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Old 05-19-2004, 11:23 PM   #1
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Whats the difference...

What is the difference between different versions of Linux. I am currently running windows XP and wanna try linux but don't know which one. I've read all kinds of stuff on what linux's??? are better than others. Why are some better and some worse. What is the diffence between Redhat, Mandrake and Fedora Core? Thanks for your posts.
Old 05-19-2004, 11:51 PM   #2
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I suggest visiting the wiki on this website and reading the newbie section for an extensive answer.

basically linux is two things

thing 1: linux is a kernel, the center part of an OS that interacts directly with hardware and all application programs must adhere to the kernel rules.

thing 2: linux has also come to mean a distribution which uses the linux kernel but also has many many packages installed on top of it.

A distribution (version) of linux (thing 2) is really just a combination of programs, usually with a few tweaks and customizations from the vendor. As for the difference between the distros you said. Red hat and fedora are almost the same thing (they are released by the same company) fedora is intended for people interestd in linux and who want to test out the new possibly unstable things of linux. Red Hat is for servers although it can be a desktop but fedora is definently more for the desktop. Mandrake is the easies to install...but you don't learn a lot about linux because it does most things for you. Since you are on XP probably with a full NTFS partition I would suggests SuSE 9.0 since it will resize your NTFS partition while still keeping NTFS and make room for itself...also it has YaST which is like the control panel in XP and is a good quick fix to things.

PS if you do decide to nuke XP off your machine make sure all your hardware is compatable w/ linux (a good way to do this is with Knoppix of Damn Small Linux)...especially your modem if you have dial up on and internal PCI modem or USB port then you might want to research about winmodems and linmodems.
Old 05-19-2004, 11:57 PM   #3
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A distro is a collection of software grouped with an installer, and usually has a maintainer that produces updates. Some are based on a package-system (RedHat's RPMs, Debians DEBs, etc), and others are based on source files.

The best way to try Linux is to get a copy of Knoppix... << >> It runs straight off a bootable CD, and doesn't install anything to your hard-drive. Since it runs off the CD, it's a bit slower than a normal installation. You might be able to save configurations, but if you don't, they are lost when you shutdown. But, it's still a great trial version.

If it turns out you like it, and want to install, I'd suggest Fedora. RedHat recently stopped officially supporting their free-download version. It's been taken over by the community, and is now called the Fedora Project. It's not like RH totally abandoned it, though... There are quite a few RH developers working on the project.
Old 05-20-2004, 12:09 AM   #4
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