine for often being a researcher myself, which is encouraging a broadening collection of data on open source for professionals to use in technology planning and spending. Ferretti has provided a good starter glossary of the various operating system flavors.

A logical next step would be a deeper look into the strength and weakness of each and which distros might target specific areas of technology use (web serving, desktop, file server and so on).

As an example, I initially used RedHat exclusively and really did not explore other flavors of Linux (1997-1999). However, having built various distros since I have found RedHat Enterprise ideal for file serving, mail serving and storage, Mandriva (Mandrake) as a good desktop model and Fedora and SUSE built as servers-only excellent for web serving with a simple and efficient patching models.

Not to ignore a loyalist favorite – I do like Debian and Slackware as it was how I was introduced to Linux in the first place. However, having worked with Linux in the enterprise pushes one toward RedHat and now Novell by default due to indemnification and support contracts.

We teamed up with SiteGround
To bring you the latest from the web and tried-and-true hosting, recommended for designers and developers. SitePoint Readers Get Up To 65% OFF Now
  • Nice link there.

    I myself use Mandrake because it works best with a Windows Dual boot in my opinion. I’m looking at dumping Windows (tired of random shutdowns and such) and moving over to just Mandrake or Fedora core. I’m still decided which Fedora Core. I already have 2 on CD and I know it works good with most of my hardware by default. I might take the time to download Fedora Core 3 or 4 (when it is released) and run that instead. I would use Slackware, but I’m just not ready for it as I don’t use Linux too often.

    I just need to get off my butt and install Fedora/Mandrake ;)

  • hgilbert

    Fedora is not the friendliest of distros to tweak/install.
    But you can learn a lot from it.

    I’ve installed it for my sister, for some reason it worked really well for her Samsung P28 Laptop.
    Lots of tweaking, but runs beautifully now.

    Mandrake is usually safer and way friendlier, much easier too.

    I personally would go Mandrake and then Fedora later on – and then Slackware!

    (Unless you have an ATI card, Fedora works well on those, unlike most distros)

  • I was planning to do Mandrake, Fedora, then Slackware. And since I’ve played around in Mandrake for almost four months (and in Fedora for about six months before that) I think that I’m ready to move back to Fedora with plenty of knowledge. Then after a year I can move to a more advanced distro with more control, meaning Slackware.

  • Fedora Core 4 has been out for about a week now.

  • Anonymous

    For a fullfledged Linux newbiedesktop, check out the latest Mandrake-based PCLinuxOS. THAT is a serious Linux desktop mothership. I have used debianbased SimplyMEPIS myself for a year now, and dont plan to change anytime soon. It’s insanely stable, fairly small foorptint, easy enough, and really fast.

  • I like SuSE and have usually had the best luck installing it on whatever hardware I have had. I have had SuSE 9.1 running for a year and half now, on a Mini-ITX box. I use it as a development server.

  • dick butkiss

    ah yes. I use distrox for reason y and distro z for reason k. The important fact is that you flatliners realized that you don’t have to consume what the man is feeding you.

  • Daldianus

    Ubuntu Linux rules for beginners and people who want a nice and easy Linux.

  • MakubeX

    My choice would be Fedora, Suse and Ubuntu since Fedora is my main distro, Suse is effective in hardware detection/support, and im still thinking my path towards Ubuntu.. hee-hee

  • How about Gentoo folks?