Everything about comparing Unix variants like Linux distributions, BSD family and others. Try to be specific about what you need; otherwise your question might be closed.

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72
votes
9answers
27k views

Why would someone choose FreeBSD over Linux? [closed]

Why would someone choose FreeBSD over Linux? What are the advantages of FreeBSD compared to Linux? (My shared hosting provider uses FreeBSD.)
70
votes
19answers
11k views

Which GNU/Linux distribution for a 12-year old system?

I have a 12-year old Toshiba Libretto laptop with a Transmeta Crusoe Processor TM 5600 running at about 600 MHz, 128 MB RAM and S3 Savage graphics. Which Ubuntu (or any other GNU/Linux based ...
53
votes
15answers
5k views

How do you choose a distribution? [closed]

I'm currently looking at putting a Linux (although BSD is still an option) distribution on my old laptop. However, I'm not sure how to wade through all of my options - rolling releases versus not, ...
37
votes
2answers
4k views

What do different BSDs have in common?

... and what are the differences between them? I formulated my question like this to make it clear I'm not interested in a flamewar of opinions, rather in an objective comparison between the different ...
31
votes
9answers
34k views

Linux distribution geared towards developers [closed]

I am looking for the best flavor of Linux that would appeal to the developer's side of me. I am a lover of open source and use several different languages. Is there such a thing as a Linux geared ...
20
votes
4answers
598 views

Linux solution for schools?

The school I'm working for as an administrator requested a system upgrade. Currently we are using a government-suggested Linux distribution called SuliXerver - it would be great, but most of the admin ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Are there any Linux distros aimed specifically at being Linux tutorials?

Are there any Linux distributions that come pre-loaded with hands-on, guided tutorials or other learning software aimed at teaching a new user how to work with Linux? I'm aware that some distros are ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Advantages of Debian over Ubuntu

What are the main advantages of using Debian instead of Ubuntu?
14
votes
10answers
2k views

What linux is best suited for people new to computers?

What would be the easiest linux for people who are new to computers? The computers here have 256Mb RAM with 40GB hard-disks. UPDATE: Most of them apparently have more than 265MB of RAM with some ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Distro- lightweight and easy to install

Ubuntu was too slow on my computer and Arch installation had many problems too. Which distro do you recommend to me that's lightweight as well as easy to install?
11
votes
9answers
4k views

What is the smallest possible Linux implementation?

What are the bare minimum components for a Linux OS to be functional, and that I can use as a base to expand and improve as I learn Linux and my understanding and needs grow?
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Gentoo versus Funtoo [closed]

I've heard that Funtoo is a somewhat improved version of Gentoo, but I haven't been able to find any concrete sources for this. Funtoo's website says this: Funtoo Linux features native UTF-8 ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Good distro for a VM?

I want a lightweight Linux VM that I can run with VirtualBox on Windows so I can test how to deploy PHP apps, Mono apps, etc. I don't need the UI and was thinking of going with the Ubuntu server ISO. ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

How can I build a custom distribution for running a simple web browser?

You'll have to forgive me, as I'm relatively new at doing something like this, but I need to do the following and I know that it has and can be done. Basically, a few friends and me are assembling ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the Linux distro ranking based on number of packages?

I am looking for hard data for at least top 10 Linux distro or (better) an address of a web page which keeps such data and (maybe) updates it from time to time (after all repositories are public to ...
11
votes
5answers
18k views

What is the most compatible Linux distribution for MacBook Pro?

Here's the minimal requirements: two-fingers movement on touchpad for scroll using the lower-powered GPU as default card sleep on lid close some key (control or command) + LMB for RMB ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Looking for tools to build minimal linux desktop

Increasingly I am dissatisfied by the fact, that configuring my linux desktop usually means removing bloat instead of adding and tweaking features. I have come to the conclusion that I would rather ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is Perl installed by default with most Linux distributions?

Just curious. The title says it all: Why is Perl installed by default with most Linux distributions?
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Which BSD to start with?

So I've been a linux user since June 2008. My first distro was Ubuntu. I've tried OpenSuSE, Fedora, Mandriva, Linux Mint, Puppy Linux, Damn Small Linux and Arch Linux, and I was thinking about giving ...
10
votes
5answers
732 views

Which minimal but extendable Linux distribution to choose

I need an extendable Linux distribution which I can easily reduce in size so much that it fits into a 64 mb CF card. In this stripped version it will run on a Via C7 and needed is Kernel, ...
8
votes
7answers
988 views

What live distribution is well-suited for presentations? [closed]

My students often use the classroom projector screen to give presentations, usually using PowerPoint, but sometimes they show pre-recorded presentations in SMPlayer. The classroom computer is ...
8
votes
4answers
700 views

Understanding different Linux Distros

I'm having a little bit of confusion when understanding linux based OS's. When I download the newest version of Mint and Ubuntu, aren't they the "same" at their core (kernel)? It just seems that they ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there any *real* reason to use BackTrack?

