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Linux Distributions


Debian-based

Debian is a distribution that emphasizes free software. It is supported on many hardware platforms. Debian and distributions based on it use the .deb package format and the dpkg package manager.

General Purpose Debian distributions
Distribution Description
AbulÉdu French. Designed for data processing in educational establishments.
AGNULA Former DeMuDi for multimedia production
grml Live CD for system recovery
Baltix For Lithuanian and Latvian languages
BeatrIX A compact distribution from the Czech Republic that focuses on providing a user-friendly desktop environment.
Corel Linux Commercial. Shortlived desktop distribution, bought by Xandros Linux
Dreamlinux A Brazilian Linux distribution.
Elive A Live CD and Distribution featuring Enlightenment as the only window manager. Aims to be intuitive and easy to use.
gNewSense A distribution of GNU/Linux focused on guaranteeing 100% Free Software
gnuLinEx A distribution promoted by the government of Extremadura, Spain.
Kanotix An installable live CD for desktop usage using KDE, focusing on convenient scripts and GUI for ease of use.
Knoppix The first Live CD (later DVD) version of Debian GNU/Linux.
Kurumin Earlier, it was a version of the Knoppix distribution, modified with Debian and designed for Brazilian users.
LiMux An ISO 9241 industry workplace certified Linux distribution, deployed at the City of Munich, Germany.
Linspire Commercial. Desktop-oriented distribution, previously called Lindows. Focuses on a proprietary software application manager obtained via a paid (CNR) subscription. Bought by Xandros Linux.
MEPIS Focuses on ease of use.
NepaLinux A Debian and Morphix based distribution focused for desktop usage in Nepali language computing.
PingOO French distribution aimed at local communities, public organizations, schools, etc. It comes in three editions: PingOO Communication Server, PingOO Secure Server and PingOO File Server.
Progeny Componentized Linux Distribution from Progeny Linux Systems which was also founded by Debian founder Ian Murdock.
Rxart Desktop-oriented distribution. Focused on providing proprietary software.
sidux Multilingual desktop-oriented Live CD based on Debian unstable.
Skolelinux A distribution from Norway. It is provided as a thin client distribution for schools.
Symphony OS Includes the Mezzo desktop environment. Previous versions were based on Knoppix.
Trisquel Created in Galicia (Spain). It has support for old PCs, includes a 3D desktop with Compiz.
Tuquito Created in Argentina.
Ubuntu A distribution sponsored by Canonical Ltd as well as receiving major funding from South African Mark Shuttleworth. Aims to offer a complete and polished desktop on a single CD.
UserLinux Commercial distribution that would have included GNOME. Shortlived.
Xandros Open Circulation Edition Based on Xandros 3.0 Standard Edition. DVD burning is disabled and CD burning is restricted to a maximum speed of 4X.
Specialized Debian distributions
Distribution Description
64 Studio Attempts to specialize in audio and video production on AMD64 workstations.
eBox Router/Firewall and NAS/PDC
Finnix A small system administration Live CD that is available for multiple architectures.
Gibraltar Commercial. Router/firewall distribution.
LEAF Project The Linux Embedded Appliance Firewall. A tiny primarily floppy-based distribution for routers, firewalls and other appliances.
The Linux Router Project A defunct floppy-based distribution for routers and firewalls. Supplanted by LEAF Project.
Maemo A development platform for hand held devices such as the Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets and other Linux-based devices.
OpenZaurus Debian packages and ROM image for the Sharp Zaurus PDA. Replaced by Ångström distribution.
Outernet Server A modified version of Debian that installs preconfigured and is specifically meant for a High speed multimedia Networks.
Pure:dyne pure:dyne is an Debian based operating system developed to provide media artists with a complete set of tools for realtime audio and video processing.
Salgix Distribution developed and maintained by GMSI (Gemini Microsystems International) for its line of Visual Computing workstations.
Xebian For the Xbox home gaming console.


Knoppix-based

Knoppix, itself, is based on Debian.

