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  • Home > Links > Linux

    Linux, Other Alternate OS's and Open Source

    I have been flirting with Linux and other alternative operating systems since I figured out that Windows 95 and 98 were fatally flawed piles of crap. Mind you, I loved Win98 and stuck with it for a long time, resisting XP for years. However, I was well aware of 98's many flaws. I have not entirely been satisfied with Linux, but keep a close eye on its progress, waiting until it is ready. Hopefully, it is soon, because I do not desire to use Vista, if at all possible. I don't believe I'm the only one.

    Nowadays, my biggest concern with switching from Windows to Linux is games. OK, that's not the only concern, but I believe most other worries can be worked out over time. So, I try a distribution out, see if I like it, and then try the next one. I have my current favorites, but I'm willing to stay open minded.

    On this page, I will eventually get more organized, and put distributions in one section, Linux news in another, and help in a third. Maybe add games and some other categories, as well. For now, I'm just dumping everything that kept growing in the large tech links page I had going.

    Last updated 06/10/07
    Newest items marked with a *

    Linux, Alternative OS's and Open Source
    - Linux Distributions
    - Linux News
    - Linux Help
    - Linux Games
    - Other Open Source Projects (primarily for Linux)

    Linux Distributions
    Anonym.OS LiveCD - Bootable live CD, based on OpenBSD, that encrypts all net traffic so that you are inconspicuous on the web.
    Arklinux - Secure, fast and easy to install. Uses Rpm's, so seems to be based on Red Hat.
    CentOS - Basically, an unbranded Red Hat Enterprise, but free. Meant for people who don't need the expert support of Red Hat.
    Debian - One of the older, more established distros, Debian has been used as a basis for countless other, derivative distrobutions. This is probably because of Debian's strength and flexibility. The philosophy of those who maintain Debian is that it will remain free (as in speech), but they also support non-free software, as well.
    Desktop Linux.com - This site covers the entire Linux world as it relates to, well, you guessed it, desktop installations. This means buying guides, comparisons of various distros, comparisons to Windows, set-up guides and more.
    Distro Watch - Specializes in news and specific information about the top 100 or so (I'm completely making up a number here) distributions of Linux, including how to get each of them.
    Dyne:bolic - Live CD version of a linux distrobution that's optimized for slower systems. What stands out as unique with this distro is that it is made for multimedia manipulation. It has programs for video and audio without the need for super-fast hardware.
    Fedora - I recently revisited this distrobution and found it to be very well done. Put out by the people who do Red Hat, it's experimental, community supported, free. There is a lot to like about Fedora.
    Freespire - Free version of the newbie-oriented Linspire.
    Helix - Bootable recovery distrobution based off of Knoppix. A live CD with an emphasis on computer forensics and incident response. Does not touch the hard drive.
    Ibiblio Linux Distro Archive
    K-12 Linux - Based on Fedora and geared for schools, this unique distro is meant to power thin clients in a classroom setting. This would be the terminal server and the thin clients wouldn't require hard drives or much else.
    Knoppix - This was the first live CD version of Linux. Very useful recovery tool for Windows and Linux systems.
    Kubuntu - Ubuntu with KDE instead of Gnome.
    Linspire - Originally Lindows, this is billed as a Windows replacement. Some people are upset that they charged for open source software . . . but it's still an interesting distro for newbies. Of course, there is also a free version, called Freespire.
    Linux Distribution Chooser
    Linux ISO - Focuses on helping the user find out about various distributions and how to get them.
    Linux Live Game Project - This is a live CD distribution that's all about playing open source games in Linux. It is meant to be a boot and play kind of CD, with little to no tweaking or setting up hardware, and is constantly getting better hardware support.
    Linux Reviews - Site aimed at reviewing different distros. Also has news of new releases
    Linux Tracker
    Linux Watch
    Mandriva - Used to be Mandrake. I've used this brand of Linux several times in the past. Easy to use and configure, one of the first to be desktop oriented.
    Mepis - Runs as a Live CD or can be installed. Lots of applications, compressed onto a single CD. Can be used as a desktop replacement or as a server.
    Morphix - A live CD distro based on Debian and Knoppix. Can be installed on a hard drive.
    MyahOS - Promising distro based on Slackware that emphasizes multimedia and gaming for Linux. However, the developers have also included all the other necessities, to make a well rounded distrobution. They claim to have the most comprehensive set of codecs and drivers, so that this will just work, out of the box.
    Open Mosix Linux Clustering
    Open Suse - Free version of the SUSE Enterprise Linux put out by Novell. Has some nice features. Aims to be easy, user-friendly. Even comes with an antivirus solution.
    Puppy OS - Lightweight Linux distribution that is small, very flexible and very friendly for Linux newbies
    ReactOS - OK, this really is not Linux at all. Sadly, I can't think of where else to put this little gem. This project has been ongoing for the last 10 years. The developers are working on building an operating system that is compatible with the Windows API. In other words, they are not cloning Windows, but they are working on an operating system that is compatible with Windows programs and drivers. Pretty cool.
    Schoolforge - Site dedicated to Linux and open source projects tailored specifically for educators.
    Scientific Linux
    Ubuntu - Linux for humans. I've tried this distribution on my laptop and really like it. Has nice features, like easy software installs and updates. Does not try to be a Windows clone, but still manages to make things easy to figure out. Their support forums are great, too. Desktop oriented.
    Wolvix - Live CD distro that is desktop and multimedia oriented. There is also a game version available. It is a very lightweight distrobution that uses Xfce as it's GUI.
    Zenwalk - Small, fast Linux distro that tries to keep it simple, with one program for each major task, instead of throwing everying and the kitchen sink in. Can run on PIII or newer computers pretty well. A live disk is also available.
    Linux News
    Linux Planet - Claims to be a guide to the Linux Operating System. Seems to do a good job. Has Linux news, discussion areas, opinion articles, how-to's, reviews and more.
    Lobby 4 Linux - Examines the legal ramifications and political machinations surrounding the use of Linux and Windows and such.
    Mad Penguin - Linux news and editorial site. Also includes reviews and a user forum.
    Newsforge - A news source for all things linux and open source.
    PC Linux Destop News
    Slashdot - News for geeks.
    TuxMachines - Site that contains news and original content pertaining to all things open source and Linux.

