The Main Linux Distributions in Use Today

While Linux may not be as popular as other operating systems, it has gained more popularity over the past few years. This is because it appears to be a far more stable operating system and it offers users the versatility of being able to customize their version of Linux to suit their needs. While there are many versions of Linux available today, some versions are more popular than others. Below are some of the main Linux distributions which are currently available.

1. Ubuntu

Ubuntu is probably one of the most popular Linux distributions. This is because it is among the easiest to use, especially for those who are venturing into the world of Linux for the first time. It offers ease of installation coupled with the fact that it offers unsurpassed hardware compatibility when compared to other versions of Linux. An added benefit to this version of Linux is the fact that it comes bundled with a host of software programs which are sure to please even the most discerning of users. For those who like to have a good looking desktop on their PC, this distribution is definitely for you. This version of Linux is compatible with most PC’s, laptops and servers, making it suitable for almost anyone to use.

2. Arch

Over recent months, the popularity of this Linux distribution has skyrocketed. Although this version mostly caters for experienced Linux users because of its somewhat complex installation procedure, rest assured that online help is at hand to help others who wish to make use of this version of Linux. One of the benefits of this version is the fact that it has the capability to only run the applications that need to be used. Because of its lightweight functionality, this version of Linux is often used by web hosting services in order to offer their clients fast and uninterrupted service. Linux Arch is definitely one of the most customizable and stable versions of Linux available.

3. Fedora

Also among the main Linux distributions, Fedora was introduced to users after the free version of Red Hat was discontinued. Known as one of the easiest versions of Linux to install and use, Fedora is bundled with a wide range of free applications. One small drawback to this version of Linux is the fact that many applications such as Adobe Flash and various other Nvidia drivers and codecs are quite difficult to install on it. That is why it is normally best to make use of the open source alternatives which have been made available instead. Fedora has something to offer everyone, ranging from the basic installation to a completely customizable operating system for the more discerning user.

4. Mint 11

Owing to its ease of use, this is one of the best versions of Linux for beginners to use. Although Linux Mint is based on the Ubuntu version, it offers users a different set of graphics tools and applications which make the installation process much easier for beginners. It also has the added advantage of including a few extra multimedia codecs that are not always offered by other versions of Linux. This version of Linux definitely offers the user a package which not only includes pure functionality and stability but also adds a little eye candy to the mix as well. This is also an excellent version of Linux for those who are concerned about the level of security that their operating system has to offer.

5. OpenSUSE

This version of Linux is ideal for those who want the stability of Linux as an operating system, but who also need to make use of software like MS Office. It is user friendly and offers a tool known as YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) which helps to make the installation of applications easier for users. While beginners may have a challenging time installing and using this version, intermediate and expert users will enjoy the functionality that it offers. It also has an excellent level of support on offer, especially for those using it in an office environment.
While the main Linux distributions may not be the most popular operating systems yet, they have been slowly gaining the popularity that they deserve. Linux is definitely worth looking into, especially if you or your company is looking at using more cost-effective operating systems on their computer networks.

Is It Really Free?

With the various types of software available today, most computer users have been spoilt for choice. Ranging from free software and shareware packages available online to open source software, most users are able to find programs to suit their every need. One of the most common questions asked today is what the difference between free software and open source software actually is.

What is Free Software?

Free software is precisely what the name implies in that it is free for end users to download and use. There are many free software programs available, ranging from simple applications to complete office suites and reputable antivirus programs. Although free software has the advantage in that users don’t have to pay to use it, they are not allowed to make any changes to the software without obtaining permission from the original program developer. If any changes are made, the developer that has made the changes to the program still needs to give credit to the original program developer. Once these changes have been made, the entire program must still be distributed as a freeware application.

What is the Difference between Freeware and Shareware?

Many people get confused between freeware and shareware programs. While freeware is completely free to use, shareware usually gives the user a free trial period in which to try the software for free. Once the trial period has expired, they then need to either pay for the program or remove it from their computer. Developers and companies usually issue shareware programs in order for people to determine whether they like the program before buying it. It is important to exercise caution when installing certain freeware and shareware programs because of the fact that some of them can be bundled with unwanted malware or spyware programs.

The Difference between Free Software and Open Source Software

Over the past few years, open source software has gained popularity. Open source software is different to free software in that anyone is allowed to develop and make changes to the software without having to obtain permission from the original developers. While open source software is usually free, there are some programs which must be purchased. Because open source software can be completely customized to suit anyone’s requirements, it is ideal for people who are looking for ‘something different’ or who need a piece of software to perform specific tasks that either free software or paid-for programs cannot do. Open source software may also be used without limitations in corporate environments.

Although free software and open source software both have their place among developers and users, many of them prefer to opt for packages that can be customized to suit their needs. While many people are under the impression that open source software is inferior to free or other paid-for programs, this is not true. These days, many open source programs are actually far superior to many paid for software packages with regards to stability and quality.

Key Annual Linux Conferences

July 5, 2012

The Top-5 While many people aren’t even aware of the fact that Linux is probably the most popular open source operating system, many conferences and events are dedicated to Linux each year. At these conferences, users get together to discuss and share their Linux-related ideas and experiences. Although these Linux conferences are held at locations […]

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