I have heard of BackTrack, never used it, don't see the point. It doesn't use something that can read my mind and install the packages I am thinking about, it just uses apt-get. The other thing is, I ...
7
votes
6answers
626 views

Linux for low-end hardware and internet browsing

I'm going to host an event where we have ~15 computers with low-end hardware. I think the computers got 256 MBs of RAM, 5 GB of storage and a 300 MHz Intel CPU. We've been running DSL on the ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Ubuntu vs Debian for server

What would be a better choice for a web server, Debian or Ubuntu? I mainly use Python & PostgreSQL with Nginx and sometimes PHP & MySQL. What are pros/cons of each?
7
votes
3answers
219 views

Linux/Unix variant for training system administrators

Is there a Linux/Unix based operating system used for training sysadmins? Some bugs would be deliberately included in the system and the training candidate is supposed to solve all of them. It should ...
7
votes
3answers
9k views

Which *nix distro is most lightweight for running virtual machines? [closed]

EDIT: This question was expanded to include other Unix-like distros such as Hurd and BSD. Before anyone wonders, I did read related questions and answers; I think I have a sufficiently unique ...
7
votes
4answers
807 views

Lightweight custom linux build

I am looking for a Linux build that takes up very little memory to boot up. I don't need any of the UI modules. I need help on choosing from the ones currently available or pointers on building my ...
7
votes
2answers
328 views

Straightforward Linux Clustering

We have many unused PC machines and we would like to use them to set up educational lab for high performance computing applications. Which Linux distribution is the most convenient to set up and easy ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Run entire OS from flash drive

I am looking for a distribution that can run the entire OS from a flash drive. This question is NOT about being simply able to boot and/or run OS from a USB stick: what I am looking for is a ...
6
votes
1answer
653 views

A minimal POSIX conformant operating system

For educational purposes, I'd like to start with a POSIX compliant base, including a shell, basic utilities, and an ANSI C compiler, then see what kind of environments I can build by putting packages ...
6
votes
1answer
13k views

Best Linux Distribution for Scientific Computing? [closed]

I recently bought a new laptop to be used for scientific research when I'm at home. The machine has Intel i7 processor with 8 cores, 4 GB of RAM, and a graphic card from Nvidia (2 GB, Ivy Bridge). The ...
6
votes
3answers
439 views

I want my Ubuntu 9.04/9.10 back, is there any current similar distro?

I was switching to Linux in the optimal time, around Ubuntu 9.04/9.10. I am a programmer, so I don't want to be a "Linux guru", that's why Ubuntu was perfect for me - until Unity/Gnome3. In latest ...
6
votes
3answers
668 views

What distributions work out of the box with tablet computers?

I recently got my hands on a tablet computer. I tend to at least dual boot my systems. While doing some research about tablet computing and *nix most of the information was from the 2004-2008 era ...
6
votes
3answers
17k views

FreeNAS versus a regular (CentOS/Ubuntu) linux server?

I'm looking to build a medium sized (6TB, mini ITX board) server for personal use. Most importantly, it will serve as a seedbox and will store a whole lot of data. I will be accessing the data over my ...
6
votes
3answers
897 views

Are there any Linux distributions specifically designed for netbooks?

I have been using Ubuntu Netbook edition for the past two years now (it merged with regular ubuntu at some point, and I'm using the default environment: Unity). I need something faster, more ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Linux distro that supports touchpads and acpi on Macbook Pros

I've had a Macbook pro for 1 year running OSX, but I really miss Linux. I read plenty of docs but I never got a useful answer to the following questions: How's the autonomy with ...
5
votes
11answers
2k views

What is a free, small Unix/Linux OS? [closed]

I have a spare machine with an 80GB HDD and 512 MB RAM. I want to try a Linux distro that's very small (and free too). What should I try?
5
votes
9answers
1k views

Unix without a GUI for old machine

I have been given my father's old computer, which currently runs Windows 95 and has a 133-MHz processor, a Pentium(r) according to "My Computer". It seems a shame to recycle it when it works so well ...
5
votes
4answers
943 views

Is Gobolinux active any more?

Today I hear about existence of a revolutionary distro named Gobolinux. I am very interested and excited about it (in particular its file structure). Unfortunately it is not updated for a while. ...
5
votes
3answers
473 views

Distro for a startup?

We run a small start-up in the SaaS industry. About half of our current staff are developers using their own laptops with various Linux distros (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora) with a few exceptions of ...
5
votes
2answers
365 views

Linux distro for a developer

I am mainly using Linux for programming. I basically started with Archlinux and Manjaro and I kinda like it. What I really like is the package management. It has a huge collection of new software and ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Linux on pendrive? Which distro to use? [closed]

Terms regarding the OS: Must be installed on pendrive It must contain software for office use Need to save files, GUI settings on it (auto) So I'm not searching for a LiveCD. What could be the ...
5
votes
5answers
341 views

looking for light weight Linux for a old 104 pc [closed]

I am looking for a light weight Linux for a PC that runs at 200 Mhz with 256 Megs of RAM. I was thinking maybe Lubuntu, as the system requirements state it needs at least a Pentium 2 generation with ...
5
votes
1answer
701 views

Where on the Web can I find a comprehensive list of rolling-release Linux distros?

I'm asking as I've looked for such & can't find a comprehensive list. Feel free to post any less-well-known rolling distros, but I'm really looking for a comprehensive list. I'm thinking of ...
5
votes
2answers
259 views

Debian-based distros that have a regular release cycle

Are there any Debian based distributions that have a regular release cycles besides Ubuntu or Linux Mint? I'm running Squeeze right now and I really like the Debian ecosystem and package system. ...
5
votes
2answers
260 views

Any other distro offer like Ubuntu Software Centre?

I want to know does any other linux disto offer anything close to Ubuntu Software Centre? Some of the features I like about it is A) Sandboxing B) Ability to search any of the libs/apps with ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Help with OS choice for High Performance Computing

I have been using Ubuntu 10.04 for 2 years now and honestly, I am somewhat bored of Linux and wish to explore Unix (or Unix Like) now. I don't want a dumbed down version (like Ubuntu) anymore and want ...
5
votes
3answers
247 views

Creating linux distro for use during exam

I'm thinking about creating a liveCD having some linux on it. The distro (let's call it Exam OS) is meant to be used by students during an exam and should be, at least, unpleasent to bypass. Let's ...
5
votes
3answers
735 views

Small Linux distro with Ruby

I have been using Puppy Linux for basic Linux needs, however now I would prefer one that has Ruby included, so that it does not have to be downloaded. I would prefer a small distro that can run from ...