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  General Purpose Linux Distributions
These distributions should be suitable for desktop and server applications. Most should have current versions available.

 

  • ALT Linux
    http://www.altlinux.org/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/alt-linux/
    LWN distribution survey completed May 3, 2002.
    ALT Linux got its start as a Linux-Mandrake Russian Edition Spring 2001. Designed to be a universal distribution, suitable for server organization, for user workstations and for software development, ALT Linux has diverged from its roots and split into several projects, all with the same code base. For example, there's Castle, a secured, RSBAC-enabled, server distribution; and ALT Linux Junior, a single-disk distribution for home computers, designed especially for beginners, easy to install and use. The unstable Sisyphus branch changes daily. ALT Linux Master 2.2 was released March 7, 2003. ALT Linux Junior 2.2 (Plum) was released March 26, 2003.

     

  • Arch Linux
    http://www.archlinux.org/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/archlinux/
    Arch Linux is an i686-optimized Linux distribution. It is lightweight and contains the latest stable versions of software. Packages are in .tar.gz format and are tracked by a package manager that is designed to allow easy package upgrades. Arch is designed to be streamlined while allowing for a customized configuration, with newer features such as reiserfs/ext3 and devfs. The inital version, 0.1, was released March 11, 2002. Arch 0.4 (Dragon) was released December 18, 2002. Arch Linux released Pacman 2.1 (package manager) on August 22, 2002.

     

  • BearOps
    http://www.bearops.com/
    http://www.maxos.com/
    BearOps Linux, formerly MaxOS, provides the BearOps Linux Server.

     

  • BYO Linux
    http://www.byolinux.org/
    BYO Linux (aka Build Your Own Linux OR DiyLinux to some) allows Linux enthusiasts to construct their own 100% pure Linux distribution.

     

  • CRUX
    http://www.crux.nu/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/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. The secondary focus is utilization of new Linux features and recent tools and libraries. Version 1.1 was released March 24, 2003.

     

  • Darkstar Linux
    http://darkstar.fxp.org/
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/darkstar/
    A source-based multi-platform Linux distribution.

     

  • FullPliant
    http://pliant.cx/
    Uses Pliant as an whole operating system on top of a Linux kernel.

     

  • Gentoo Linux
    http://www.gentoo.org/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/gentoolinux/
    PPC: http://gentooppc.sunsite.dk/
    Gentoo Linux is a versatile and fast, completely free x86-based Linux distribution geared towards developers and network professionals. Gentoo 1.4_rc4 was released April 15, 2003.

     

  • Haydar Linux
    http://www.haydarlinux.com/
    http://www.haydarlinux.com/news/news01.htm
    This distribution will be available in Arabic, Dutch and English with more languages to follow. The Arabic support appears to be very comprehensive. The first beta release of Haydar was announced May 4, 2002. Beta 2 was released November 4, 2002.

     

  • IDMS Linux
    http://idms.lbsd.net/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/idms-linux/
    IDMS Linux is NOT a home user distribution. It is intended solely as the base for high end server software. No GUI's, No X, No fancy stuff. The initial Freshmeat announcement was for version 2.0.25, dated June 22, 2002. Version 2.2.8 was released January 5, 2003.

     

  • Ivrix
    http://ivrix.org.il/
    Ivrix is a project aimed at creating a free Linux distribution with complete Hebrew support.

     

  • JBLinux
    http://www.jblinux.net/
    A distribution for workstations and servers. JBLinux was at version 2.2 as of August 10, 2001.

     

  • KRUD
    http://www.tummy.com/krud/
    Kevin's Red Hat Uber Distribution. See LWN review.

     

  • Laonux
    http://files.moo.ca/~laotzu/laonux.html
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/laonux/
    Laonux is a relatively small Linux distribution that contains most of the basics that you would expect in a Linux system, but nothing more. It features gcc-2.95.2, glibc 2.1.2, and kernel 2.2.14. It is not easy to install, but it provides a complete system. It is great for hobbyists who wish build up their own personalized Linux distribution from a basic core.

     

  • LNX System
    http://lnxs.org/
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/lnxs/
    The LNX System aims to be a well-engineered Linux distribution, with a centralized CVS repository; structured and flexible packaging; maintained and integrated subsystems; pro-actively-secure and audited code; ... LNXS 0.2.0 was released April 11, 2001.

     

  • Lunar-Linux
    http://www.lunar-linux.org/
    Lunar-Linux began as a fork of Sorcerer GNU/Linux. Lunar-Penguin, the development group behind Lunar-Linux, say they plan for this fork to stay close to the bleeding edge. The initial ISO image lunar-20020321.iso.bz2 was released March 21, 2002. An ISO codenamed PETRO was released April 9, 2002. A revised ISO Petro_e was released April April 19, 2002. Petro_h, the last of the Petro series, was released May 3, 2002. A development version of Lunar, theedge, was made available May 23, 2002. theedge achieved enough stability to become the first Lunar, announced July 15, 2002. Lunar-1.0Beta was released September 2, 2002.

     

  • MURIX Linux
    http://murix.sourceforge.net/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/murix/
    MURIX is a distribution based on LinuxFromScratch for building bootable CD-ROMs. Since you build it from source, MURIX should function on almost any hardware. Version 20020205, the initial release, became available on February 24, 2002. Version 1.1 was released November 24, 2002. Version 2003-01-14 was released February 7, 2003.

     

  • Netserva Dlite
    http://www.netserva.com/sw.php
    Netserva Dlite is a small 20mb downloadable Debian based distribution that comes with a basic set of pre-configured ISP-related services such as virtual web hosting, email and RADIUS. All client authentication is via MySQL so normal user shell accounts are not required. The system, in theory, could scale to supporting millions of users. The latest update was on February 2, 2002.

