>Someone told me I could get Linux for $5 of the internet. But when I went
>to CheapBytes I was met with surprise (which later bubbled and melted into
>confusion) to find so many distributions of LINUX and so many combinations
>of distributions of LINUX.
Yup! Linux users generally like "freedom of choice"... a LOT. If one
distribution starts falling behind, or one distribution gets too
commercial, or... well, anyway there's lots of backups.
Quote:>Can anyone tell me the difference between the Red Hat 5.0 LINUX that they
>sell for $1.99 and the "Official Intel Red Hat 5.0 LINUX Release" they sell
>for about $30? Will I be missing anything (besides the manual, tech
>support, and 2 boot diskettes) if I just go for the $1.99 CD?
1. Don't discount that manual yet. If this is your first time
installing Linux, you're going to want either a manual, a printout of
that manual (expensive itself), or a second computer nearby to access
that manual on the web.
2. Red Hat has commercial softare:
a. MetroX - a good buy once, maybe, but XFree86 is getting quite a
bit better, and is often what you want to install even if you have
b. BRU - a commercial backup program... but I wouldn't use it.
tar, crontab, and their kin may be harder to learn than some cute
GUI commercial program... but they are just as versatile for
backups, can be used for dozens of other purposes as well, and
will be on every Unix you ever use.
c. Real Audio player and server... but the player is available for
free, and you probably won't be using the server.
I bought the commercial Red Hat myself, but just as much to say "thank
you" to the company as to take advantage of the extras.
Quote:>What is the difference between Slackware, Red Hat, and FreeBSD?
Slackware is an older Linux distribution, initially a favorite but
lagging behind Red Hat at the moment. They do have the dubious
advantage that configuration is done by hand-editing the files, so
you'll learn more with Slackware.
FreeBSD is a different, binary-incompatible version of i386 free unix.
Quote:>I just heard that some were easier to install than others. I expect
>to get the CD's soon but now I can't decide on which one to install.
Red Hat is reputed to be easier to install... but if you get RH 5, be
aware that it is the first Linux distribution to make a major upgrade,
and there are weeks of fixes at http://www.redhat.com/errata for
problems with that upgrade. New Red Hat CDs will have most of those
fixes already in place, but you'll want to drop by the page and check
to be certain.
Quote:>I'm afraid if I install one I won't be able to take advantage of what
>the others have to offer. And IF I install Red Hat will I be able to
>run Slackware applications?
Don't be afraid - any Linux distribution will be able to run the
programs of any of the others, usually by just dropping the program in
and running it. With Red Hat 5, you'll need to make sure the errata
fixes are installed to run some old programs, and you'll want to
recompile programs from other distributions for a slight performance
The only major differences between the distributions are in
installation, upgrading, and configuration.