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In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By bofadragon
Words 762
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Top 5 reason when considering Linux

There are several factors to consider when considering Linux. As with all systems there are pros and cons. Many users would argue that one Linux distribution is pretty much like another, at least on fundamentals. But when it comes down to everyday use, each distribution is different from the next.
1. Is the system 100% : open or not: Many people don't seem to know this question even exists. Average users may think that all Linux distributions are created equal, since they are released under the GPL. They are not. Some distributions are being released with proprietary drivers. In some instances, these are necessary. For example, for many laptops, getting wireless to work often requires the use of a proprietary driver. Because of this, some Linux distributions are opting to make the inclusion of proprietary drivers the user's choice. And many of these distributions are even offering downloads of free and non-free (with regards to licenses, not cost) drivers.
2. Package Management:
This is one of those areas where people begin to leap up on their soapboxes. RPM vs. Apt vs. dpkg vs. urpmi. Some would say that they are all fundamentally the same: Each has a command-line tool as well as a GUI front end, and each has a configurable repository system that can be edited by hand (via text editor) or through the GUI front end. I will argue (not that I have become a Ubuntu convert) that the Apt system is much better as a package management system. I say this because RPM has a tendency to be unable to resolve dependencies, as well as to muck up a system over time. But for the average user, the biggest (and probably most crucial) difference lies in the GUI front ends. Between managers like Synaptic and GnoRPM, there is no comparison. Even after nearly 10 years of working with Linux, I have never found a stable front end for RPM. Apt front ends, on the other hand, have enjoyed stability for a long time.
3. Directory Hierarchy:
This is one of those issues that has always befuddled me. There should be a standard that all distributions stick to. But as it stands, there is not. Take the init system (the initialization system). In Fedora-based systems, you will find this in /etc/rc.d/init.d. In Debian-based systems, you will find this in /etc/init.d. Even the Linux Standards Base does not define where the initialization system should lie. But you will still have your own personal standard. When moving from Fedora to Ubuntu, it took me a while to keep from typing /etc/rc.d/init.d/mysql start and typing /etc/init.d/mysql start. If you're used to one, either stick with it or anticipate a few "command not found" errors.

4. Desktop Environment:
Although you can install your desktop of choice, some users just want to install the OS and go. In that case, you will want to make sure you choose a distribution that focuses on the desktop environment you like. If you want GNOME, go with Fedora. You can check out this listing of distributions shipping with GNOME as the default. If you want KDE, check out this listing of distributions shipping KDE as the default. Of course, you are not limited to either GNOME or KDE. My preference is for Enlightenment. Some distributions ship with Enlightenment as the default, such as Elive and gOS.
5. Security:
Linux is a much more secure OS than most, although not all distributions are equally secure. In fact, there are distributions aimed primarily at security, such as Trustix, which claims to be the most secure of all Linux distributions. But truth be told, the most secure Linux distribution is the one that is properly configured. But if you want security "out of the box," the short list of distributions would include Trustix, Engarde Linux, and Bastille Linux
But keep in mind there are a few questions that might need to be addressed: 1. What type of OS would you like to have? 2. Are you purchasing the rights or leased? 3. Will this be on a dedicated server? 4. Will this system be upgradeable? 5. What current system are you running? 6. Are we changing network framework? 7. Will this system run along with another system? 8. Will there need to be training associated with linux system? 9. Will you need to have system monitored? 10. Will there be any service agreement with the new system?

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