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DistributionWatch: Your Guide to Linux Distributions - page 5

Introducing Our Linux Distribution Guide

  • September 27, 2004
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

AlphaLinux
Technically not a distribution, this group is devoted to maintaining Linux on the Compaq (formerly DEC) Alpha architecture. It supplies kernels and support to many other Linux vendors.

Amino Communications
Technically not a distribution, the version of Linux prepared by Amino Communications is optimized for set-top boxes. Linux is ideally suited to a small footprint as it can run in as little as 2MB of memory; yet the functionality and size of the operating system can grow as complexity increases with the Amino systems able to support up to 128MB of memory. The low power consumption--2W or less - of the Linux systems and the provision of broadcast quality video streaming means they can be included in a plethora of new network-centric applications that were previously not feasible.

Armed Linux
Armed Linux is a full Linux operating system distribution that has been customized to install on top of versions of Microsoft Windows or any version of DOS. It's perfect for users who want to run Linux as a secondary operating system. It's easy to install and hassle-free, making it an excellent choice for first time users.
Download Armed Linux here.

DLX
DLX runs from one 3.5-inch floppy disk, booting kernel 1.3.89 and starts a ramdisk image. DLX also has a writable ext2 filesystem of about 130 kb on the same disk, for storing configuration scripts. Also noteworthy is DLX's support for the parallel-port ZIP drive, which allows you to mount 100 MB disks.

DosLinux
DosLinux, developed by Kent Robotti and based on Slackware Linux, is a small Linux version that can be installed on an existing DOS system (including Windows 95/98) in DOS mode. DosLinux is a LOOP device version of Linux and uses the standard Linux ext2 filesystem. It comes with IDE, SCSI and SCSINET kernels.

DragonLinux
DragonLinux 0.8 installs in a DOS/Windows partition (based on UMSDOS), but it's not a slimmed-down distribution: it weighs in at 153MB when installed and includes standard Linux utilities, kernel version 2.2.6, a compiler, X Window and the KDE desktop environment. It's based on libc5. One thing worth noting: it features a Windows-based installer.

Enoch Linux
Currently in prerelease form, Enoch is a noteworthy Linux distribution that features multiple builds, each compiled with PGCC and optimized for specific microprocessors: Intel Pentium/Pro/II/III, Cyrix MII, AMD K6, Intel Pentium+ and Intel Pentium Pro/II+. After you choose your build, you then build your distribution from original source code.

Finnix
Finnix is a self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution, based on Red Hat Linux 6.1. Finnix was created as a system maintnence distribution. You can mount hard drives, set up network devices, repair filesystems, and pretty much do anything you can do with a regular distribution. Finnix is free, open sourced, and released under the terms of the GNU Public License.

Gentoo Linux
Gentoo Linux is a relative newcomer to the world of Linux distributions. Rather than trying to be everything to everyone, this distro is tightly targeted at software developers and network administrators, which means that the new or even average Linux user may not be too interested in trying it out.
Read our latest review here.

Hal91
hal91 is a minimalistic Linux installation fitting on one single 1.44Mb disk. It is intended for use as an rescue disk and a portable Linux system.

HLC-Linux
This distribution is optimized for high-performance computing. Anything not related to that central mission is omitted.

Learnux
OK, so Learnux is really the name of the Canadian program that develops and installs a trimmed-down version of Debian GNU/Linux for use on older machines in an educational setting. Still, this distribution is worth checking out for owners of older machines: it requires 96 megabytes of RAM of hard-disk space (including the space needed for X Window), and it requires about 6MB of RAM to run X, icewm, and xterm.
Added on Nov. 24.

 

Linux on RS/6000
IBM has developed Linux distributons for the RS/6000 Model B50, RS/6000 43P Model 150 and RS/6000 Model F50.
Added on Nov. 26.

Li/NeXT
If you really want to run a Linux kernel on an old NeXT box, this is the place to look for one.
Added on Nov. 24.

Linux CE
The goal of this project is to product a Linux distribution for handheld devices designed to run Windows CE. That includes NEC's VR-series microprocessors (Vadem Clio, Everex Freestyle, Casio E-105, etc.), Nino, and SH3. There are also projects to provide a micro-GUI and more.

Linux/98
Linux/98 is a port of Linux kernels 2.1.57/2.2/2.3 kernel and some utilities onto the NEC PC-9800 architecture. Thus architecture is similar to the PC architecture, but different enough to require some heavy kernel modifications.
Added on Nov. 24.

 

Linux/APUS
This site is actually a guide for installing Linux/APUS (Linux for Amiga PowerUp Systems), as well as general documentation of the Linux/APUS port, and information on where to download a Linux/APUS kernel in Denmark.
Added on Nov. 26.