     

  • Netule
    http://www.netule.org/
    http://www.netule.com/
    Netule has created three new Linux distributions, which are now available for download. The EM-I or Email Module I is a full featured Email Server based on Sendmail; the WM-I or Web Module I is a vastly simplified Web Server based on Apache; and the FM-I or Firewall Module I is released in partnership with Astaro Security Linux. Netule products are a combination of open and closed source and are available bundled with hardware.

     

  • NoMad Linux
    http://www.nomadlinux.com/
    The web site says NoMad Linux 2.0 is on the way. There are no dates, though, so this could be historical. NoMad is based on the encap package managing system for ease of installation and upgrades. NoMad's main purpose is to keep it's creators happy and give them something to do in their free time. More and more, they see NoMad as a distribution for the scientists/engineers/geeks that know what they want and don't want anything else.

     

  • ROOT Linux
    http://www.rootlinux.org/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/rootlinux/
    ROOT Linux is an advanced GNU/Linux operating system. It aims to be fast, stable and flexible. ROOT Linux is not recommended as a first Linux distribution. People should have experience with Linux and computers in general. Version 1.3 was released August 27, 2002.

     

  • Scrudgeware
    http://scrudgeware.org/
    Scrudgeware is currently under development. As a GNU/Linux distribution, ScrudgeWare is being designed with several goals in mind. First and foremost is to be built 100% from GPL (or other freely licensed) software. Second, NO BLOAT. Scrudgeware will try to build a simple ("bare bones") system on which the user can add any software they choose.

     

  • Server optimized Linux
    http://www.sol-linux.com/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/sol/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/sol-diag/
    SoL (Server optimized Linux) is a Linux distribution completely independent from other Linux distributions. It was built by antitachyon from the original source packages and is optimized for heavy-duty server work. It contains all common server applications, and features XML boot and script technology that makes it easy to configure and make the server work. SoL 13.37 was released April 22, 2002 (initial Freshmeat announcement). Version 16.00 was released March 17, 2003. A diskless version, SoL-diag 1.1, was introduced March 3, 2003. A desktop version, SoL-Desktop 0.2, was released March 27, 2003.

     

  • Simply GNUstep
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/simplygnustep/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/simplygnustep/
    Simply GNUstep is a Linux/GNU distribution aimed at providing an OpenStep feeling from bootup on. This is a stripped down distribution, providing ease of use. (Think OS X for x86). InterimDeveloperRelease-1 came out on August 14, 2002. Version 1 was released September 9, 2002.

     

  • Sorcerer
    http://sorcerer.wox.org/
    http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/sorcerer/
    This distribution was created by the original Sorcerer GNU/Linux author, Kyle Sallee. Sources are downloaded directly from software authors' homepages and mirrors. Then, they are compiled with the architecture and optimizations that the system administrator specifies. Finally, it is installed, tracked, and archived for easy removal and upgrades. Sorcerer has both both command line and menu driven package mangement programs. A public beta, not backward compatible with previous releases of SGL, was made available April 14, 2002.

     

  • Source Mage GNU/Linux
    http://www.sourcemage.org/
    Currently called Source Mage GNU/Linux, this project was created by members of the Sorcerer GNU/Linux team after that project was pulled by its creator in March 2002. Sorcery 0.1.3 was released into cvs on March 26, 2002. An up-to-date, working test ISO was released May 30, 2002. Sorcery version 0.8.0.1 was released August 25, 2002.

     

  • Spectra Linux
    http://www.spectralinux.com/
    Finnish company Probatus Oy makes Spectra Linux. Designed for workstation and server use, this distribution comes with lots of extras, including the Probatus Spectra SDK application development environment, which supports all most common operating systems. Initial public release on April 17, 2002.

     

  • Stampede
    http://www.stampede.org/
    Stampede is a development project whose goal is to create the definitive Linux distribution for novice and experienced users alike. It aims to be fast, stable, secure, and to create new innovations and spur new growth of the Linux operating system in a world otherwise saturated with bloated, yet feature-lacking distributions. Stampede development has been on hiatus since March 1, 2002.

     

  • uOS
    http://u-os.org/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/uos/
    uOS is a complete source based Operating System that can be configured and built in a flexible way. uOS was first used in November 2002. It is very new and there are lots of kinks to work out. Although the goal is to make uOS usable by everyeone it currently requires Unix expertise to install and to run. uOS is based on GCC 3.2 / GLIBC 2.3 / WOLK Linux Kernel / X 4.2.1. It supports the newest drivers as well as the newest compilers. Core components are available under the 4F Licensing system (compliant to DFSG and OSI guidelines for Free Software). Initial version 0.81 was released November 6, 2002.

     

  • Webfish Linux
    http://webfish-linux.sourceforge.net/
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/webfish-linux/
    Webfish Linux is a small, stripped down Linux distribution based on GNU source packages. Webfish is built with the more experienced user in mind and is aimed at small, fast, secure server and workstation systems with a minimum of installed packages. The initial release of Webfish Linux, version 0.9b, was released June 20, 2002. Version 1.0pre1 was released on March 25, 2003. The Webfish Linux Firewall-1 branch released its initial verion, 1.1, on July 24, 2002. Fishwall 1.2 was released August 27, 2002.

     

  • Yoper
    http://www.yoper.com/
    Yoper is a high performance operating system which has been carefully optimised for PC's with either 686 or higher processor types. The binaries that come with Yoper have been built from scratch using the original sources combined with the best features of from the major distros. Yoper is high performance and compact. In fact Yoper is one of the most standardised linux's that you will find and hardware performance is better than that of any other commercial OS. With Yoper it is possible to import packages from all the other major distributions, including RPM's, .deb's, and .tgz packages. Ydesktop-3.2.1 Release Candidate 3 released January 12, 2003.

 

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