Distribution Description
Buildix For agile developers.
Damn Small Linux Generally considered as the starter of mini distributions. A live CD designed for MiniCD with a hard drive install option.
Feather Linux Fits in under 128 MB. It boots from either a CD or a USB flash drive. Uses Knoppix-based hardware detection and the Fluxbox window manager.[citation needed]
Kaella The French translation of Knoppix.
KnoppMyth Specialized Knoppix distribution for easy setup of the MythTV PVR software.
Morphix A Live CD distribution with different flavours, including GNOME. Used as a base for many other custom live distribution such as Clusterix, PHlAK or Gnix.
Musix A Knoppix/Debian based distribution, intended for music production, graphic design, audio, video editing, and other tasks. It is built with only free software.

Ubuntu-based

Ubuntu is a distribution based on Debian. Each has a different release schedule; Debian's release cycle is about 1.5 years and Ubuntu's is 6 months. Ubuntu's packages are downloaded from Debian, re-packaged with Ubuntu version numbers and integrated to the system with Ubuntu-specific patches as needed. Ubuntu officially only supports 2 computer architectures, Debian about 10. Ubuntu has two maintenance lines (stable, in development), Debian has several suites (stable, testing, unstable, experimental).

Gentoo-based

Gentoo is a distribution designed to have highly optimized and frequently updated software. Distributions based on Gentoo use the Portage package management system with emerge.

Distribution Description
Gentoox An adaptation of Gentoo for the Xbox.
Knopperdisk A new distribution aimed at USB sticks.
Kororaa Aimed at easy installation of a Gentoo system by using install scripts instead of manual configuration.
Pentoo Penetration-testing Live CD
Sabayon Linux Live DVD which includes a wide range of desktop environments and open-source software applications. Like Knoppix, Sabayon Linux can be installed on the hard drive.
SystemRescueCD System rescue Live CD version of Gentoo.
Tin Hat Linux Based on hardened Gentoo
Ututo Made in Argentina
VidaLinux Uses Anaconda as its installer.
Nova Linux Official Cuban distribution.[citation needed]

RPM-based

Red Hat Linux and SUSE Linux were the original major distributions that used the RPM file format, which is today used in several package management systems. Both of these later divided into commercial and community-supported distributions. Red Hat Linux divided into a community-supported distribution sponsored by Red Hat called Fedora, and a commercially supported distribution called Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Fedora-based

Distribution Description
Aurora SPARC Linux For Sun's SPARC architecture
K12LTSP A distribution for educational purpose. Comes with LTSP support.
Linux XP Focuses on ease of installation and use. It uses a Windows like interface.
Linpus Linux Focused on the Chinese market, along with Linpus Lite focused on the netbook market.
Ojuba Linux Focused on providing the best Arabic support, as well as some Islamic tools such as Hijra (Hijri calendar) and Minbar (prayer time indicator).
Yellow Dog Linux For the PowerPC platform.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based

Distribution Description
Asianux A distribution co-developed between Red Flag Software Co., Ltd., Miracle Linux Corp. and Haansoft, INC., focused on Chinese, Japanese and Korean supports.
CentOS Community-supported distribution that aims to be compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux without the inclusion of proprietary software.
ClarkConnect Router/firewall distribution
Scientific Linux A distribution co-developed by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which aims to be compatible with and based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
SME Server Based on CentOS and targeting Small and Medium Enterprises.
White Box Enterprise Linux A distribution designed to be compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

See Red Hat Enterprise Linux derivatives for a more complete list, as well as Commercial products based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Others (RPM-based)

