Linux Distributions: a coherent chaos

Linux, a Babylon of [*]nix delirium:
- More than 300 distributions, made in 51 different countries,  collecting thousands of software projects.
- Dedicated to different uses: desktop, laptop, server, mainframe, firewall, embedded devices, system recovery, terminals, streaming stations...
- Provided in different forms: CD Roms, Floppy, Network Installation, USB and Flash cards.
- Ready for different platforms: Intel compatible 32 bit (ix86) and 64 bit (ia64), PowerPC, sparc, alpha, motorola 68000, i390...

In this apparent chaos, there's still logic and order (much more than what you could expect):
- There are few major distro, from which others are derived: Debian, RedHat, Knoppix, Slackware, Mandrake, SUSE, Gentoo
- They use a common base of GNU and Open Source software and tools
- They share a Filesystem Hierarchy Standard
- [You can use, learn and know just one of them and apply the inner logic for the others]
- And, most of all, they're always a wonderful Unix KISS

Our focus on The Big Ones:
Debian, "World Made" entirely developed by the community, purely free (as speech). Last version: 3.0r2. Derivated distros: 100
RedHat, Made in USA. Commercial version: RedHat Enterprise Linux, free version: Fedora.. Last versions: RHEL 3.0, Fedora 2. Derivated distros: 63
Knoppix, Made in Germany. Free. Live CD. Last version: 3.6. Derivated distros: 45
SlackWare, Made in USA. One of the first Linux distro. Free. Last version 10. Derivated distros: 27
Mandrake, Made in France. Free with restrictions. Last version: 10. Derivated distros: 11
Gentoo, Made in USA. Free. Portage (sources) based. Last version: 2004.2 Derivated distros: 8
SUSE, Made in Germany. Free with restrictions. Last version: 9.1, Derivated distros: 3
Source: - Last update 6 September 2004

Other important distributions are: TurboLinux, YellowDog, Conectiva, Linspire, Xandros, Lycoris

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