Linux Distribution HOWTO (part 1/2)

Linux Distribution HOWTO (part 1/2)

Post by Matt Wel » Sat, 24 Dec 1994 12:29:04

Archive-name: linux/howto/distribution/part1
Last-modified: 28 Jul 94

  The Linux Distribution HOWTO
  by Matt Welsh,
  v2.1, 10 July 1994

  This document lists the various software distributions and services
  available for Linux via mail order, anonymous FTP, and other sources.

  1.  Introduction

  There is no single distribution of the Linux software. Instead, there
  are many such distributions, available both via anonymous FTP and mail
  order on floppy, tape, or CD-ROM. This document is an attempt to
  present information on many of the available distributions of Linux.
  This document also contains information on many miscellaneous services
  and goods available for Linux, ranging from consulting and support to
  T-shirts and virtual beer.

  The purpose of this document is to provide short summaries of the many
  Linux distributions and mail-order services, and to provide pointers
  for the reader to find more information. You shouldn't base your
  decision of which Linux distribution to use based soley on this

  This is a PRELIMINARY version of the Distribution HOWTO. It is far
  from complete; there are many more Linux distributions and services
  than are listed here. Unfortunately, I have not received submissions
  from many of the organizations providing these services. Please see
  Section 4 at the end of this document for information on making a
  submission. It's easy and fun and won't take you five minutes.

  1.1.  New versions of this document

  New versions of this document will be posted periodically (about every
  month) to the newsgroups comp.os.linux.announce and
  comp.os.linux.misc. The document is archived on a number of Linux FTP
  sites, including in pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO.

  In the future, this document is going to be replaced by a Linux
  Buyer's Guide that I am working on. This will contain reviews of each
  of the major Linux distributions and a list of all distributors.  In
  the meantime, keep those submissions coming.

  1.2.  And so on...

  Please see section ``New comp.os.linux.announce Policy'' at the end of
  this document for information on how to make submissions to this

  Disclaimer: I make absolutely no guarantee as to the correctness of
  the information, prices, and ordering details given in this document.
  Several of the entries in this HOWTO are a bit outdated; check the
  last modified field of each to get an idea. Furthermore, unless
  otherwise stated the Linux software comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.

  I do not endorse or work for any of the distributors listed in this
  document. I merely include their information here as a service to the
  Linux community, as a ``buyer's guide''. Inclusion in this document
  does not mean that I recommend any of the products listed here.

  The entries for each distributor are included as they sent them to me.
  I am not responsible for any spelling errors or mistakes in the
  content of this document; most of the entries here have only been
  edited to a limited extent by myself.

  Feel free to mail any questions or comments about this HOWTO to Matt

  And now for the good stuff.

  2.  Linux Software Distributions

  This section describes complete distributions of Linux software,
  available either via anonymous FTP or from mail order.

  In each of the following entries, my own comments are followed by the
  information from the distributors themselves. You may safely disregard
  anything I say. :)

  An oft-recurring question in the Linux world is, ``What distribution
  should I choose?'' This is not an easy question to answer: It depends
  greatly on your needs and available resources.

  The current de facto standard distribution is the Slackware release.
  Slackware is easy to install and fairly complete.  It's also more or
  less up-to-date with current versions of Linux software. The Linux
  Installation HOWTO documents installation of Slackware. I personally
  recommend Slackware for most new Linux users.

  However, if you have a CD-ROM drive, you have more distributions to
  choose from. I haven't personally reviewed most of them, and you're
  more likely to get help from people on the Net for distributions such
  as Slackware (which is available freely on the Net, as well as on CD-
  ROM). On the other hand, some CD-ROM distributions come with
  documentation and support of their own.  All I can say is that a good
  number of people have had success installing and using the Slackware

  The Debian distribution is currently under development. I have had a
  chance to play with the beta versions of Debian and it looks very
  promising. It is being developed and maintained in a semi-closed team
  of people (instead of by a single individual), so we hope that once
  Debian matures it will grow into the "standard" Linux distribution,
  and the matter will be closed.

  The bottom line is that there's no easy way to pick a distribution out
  of the air. My own suggestion is to use Slackware. Other people will
  suggest MCC-Interim, TAMU, and others based on their own experience.
  By way of disclaimer, I don't use Slackware myself (in fact, I don't
  use any standard Linux distribution), but I have installed it for
  testing purposes.

  2.1.  Slackware Linux Distribution

        Patrick Volkerding,

        Slackware Linux is a full featured distribution of the Linux
        operating system designed for 386/486 computers with a 3.5"
        floppy. Slackware changes rapidly, but here's a current
        (partial) feature list:

        A series (14 disks):
           Base Linux 1.0 kernel OS and utilities.  Networking, UUCP,
           gcc/g++ 2.5.8, libc 4.5.24, and more.

        E series (5 disks):
           Emacs 19.22.

        F series (1 disk):
           FAQs, HOWTOs, and other documentation.

        OI series (3 disks):
           ObjectBuilder 2.0 for X.

        X series (5 disks):
           Base XFree86 2.1 X windows system with fvwm.

