Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Selecting a Linux Distribution

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution based on Debian Linux. Different Linux distributions target different functional niches. The goal of Ubuntu is to bring Linux into the desktop workspace. To do this, it needs to provide a stable user interface, plenty of office tools, and drivers for a myriad of peripherals, while still being user-friendly. Although different groups manage nearly every open source project, Canonical Ltd. provides a central point for development and support. Canonical, along with the Ubuntu community, can answer most of your technical (and not so technical) questions.

Ubuntu is the basis for a variety of Linux distributions—most only differ in the user interface, although some do include specific software configurations. The basic Ubuntu distribution uses the Gnome desktop and is geared toward desktop or server systems. Other distributions based on Ubuntu include:

• Kubuntu—A variation of Ubuntu with the K Desktop Environment (KDE)

• Xubuntu—A variation of Ubuntu with the Xfce Desktop Environment

• Edubuntu—A modified version of Ubuntu that is loaded with educational applications

In each case, it is possible to switch from one installed version to another. For example, you can install Ubuntu, add in KDE, and remove Gnome, and you’ll have an environment that looks like Kubuntu. To convert an Ubuntu installation toKubuntu requires changing the desktop, office applications (OpenOffice to KOffice), and swapping other tools. Instead of modifying one distribution to look like another, you should just start with the right distribution.

Different Linux distributions fill specific needs. For example, although RedHat started life as a unifying distribution, it primarily supported English applications. SuSE was a popular internationalized distribution. Many distributions were maintained by modifying other distributions. For example, ASPLinux is a version of RedHat with multilingual support for Asian and Slavic languages, and the Beowulf clustered computing environment is based on RedHat. Although RedHat has seeded many different distributions, it is not alone. Debian Linux is another distribution with a significant following. As with RedHat, Debian has been used to spawn many different niche distributions. Although Ubuntu is based on Debian, it is also seeding other distributions.
Different distributions of the Linux operating system are sometimes called flavors. There are hundreds different supported flavors of Linux, each with a different focus. You can see the listing of official distributions at www.linux.org.

Most people won’t install KDE and remove Gnome in order to change their desktop. Instead, they will add KDE to the system and keep both Gnome and KDE installed.

To give you an example of the complexity, here’s how to add KDE to an Ubuntu system that already uses the Gnome desktop:

1. Install KDE.

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

This requires about 700 MB of disk space. The installation will ask if you want Gnome (gdm) or KDE (kdm) as the default desktop.

2. Log out. This gets you out of the active Gnome desktop.

3. On the login page, select the user.

4. Select KDE from the Sessions menu.

5. Log in using KDE.

Source of Information : Wiley Ubuntu Powerful Hacks And Customizations

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