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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
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Please bear with me but there is something that has been bothering me and come to you guys for help.
I was reading a few questions here the other day and saw someone talking about Mandrake being debian, and something else is BSD, etc.. Sorry I dont remember the article.. and Im sure what I just said was totally false but Im sure you get the picture.
So my question is... What are these (debian, BSD, etc)... distros? if they are distros, what is RH, SUSE, Mandy, etc.... What are the differences? you dont have to write a novel, just something easy to help me understand.
Linux is almost always used as part of a Linux distribution (distro). These are compiled by individuals, loose-knit teams, and various professional organizations. They include any number of additional system software and application programs, as well as certain processes to install these systems on a computer. Distributions are created for many different purposes, including localization, architecture support, real-time applications, and embedded systems, and there are some which deliberately include only free software.
A typical general-purpose distribution includes the Linux kernel, the GNU libraries and tools, command-line shells, and a tremendous amount of application software, from office applications suites and the graphical X Window System to compilers, text editors, and scientific tools.
Many distros are based on another distro. Debian is one of the main base-distros... People like it, but not that it uses older versions to maximize stability. So, they create a "new" distro from it, such as Libranet, Knoppix, etc, by packaging in newer software. It saves a ton of time when compared to starting at ground-zero and build a complete working system.
Mandrake started out as a fork of RedHat. They even advertised that it was 99.999% compatible with RedHat packages. As time went by, it developed into its own full distro.