At first, ranking GNU/Linux distributions seems alien to the spirit of free software. After all, free software is all about choice. What should matter is that your distro suits you, not how others judge it. Yet, in practice, community members judge distributions all the time.
DistributionWatch: Overview Section Index
Should Debian be more commercial, as Ubuntu is? A look inside one of the GNU/Linux movement�s leading distributions.
The Linux universe is ever-expanding. See for yourself in LinuxPlanet's updated guide to Linux distributions, an ongoing project to become a handy reference to what distros work best for you. (Updated September 2004)
SuSE has been planning their business around business-class Linux servers for years so it should come as no surprise that when they finally offer a Linux just for the desktop, SuSE Linux Desktop, it comes targeted at enterprises. This is a desktop Linux for CIOs, not individual users.
Users will get their first official look at Red Hat 8.0 upon its release on Sept. 30. LinuxPlanet's Jacqueline Emigh got an advance look at the latest release earlier this week, and files this preview report on what's under the Red Hat this time around. Screenshots of the new interface are also included.
In this week's StartX files, Brian Proffitt takes a quick look at SuSE 7.2 and asks whether this latest version, arriving so soon after 7.1, is a necessary purchase for SuSE veterans. Also in this week's column: Brian will be revisiting last year's "Word to the Wise" series with an update on word processors for Linux. The list he'll be covering is in this week's column, so make sure to check it out for your favorite.
Progeny Debian GNU/Linux has thrown in its lot with GNOME as its default desktop. Michael Hall takes a quick look at some useful GNOME-oriented features of the distribution (recently released as version 1.0), discovers a source for GNOME 1.4 binaries for it, and issues a plea for assistance in finding the perfect GNOME support person for the upcoming Great Desktop Swap with Dennis Powell.
If the trend among Linux distributors reflects more and more disenchantment with the notion of selling Linux desktop installations, Linux developers seem happy to remain behind that particular curve. Dennis Powell argues that better typeface handling, better word processing, and better print support are all in the works, and that it's up to the distributors to take a step back and abandon the "one size fits all" distro.
Corel is planning a full release of Corel Linux OS Second Edition next week at LinuxWorld Expo, but you don't need to wait until then to see what Corel plans. Michael Hall provides a hands-on preview of this leading Linux distribution.