An important reason why Linux has become so popular today is the ease of availability through
the so called distributions . Distributions bundle the Linux operating system together with useful
applications developed by independent groups, and usually have an installation program. Many
companies offer Linux distributions today; a list of major distributions is given in the next section.
With the combined efforts of companies as well as individuals, Linux has evolved into a modern
operating system that incorporates protected memory, multitasking, fast TCP/IP networking,
shared libraries and multi user capabilities.
2.2.2 Comparison of the Distributions
The following table gives an overview over some of the most popular Linux distributions that are
currently available. This table should help in finding the Linux distribution that is most applicable
for the desired tasks.
Red Hat Linux is one of the oldest and most popular of today s
Linux distributions. Red Hat originated the RPM format used by
many other distributions. Most RPM packages that are
available on the Internet were compiled on Red Hat systems,
and therefore install and run fine on Red Hat.
Linux distribution for PowerPCs (Mac). Includes many software
packages. Includes automated update program for installation.
Beta Elfstone Software is a newer player in the Linux market.
Elfstone claims to have a particularly stable Linux distribution. It
was designed primarily for programmers, engineers, and
network administrators, and contains only software to operate a
network. Based on RPM (upgradeable).
The Stampede GNU/Linux Foundation is a non profit
organization. Stampede is still under development. Developers
contribute on a voluntary basis.
Ukrainian/Russian Linux distribution.