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Old 10-28-2004, 10:57 AM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Chicago
Distribution: Fedora, ubuntu
Posts: 459

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Differences between Linux distributions

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.

Thank you
Old 10-28-2004, 11:13 AM   #2
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Distribution: Slackware, Gentoo
Posts: 397

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BSD's are not linux distros. They're complete operating systems.

You may want to check this.
Old 10-28-2004, 11:15 AM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: N'rn WI -- USA
Distribution: Kubuntu 8.04, ClarkConnect 4
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From the wikipedia...
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.


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