Linux/MIPS
Linux/MIPS is a port of Linux to computers equipped with MIPS processors. Currently Linux/MIPS runs on most ARC-compliant systems equipped with MIPS R4x00 processors.

Linux/Sun3
This project supports on Sun 3/50, Sun 3/60, and Sun 3/160 workstations.
Added on Nov. 24.

 

Linux for 680x0 based VME boards
Though Debian now supports these boards, this distribution serves as a valuable resource for supporting Linux on Motorola boards (MVME147, MVME162, MVME166, MVME167, MVME172, MVME177), BVM boards (BVME4000 and BVME6000), and the Tadpole TP34V.
Added on Nov. 24.

LinuxPPC for BeBox
This Web site details how to install and configure LinuxPPP on a BeBox Dual 603.
Added on Nov. 26.

LOAF
Linux On A Floppy (LOAF) is an extremely tiny distribution of Linux and fits on a single floppy. It's meant for use as a client for various network protocols. This includes lynx, FTP, telnet and ssh.

NoMad Linux
NoMad Linux is based on the encap package-managing system for ease of installation and upgrades. It's not on the cutting edge of Linux distributions: the current version doesn't support glibc, and the base filesystem is small--10.5 megs uncompressed. (X, obviously, will eat up more disk space.)

PARISC/Linux
The Puffin Group oversees development of Linux for the Hewlett-Packard PA-RISC architecture.

Pygmy Linux
Pygmy Linux 0.6 is a slimmed-down distribution designed to be installed in a DOS or Windows partition via UMSDOS. Users of older systems will also be interested in Pygmy Linux, as the minimal configuration is a 386-based PC with 4MB of RAM and approximately 25MB of disk space. It features kernel 2.0.36, IDE hard disk (but no SCSI CD-ROMs), Joliet Modules, various network and sound cards, and a host of standard Linux packages, including pine, lynx and pppsetup. It's available as RAR SFX files and fits on seven 3.5-inch floppies.

Q40 Linux
This project supports Linux (2.1.127 and most 2.2.x kernels, including 2.2.8) on Q40 and Q80 motherboards.
Added on Nov. 24.

ROCK Linux
ROCK Linux is designed by Clifford Wolf for experienced Linux and UNIX users, as it lacks any GUI-based configuration tools. It comes with (and is based on) gcc/egcs 2.95, glibc 2.1, Linux kernel 2.2.11, XFree86 3.3.4, Gnome, tetex 1.0.6, ISDN 4 Linux, Coda, and more.

RoLinux
Yet another trimmed-down Linux distribution, RoLinux fits on three disks (taking up 3.46MB) and includes a basic set of Linux commands, including everything in kernel version 2.2.10.

Small Linux
In the race for the ever-shrinking Linux, Small Linux fits on two floppy disks, runs on a machine with only two megabytes of RAM, and provides a limited number of commands.

tomsrtbt
Is this the smallest Linux gets? This one-disk Linux distribution is designed for emergencies when you need to boot Linux and interact with the hardware to work out problems. There's a surprising amount of functionality to this distribution.

Trinux
Trinux is a portable Linux distribution that boots from a single floppy disk, loads its packages from a FAT/Ext2 partition, floppy disks, or HTTP/FTP servers and runs entirely in RAM. Trinux contains precompiled versions versions of popular open source network security/monitoring tools, such as nmap, tcpdump, iptraf and ntop. Trinux default configuration provides DHCP for easy network configuration. Trinux transparently converts ordinary x86 PCs into a powerful network security workstations without affecting the underlying operating system. Trinux is based on a stripped-down version of Linux that should boot on any 386 or better with at least 12-16 megabytes of RAM. Hardware support for many common Ethernet cards is provided in the default kernel. Additional hardware support is possible through kernel modules. Trinux 0.6x supports 2.2.x kernels and is binary-compatible with Red Hat Linux 5.2.

UltraLinux
This project has ported Linux to the SPARC family of processors most commonly found in Sun workstations and clones. It supports most workstations, including the older 32-bit SPARC processors and the newer 64-bit UltraSPARC-based workstations.
Added on Nov. 26.

UltraPenguin Linux
Housed at SunSITE Czech Republic (the Faculty of Math and Physics, Charles University, Prague), UltraPenguin Linux is designed for 32- and 64-bit SPARC architectures.

WinLinux
WinLinux 2000 was designed and built to be the easiest to use Linux system. Its install and configuration tasks are performed directly from Windows and with graphical tools Windows users are used to. It features Windows integration, smart configuration, easy start, safe installation, optimal disk usage, and familiar look and feel.
Download WinLinux here.

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