        XAP series (2 disks):
           X windows applications such as seyon and ghostview.

        XD series (3 disks):
           X windows program/server development.

        XV series (2 disks):
           XView 3.2 release 5, Open Look Window Manager.

        Y series (1 disk):
           Games from BSD, such as "hunt".

        The home site is, where the latest distribution
        can be found in /pub/linux/slackware.  To make it easy to
        download, the disks can also be found pre-zooed in
        /pub/linux/zooed_slackware. (Zoo is just a compression utility
        for MS-DOS).

        FTP only, although various independent distributors provide it
        on disk, floppy, and CD.

     Entry last modified:
        5 Nov 93.

  2.2.  MCC Interim Linux

  The current MCC-Interim release is based on 0.99.pl10, which is quite
  robust. If you are one of those people who demands to be on top of the
  current release, you'll need to upgrade your kernel (easy to do) and
  possibly your version of GCC and libraries. However, I see no reason
  why 0.99.pl10 shouldn't be good enough, at least to get you started.

        Dr. A. V. Le Blanc,

        Base Linux installation. Complete sources and patches for all
        included software are available. Full details vary from release
        to release; see /pub/linux/mcc-interim/*/Acknowledgements at Roughly: this includes the kernel (with source),
        C, C++, groff, man pages, basic utilities, networking. The
        binaries fit on 6 or 7 floppies. It is also possible to have
        them on a DOS or Linux partition on a hard drive (plus one
        floppy) or on an NFS-mountable partition (plus two floppies).
        New versions appear at 2-3 month intervals, depending on various

        By anonymous ftp from; mirrored at,, and elsewhere.  At, in

        Suggestions and contributions are welcome.

     Entry last modified:
        31 Oct 93.

  2.3.  TAMU Linux Distribution

        Dave Safford, Texas A&M University,

        TAMU.99p12+ is the latest release in the TAMU linux series.
        Unlike previous releases, this one includes both integrated
        source and binary sets, with the entire binary set created from
        a single top level source make. This ensures that all programs
        are compiled and linked with the same current tools and
        libraries, and guarantees availability of working source for
        every program in the binary set. In addition, the new boot
        diskette fully automates the installation process, including
        partitioning, lilo bootstrapping, and network configuration.
        Installation requires no rebooting, and requires the user to
        know only the host's name and IP address. At every step of
        installation, the program provides intelligent defaults, making
        it a snap for novices, while allowing experts full flexibility
        in setting installation parameters. Reliability has been
        improved over past TAMU installation by the use of labels on all
        disk images, so that the program can detect and recover from bad
        or misordered diskettes.

        This release is a full featured package, including XFree86-1.3,
        emacs-19.18, net-2, bootutils, and sources for all installation
        programs (without any use restrictions :-).

        The latest TAMU release is available by anonymous ftp from


read more »


Linux Distribution HOWTO (part 1/2)

Post by Matt Wel » Sat, 24 Dec 1994 12:29:23

Archive-name: linux/howto/distribution/part2
Last-modified: 28 Jul 94

---This is part 2/2---

        For order information, send mail to  Cost is $6.50
        per set and domestic shipping in included.  Overseas orders must
        send payment in US funds and add $1 for shipping.  Texas
        residents add sales tax (6).

     Entry last modified:
        11 Nov 1993.

  3.16.  Wizvax Communications

        Richard Shetron (,
        Stephanie Gilgut (,

        We sell modem and terminal cables for multi-port serial boards
        (mainly the Boca Research BB2016, BB1008, BB1004 and the
        IOAT66).  We also sell multi-port serial boards.  We can supply
        other products and services, please ask.  We are looking into
        writting drives for one or more of the intelligent serial boards
        (probably COMTROL first and perhaps others).


          email:  (orders only, please)
          (automatic response robot)

                  phone:  (518) 271-6005 (US) 9am-9pm M-sa.
                  Fax:    available soon
                          Wizvax Communications
                          1508 Tibbits Ave.
                          Troy, NY 12180 USA

        Send for a catalog (see addresses above).  Send orders to
        address's listed above.  Payment can be personal/company check,
        US Postal Money Order, Money Order, or Bank check.  Orders will
        not be sent until payment clears.  Inquire about PO's.

     Miscellaneous: does a nightly uucp mail exchange.  Email may
        bounce till 05/20/94 as the name servers are being setup.

  4.  Submissions to this document

  Here's information on how to make submissions to this docuement, and
  on the policy that we are using for postings to comp.os.linux.announce
  regarding commercial and mail-order announcements.

  4.1.  New comp.os.linux.announce policy

  One of the purposes of this document is to present short summaries of
  the many Linux distributions in a compact form for new users to browse
  over. This document is not merely a concatenation of the various
  announcements of Linux distributions and the like.

  Another purpose of this document is to remove some of the
  `advertisement' traffic from the newsgroup comp.os.linux.announce.
  The moderators of c.o.l.a (as well as many of the readers) feel that
  those people who are re-distributors of Linux distributions which they
  do not maintain should not be allowed to post periodic advertisements
  in c.o.l.a.... after all, c.o.l.a is for announcements important to
  the Linux community; it is not a moderated sales board.

  Therefore, if you are distributing Linux software which you do not
  maintain, the only way that you will be allowed to post information to
  c.o.l.a is through this HOWTO. Information on submitting entries to
  this HOWTO is given below. (To submit a posting for c.o.l.a, mail it
  to  Exceptions are given below.

  Here's an example. If you are, for example, reselling the SLS
  distribution of Linux on floppies via mail order, the first time that
  your mail-order service is available, you may post an announcement to
  c.o.l.a. Thereafter, you must submit an entry in this HOWTO, which
  will be periodically posted to the newsgroup. Only in the event that
  you do something dramtically new with your service will you be allowed
  to post to c.o.l.a about it.  (`Dramatically new' does not include
  changing your prices or the versions of the software that you
  distribute. The moderators have the final say on just what
  consititutes `dramatically new'. :) ) The purpose of this is to reduce
  the number of periodic postings from people who are using c.o.l.a as
  an electronic billboard.

  However, if you maintain and organize your own distribution of Linux
  (whether it be available for anonymous FTP, mail order, or both), then
  you will be allowed to post to c.o.l.a whenever you release a new
  version. You will not be allowed to make periodic postings about your
  distribution, in order to `advertise' it every month; only when a new
  version is released will you be allowed to post to c.o.l.a about it.
  Of course, you should include information on your distribution in this

  I hope that this policy is not too confusing; the one basic rule is
  that we won't permit postings to c.o.l.a which are merely
  advertisements for your distribution or mail order service. The
  posting must include new information which is of interest to the Linux
  community at large. Remember that c.o.l.a postings are archived on; once your posting is out of the news spool it is not
  gone forever.

  4.2.  How to submit an entry for this HOWTO

  I encourage anyone and everyone who maintains a Linux distribution or
  mail order service (or consulting service, and the like), to submit
  information on their service to this HOWTO. It's easy and fun, and
  it's free advertising. This document is posted to many places and is
  archived (see the next section).

  4.2.1.  Types of submissions

  We are interested in submissions for:

  o  Complete distributions of Linux software, available either via
     anonymous FTP, UUCP, or mail order. By `complete distribution' we
     mean any set of software which can be used to build a complete
     Linux system from scratch.

  o  Layered products or individual software packages available only via
     mail order. If your software package is available via anonymous
     FTP, chances are people can find it. Software products only
     available via mail-order include commercial things such as Motif,
     and any other commercial software ported to Linux.

  o  Any other LINUX-SPECIFIC goods available via mail order, such as
     Linux-specific books and documentation, T-shirts, and assorted

  o  LINUX-SPECIFIC services such as telephone or e-mail consulting and
     technical support. This category also includes miscellany such as
     development contracts.

  If the number of submissions for services and layered products is
  large, I'll create a separate HOWTO for these items.

  4.2.2.  How to submit

  To submit an entry to this HOWTO, please send mail to with the following information. This `format' is
  not machine-parsable; any of the fields may be any length that you
  wish, but I'd like to keep each entry down to, say, 50 lines.

        Name of service or distribution

        Name of company, person, etc. who distributes/maintains the
        service or distribution

        Description of the distribution or service that you provide. If
        this is a software distribution, please include information such
        as what software is included, versions, general overview of
        installation, requirements, and so on.

        Where your service or distribution is available. This can be an
        FTP site (including directory pathname, please), a mailing
        address, phone number, e-mail address, etc.

        How to order your distribution or service, if applicable.
        Include prices, shipping information, methods of payment, etc.

        Anything else that you find relevant.

  Please keep your entry as short as possible. If you need to include
  extensive information, please make a reference to where one can FTP or
  mail to get more information on your distribution; these entries are
  only meant to be POINTERS to where one can find information on your
  service or distribution.

  If you provide more than one service or distribution, please use

  Some things (such as books, t-shirts, etc.) won't fit exactly into
  this entry; just be sure to include all relevant information. In other
  words, this "entry form" is simply the bare minimum that you must
  include in your submission to the Distribution-HOWTO; feel free to
  change, add, or leave out "fields" as you see fit.

  I will more than likely edit your entries to some degree if I find any
  irrelevant information, or if the entry is overly verbose.  Otherwise
  the content should remain the same.

  When making submissions to the Distribution-HOWTO, you grant implicit
  permission for me to use the entries in other materials, such as books
  from the LDP, and other online documents. For example, information
  from the Distribution-HOWTO may be included in a published Linux book.
  If you do not want me to include your entry in materials other than
  the Distribution-HOWTO, please say so.

  4.3.  Acknowledgements

  Thanks to Bill Riemers, who produced the first version of the
  Distribution HOWTO and provided helpful advice. Also, thanks to all of
  the people who have contributed to this document. I hope that future
  releases of this HOWTO will be useful to the Linux community;
  unfortunately, gathering information on the many services out there is
  a difficult task. Your contributions make this task much easier.