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What is the difference between the various Linux distributions? I know this may sound like a stupid question but let me explain. I know about the different desktop environments, but ...
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    Difference between Linux distros


    What is the difference between the various Linux distributions? I know this may sound like a stupid question but let me explain.
    I know about the different desktop environments, but I also know that installing KDE on Ubuntu doesn't make it into a clone of Fedora. So what are the underlying things that make them different? Could I install and remove software and make Ubuntu into Fedora? I am fairly new to Linux, and the reason I started using it was because of the customizability. I am the type of guy who edits system files to make my Windows login screen different, so don't spare the technical aspects

    Thanks

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    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
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    Hi, Chris! Welcome aboard!

    Since most of the modern distributions can be made to look the same, that's a good question.
    There are a couple of ways to answer that...

    The main difference is the package manager. An.rpm based system will have different tools for adding/removing software than would a .deb based system.
    Then you have the source- and binary-based, like Crux and Gentoo, or Slackware and Arch.

    Other than that, you have the GUI. Lots of look 'n' feel options there.

    This page will explain most of it for you: http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/new...ead-first.html
    Jay

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    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayd512 View Post
    The main difference is the package manager.
    Hello and welcome, ChrisN

    Yep, that's the biggest difference in my opinion as well, and as further noted by jayd512, they may be considered binary or source based systems. They might also have different patches included, depending on what the devs have implemented to suit the needs of their distribution, and its users. Otherwise, the same packages will work on just about any Linux distro.
    oz

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    If you want to start with a system you can configure as you want, try LFS (Linux From Scratch). You can create a system that uses whatever package manager(s) you want, or source tools such as Gentoo's Emerge, once you have built the system. Anyway, the great thing about Linux is that "you can have it your way"!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    drl
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    Welcome - get the most out of the forum by reading forum basics and guidelines: click here.
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    Thanks for your help I was thinking that the packaging system was the main difference, but I wasn't sure, so thanks for clarifying that.
    @Rubberman: Thanks for that suggestion. LFS looks interesting, so I might try it on my laptop

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    Linux Engineer rcgreen's Avatar
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    One of the most important historical differences between
    versions of UNIX has been the type of init that is used.
    This has a big influence on how you install some software,
    especially software that starts at boot time.

    init - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Just Joined! jonyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
    What is the difference between the various Linux distributions? I know this may sound like a stupid question but let me explain.
    after ~ 5 years, beats me, mostly a buncha new words, or mumbo jumbo

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonyo View Post
    after ~ 5 years, beats me, mostly a buncha new words, or mumbo jumbo
    Often too true! In my "humble" opinion, I think the major differences between distributions is the kernel, which UI they prefer (which changes frequently), and the package manager used. Everything else is cruft!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Just Joined! jonyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
    What is the difference between the various Linux distributions?
    <snip>
    So what are the underlying things that make them different?
    you can run ultralight (i worked with ~ 100 megs for years) to bloat city and focus on anything in between

    I am fairly new to Linux, and the reason I started using it was because of the customizability.
    then you hit the jackpot,

    going light allows setting up and running on the net within minutes, with basically junk
    Last edited by jonyo; 01-27-2012 at 10:01 PM.

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