    Linux Help
    All Things Linux - Forum on Scott Finnie's newsletter website devoted to helping new and advanced users understand Linux better.
    Howto Forge* - Linux tutorials written for the common man or woman struggling (or exploring) this OS. Lots of screen shots and useful goodies here.
    Linux Cable Modem info
    Linux Introduction
    Linux Printing - A site devoted to helping newbies and experience linux users alike figure out how to print in linux.
    Linux Questions - A friendly community that is willing to answer a newbie's questions. Forum style. Has reviews of various distros.
    Linux Security
    Lowfat Linux - Tutorials for linux, made for beginners, written by Bob Rankin, of the Internet Tourbus fame.
    Really Linux for beginners - Site whose mission is to help the newbies of linux. International effort.
    SCAN (Scanner Access Now Easy) - They strive to make using a scanner on a Linux machine an easy process.
    Ubuntu Forums* - Support forums for Ubuntu and companion site for the Ubunutu Guide. Good community help for your Ubuntu Linux needs.
    Ubuntu Guide* - Indispensible guide for those who use Ubuntu, this is a wiki style site that allows regular users to add information. Constantly updated.

    Linux Games
    Linux Games
    Other Open Source Projects (primarily for Linux)
    Asterix - open source PBX
    Free NAS - While not Linux, this is in the same ballpark. Based on BSD, this is a Network Attached Storage distribution of BSD, turning a spare computer into a dedicated file server on a network. Nice.
    Ghost 4 Linux
    G4U harddisk image cloning
    Linux Terminal Server Project
    Low Cost Network Print Server - Small, single-purpose Linux distribution. Great way to set up an old computer to act as a print server for printers that are not network-ready. Runs off a floppy and works very well.
    Mad Wifi - Developers of a Linux Wireless LAN chipset driver.
    PXES Universal Linux Thin Client
    rdesktop - Open source remote desktop client. Can connect to Windows XP (and other terminal services OS's) as well as to VNC protocols and more.
    Source Forge - What can I say about Source Forge? It is one of the biggest and oldest (I think) open source repositories I have seen. Maybe not all open source files end up here, but a huge amount of them do. Great for developers to share their work with the world.
    Synergy - Interesting piece of software that allows you to use one mouse and keyboard with multiple computers and monitors. Open source and made for Linux, although it has been ported to Windows, too.
    Zimbra - Open source mail and messaging solution. Has a pay version, as well. A collaborative calendar and document sharing feature is nice for managing projects with multiple people.

    Copyright © 2007 Matthew Rutherford
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