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Linux Distribution Roundup

  • January 24, 2001
  • By Stew Benedict
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The table below shows how each of the distributions stack up against each other. The table also shows some of the options and differences you would find in these versions of Linux. Compare for your self how these stackup.

Caldera OpenLinux Corel Linux  Debian Linux  Linux Mandrake Redhat Linux  Slackware  Linux Storm Linux SuSE Linux Turbo Linux
Version 2.4 2nd Ed 2.2r2 7.2 7.0 7.1 2000 7.0 6.1
Number of CD's 2? 1 3 2 2 4 5 3 2?
Boot CD To Install? X X X X X X X X
Retail Price $34.95 $14.99 $14.95 $29.95 $29.95 $39.95 $69.95 $39.95 $79.95
Kernel Version 2.2.14 2.2.16 2.2.18 2.2.17 2.2.16 2.2.16 2.2.16 2.2.16 2.2.16
SMP Support?                 X
USB Support?   X              
Kernel Sources? X X   X     X X X
Graphical Installer? X X   X X X   X X
Ease Of Installation 5 4 2 5 5 1 3 5 4
Auto X Setup? X X X X X    X X X
X Login by Default? X X X X          
Sound Detected/Setup? X       X     X  
Automatic          X     X  
Manual       X   X     X
NIC Detected Setup? X X X X X X X X X
DHCP Network Setup X X X X X X X X X
SCSI Detected Setup? X X X X X X X X X
Partitioning Tool X X X X X X X X X
RAID       X X X X X X
ReiserFS               X  
Default Desktop                  
Fvwm2   X              
KDE X           X X  
KDE2       X           
Gnome         X X     X
Afterstep     X            
Boot Loader                  
Grub X                
Sets Up Other OS's? X X X X X X X X X
Graphical Admin Tool? X     X X   X X X
Webmin? X                
Text Based Admin? X     X X X X X X
Network Services Tool? X     X X     X X
Package Manager                  
RPM X     X X     X X
Deb   X X       X    
Other           X      
Internet Dialup Tool? X X X X X X X X X
Office Applications? X   X X X X X X X
Graphics Applications X X   X X X X X X
Development Tools? X X X X X X X X X
Overall Score 5 1 2 5 4 1 4 5 3

About Author

Stew Benedict is a systems administrator for an automotive manufacturer in Cleveland, Ohio. He also is a freelance consultant, and runs AYS Enterprises, which specializes in printed circuit design, Microsoft Access solutions for the Windows platforms, and utilizing Linux as a low-cost alternative to commercial operating systems and software. He has been using and promoting Linux since about 1994. When not basking in the glow of a CRT, Stew enjoys time with his wife, daughter, and two dogs at his future (not too much longer!) retirement home overlooking Norris Lake in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.

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