Distribution Description
TinyMe A lightweight distribution based on PCLinuxOS
aLinux A distribution for home use designed to be equivalent to Windows XP Home (formerly known as Peanut Linux).
ALT Linux Several distributions including Master, Compact, and Junior. Provides support for Cyrillic languages. [1]
Annvix A security-focused server distribution. Originally based on Mandrake 9.2 but has diverged a lot.
Ark Linux A distribution focused on ease of use and ease of learning.
Berry Linux A medium-sized Fedora-based distribution that provides support in Japanese and English.
Caixa Mágica A Portuguese distribution.
Caldera Linux Caldera bought SCO then took the SCO name and no longer produces a Linux distribution. Last release: 3.1.1 - Jan. 30, 2002
cAos Linux A general purpose distribution. Designed to have low overhead, run on older hardware, and be easily customizable
EduLinux A distribution for educational purposes (cf. Guadalinex, Skolelinux).
EnGarde Secure Linux Server-only distribution designed to be secure.
Granular Linux Based on PCLinuxOS and features two desktop environments - KDE & Enlightenment
Linkat A distribution promoted by the government of Catalonia, Spain.
Mandriva Linux Uses KDE as its default desktop environment.
MCNLive A Mandriva-based distribution designed to run from CD or USB Flash Drive, focused on multimedia, internet, graphics.
PCLinuxOS A Live CD distribution. Originally based on Mandrake 9.2. Later rebased on Mandriva 2007.
Red Flag Linux A distribution developed in China and optimized for the Chinese market.
Red Hat Linux Split into Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The last official release was Red Hat Linux 9 in March 2003.
SUSE Linux A desktop-oriented Linux distribution supplied by Novell, Inc.. SUSE is one of the most popular distributions in Europe. Like Red Hat Linux, it is a large distribution on several CDs/DVDs. Free Eval versions are available for the SUSE Linux Enterprise versions.
  • openSUSE - A branch developed by the community and sponsored by Novell. openSUSE maintains a strict policy of ensuring all code in the standard installs will be from Free/Libre/Open-Source Software solutions, including Linux kernel Modules. Novell's enterprise Linux products are all based on the codebase that comes out of the openSUSE project.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server - A server-oriented Linux distribution supplied by Novell, Inc. and targeted at the business market.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (previously branded Novell Linux Desktop) - A desktop-oriented Linux distribution supplied by Novell, Inc. and targeted at the enterprise market.
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time - A specialized version of the SUSE distribution from Novell designed to support low latency for time critical operations.
Trustix A distribution focused on security.
Turbolinux Based on Red Hat Linux.
Vine Linux A Japanese distribution based on Red Hat Linux.
YOPER A desktop distribution from New Zealand that focuses on optimizing system performance for workstation use.

Slackware-based

Slackware is known as a highly customizable distribution that stresses ease of maintenance and reliability over cutting-edge software and automated tools. Generally considered a distribution for advanced users, it is often suggested to those who want to learn the inner workings of a Linux operating system.

Distribution Description
Austrumi A 86 MB bootable live CD
BasicLinux A mini linux designed to run in old PCs (386). Has a certain degree of compatibility with Slackware packages.
Frugalware A general purpose Linux distribution designed for intermediate users.
GoblinX A live CD that features multiple customizable desktop environments.
HostGIS HostGIS Linux is a Slackware based distribution specifically made for handling GIS information.
MuLinux Floppy based distribution with replaceable modules.
NimbleX Completely customizable through the Nimblex website.
Slackintosh An unofficial port of Slackware to the PowerPC architecture.
SMS - Slack Mini Server A full feature server distribution (inc. dovecot, postfix, mailscanner, clamav, spamassassin, openldap), manageable through webmin interface or kde environment. Also features TorrentFlux (a php bittorrent client). [2]
Slamd64 An unofficial port of Slackware to the x86-64 architecture.
SLAX A very popular live CD which aims to provide a complete desktop for general use. Permanent installation of SLAX is not recommended or supported; it is designed for "live" use only.
Topologilinux Designed to run from within Microsoft Windows, Topologilinux can be installed without any changes to the user's hard disk.
Vector Linux A lightweight distribution designed to be easy to use even for new users. Generally considered well suited for older hardware.
Zenwalk Linux Originally a minimal version of Slackware, Zenwalk has evolved into a very different operating system; however, compatibility with Slackware is still maintained.

SLAX-based

SLAX's modularity and reputation of quality have made it a popular base for other live CD projects.

Distribution Description
BackTrack A network security suite developed by RemoteExploit.org. It includes many penetration testing utilities and development tools. While BackTrack is principally used as a live CD, it can also be installed permanently.
DAVIX A live CD for data analysis and visualization.
DNALinux A small distribution designed for running bioinformatics software, including BLAST and EMBOSS.
SLAMPP Designed to be used on a home server.

Others

The following distributions either use another packaging system, do not use any, or are simply not categorized.

