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For a newbie like me it seems the only difference between distros is what applications are installed on them. Obviously that's not true. How to tell the difference between distros? ...
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- 11-20-2005 #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
How to tell the difference between distros?
For a newbie like me it seems the only difference between distros is what applications are installed on them. Obviously that's not true. How to tell the difference between distros? What do I have to look for when I am testing a distro?
- 11-20-2005 #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- Luton, England, UK, Earth
Usually the package manager, and kernels are different, or modified differently. There is not really that much, community, package manager, kernel, apps installed, upgrading, installation. That sort of stuff.
- 11-20-2005 #3
This is a good question, and an important one. Of course all distros are very similar, because at the core of each one is the linux kernel, however there are still important differences between each one. These differences boil down to three main things,
1/ The software that comes with it. Does it come with a lot of software or none at all? Does it limit itself to open source software, or does it include commercial stuff? Does it come with your favourite packages?? In this I include the choice of desktop environment/windows manager -- does it come with KDE/gnome/blackbox/etc.??
2/ Its method of installation. How do you install it?? Anaconda?? Yast?? Another pretty GUI?? Installing from source?? Easy/difficult?? Designed to be easy for newbies or customisable for linux-pros??
3/ Package management. Does it have a way of managing packages?? RPM based?? Deb?? Yast?? Portage?? Or install from source??
The answers to all of these questions will give away the main philosophy of that distribution. For example, Slackware is a real purist distribution that attempts to stay as close as possible to the open source philosophy, and to make sure all the power is in the hands of the user -- this is why you will be installing everything from source if you use slackware. Gentoo is similar, but it's emphasis is on choice and control -- everything is up to you, and nothing is decided in advance for you. Also, it uses the incredibly powerful portage system for package management, which has to be seen to be believed!! On the opposite end of the scale are systems like suse, which is designed to result in a very slick, nice OS with the minimum of fuss. Suse is a very professional system with a nice pretty GUI for installation, and the very powerful control system tool Yast to set up your system.
The differences between distros are mainly defined by the philophical approaches of each the mainatiners, and the best way to figure out the differences is to keep experimenting!!Registered Linux user #388328 || Registered LFS user #15880
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- 11-20-2005 #4
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
So there's like almost no programming? I can use whatever distro to download those apps I want. I don't need to choose a special distro to do that.
- 11-20-2005 #5Originally Posted by commodore
So you can use Firefox, OpenOffice, Gaim... in pretty much every distro.Stumbling around the 'net: