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)
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
CentOS - Basically,
an unbranded Red Hat Enterprise, but free. Meant for people
who don't need the expert support of Red Hat.
- 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,
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.
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.
- 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.
- Free version of the newbie-oriented Linspire.
- 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.
Linux Distro Archive
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.
- This was the first live CD version of Linux. Very useful recovery
tool for Windows and Linux systems.
- Ubuntu with KDE instead of Gnome.
- 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.
- Focuses on helping the user find out about various distributions
and how to get them.
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
- Site aimed at reviewing different distros. Also has news of
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.
- 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.
- A live CD distro based on Debian and Knoppix. Can be installed
on a hard drive.
- 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.
Mosix Linux Clustering
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
- 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.
- Site dedicated to Linux and open source projects tailored
specifically for educators.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- A news source for all things linux and open source.
Linux Destop News
- News for geeks.
- Site that contains news and original content pertaining to
all things open source and Linux.
Things Linux - Forum on Scott Finnie's newsletter website
devoted to helping new and advanced users understand Linux
Howto Forge* - Linux
tutorials written for the common man or woman struggling (or
exploring) this OS. Lots of screen shots and useful goodies
Cable Modem info
- A site devoted to helping newbies and experience linux users
alike figure out how to print in linux.
- A friendly community that is willing to answer a newbie's
questions. Forum style. Has reviews of various distros.
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
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
Open Source Projects (primarily for Linux)
- open source PBX
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.
Ghost 4 Linux
G4U harddisk image
Linux Terminal Server Project
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
- Open source remote desktop client. Can connect to Windows
XP (and other terminal services OS's) as well as to VNC protocols
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.
- 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,
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.