Distribution Description
Arch Linux An i686- and x86-64-optimized distribution targeted at experienced users. Arch runs on a rolling release system and uses the pacman utility for package management.
Coyote Linux Router/firewall distribution.
CRUX CRUX is a lightweight, i686-optimized Linux distribution targeted at experienced Linux users. The primary focus of this distribution is "keep it simple", which is reflected in a simple tar.gz-based package system, BSD-style initscripts, and a relatively small collection of trimmed packages
DD-WRT Embedded firewall distribution.
DeLi Linux A desktop based mini distribution with office suite, web browser and other graphical programs to run on a 486. Built from scratch with some influences from Slackware and CRUX.
Devil-Linux firewall/router/server distribution running from CD or USB. Configuration held on USB or floppy disk.
DSLinux Version of Linux designed for the Nintendo DS.
dyne:bolic Live CD geared toward multimedia (audio and video) production, but comes with other non-media specific application (eg: word processor, desktop publisher). It is completely free software as defined by the Free Software Foundation.
Familiar Linux Distribution for iPAQ handhelds.
Fli4l a single floppy ISDN, DSL and Ethernet-Router.
Foresight Linux A distribution built around the Conary package manager.
FREESCO A free replacement for proprietary routers supporting up to 10 network cards and up to 10 modems.
GeeXboX Live CD media center distribution, mainly to play special-encoded video files (eg: .ogg, XVID) on home theater.
Gnuffy A GNU/Linux based on Archlinux packages. The package manager spaceman features mostly Archlinux packages and gives the opportunity to include packages from any Gnuffy user. Gnuffy is currently in development. Binary and source packages are both available.[citation needed]
GoboLinux An alternative Linux distribution which redefines the entire file system hierarchy by installing everything belonging to one application in one folder under /Programs, and using symlinks from /System and its subfolders to point to the proper files.
Hikarunix A distro solely for studying and playing the game of Go.
IPCop Router/firewall distribution.
iPodLinux Embedded Linux firmware for the Apple iPod based on the µCLinux kernel.
Jlime Distribution for the HP Jornada 6xx and 7xx and NEC MobilePro 900(c) handhelds.
Lunar Linux A source code-based distribution descended from Sorcerer GNU/Linux.
Lycoris Desktop/LX: Fell down to one employee and then acquired by Mandriva.
MCC Interim Linux MCC Interim Linux, possibly the first Linux distribution. Created by the Manchester Computing Centre in February 1992.
MkLinux A distribution for PowerPC systems that runs the Linux kernel as a server on top of the Mach microkernel.
Mobilinux By Montavista for smartphones.
MontaVista Linux Embedded systems distro by MontaVista Software.
NASLite a floppy-based Linux designed to turn an old computer into a simple Network Attached Storage device.
Nitix Developed by Net Integration Technologies Inc., Nitix claims to be the first autonomic Linux-based server operating system.
OpenWrt Embedded firewall distribution.
Pardus Developed by Turkish National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology. It uses PISI as package manager, COMAR as configuration framework.
PS2 Linux Sony Computer Entertainment distribution released officially for the PlayStation 2 video game console.
Puppy Linux A mini distribution which runs well under low-end PCs - even under 32 MB RAM. Includes Slackware 12 support (since version 3).
Rocks Cluster Distribution A distribution for building a High-performance computing computer cluster.
rPath A distribution built around the Conary package manager.
Sentry Firewall A firewall, server or intrusion detection system distribution.
SliTaz GNU/Linux A small desktop distro. The ISO is 25 MB; runs entirely in RAM.
Smallfoot Developed by the Santa Cruz Operation ( SCO UNIX / SCO Group ), formerly Caldera.
SmoothWall Router/firewall distribution.
Softlanding Linux System One of the earliest distributions, developed from 1992-1994; Slackware was originally based on it.
Sorcerer A source code-based distribution.
Source Mage GNU/Linux A source code-based distribution, descended from Sorcerer.
Tinfoil Hat Linux Bootable floppy distribution focusing on extreme security
Thinstation Thin client distribution supporting all major connectivity protocols.
tomsrtbt Root boot disk.
Yggdrasil Linux/GNU/X One of the oldest Linux distributions, not updated since 1995.

 


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