"There are many Linux distributions to choose from these
days. In this roundup, I'm going to cover nine of them, but new
ones seem to crop up monthly. Due to time constraints, all of
the distributions covered here were installed from ISO images I
bought from CheapBytes, with the exception of TurboLinux 6.1, which
I downloaded and burned my own CD, and SuSE Linux, which I had the
full package here, courtesy of SuSE. Most of the distributions
offer various configurations of either desktop, developer, or
server versions, with prices varying depending on the package you
choose. Prices listed here are for the entry level product for each
"The test platform is a whitebox Pentium P166, with 80MB of RAM.
I allocated just under 1.5GB for each install. Hardware includes an
NCR chipset SCSI card, a 3Com NIC (network interface card), a
3-button serial mouse, and an ATI Mach 64 based video card. In all
cases, I chose to use dhcp to setup networking from my server,
which worked out quite well. Most of the installers had trouble
automatically probing my mouse, but were OK once I defined it
manually. All but one of the packages installed by booting from the
CD, after changing my BIOS setup to look at the CD first."
"I've included a comparison matrix of features at the end of
the article. Mentions of installed software refer only to what
is installed by default. In some cases I could not tell from the
data sheets, exactly how many CD's are in the package, hence the
"?" after the number. Chances are pretty good that there is much
additional software that can be added, on the included CD's."
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