No doubt if you've been involved with open source operating systems for longer than a day you're familiar with two of the most popular Linux distributions: Red Hat and SUSE Linux enterprise. Here we'll help you fill in some blanks about the technologies. You'll get a history of Linux, Red Hat and SUSE Linux enterprise, and some best practices for installing, configuring and working with the systems. Use this information if you want to work with Linux in your own channel business, or if you're helping customers consider their options.
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"Linux (often pronounced LIH-nuhks with a short "i") is a Unix-like operating system that was designed to provide personal computer users a free or very low-cost operating system comparable to traditional and usually more expensive Unix systems. Linux has a reputation as a very efficient and fast-performing system."
Get the complete definition of Linux from WhatIs.com.
"In the 1980s and 1990s, while Microsoft flooded the world with personal computers running DOS and Windows operating systems, power users demanded more from an operating system. They ached for systems that could run on networks, support many users at once (multiuser), and run many programs at once (multitasking). DOS (disk operating system) and Windows didn't cut it. Unix, on the other hand, grew out of a culture where technology was king and marketing people were, well, hard to find."
Continue reading about the history of Linux in this excerpt from Christopher Negus's Fedora 5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Bible.
"No matter what version of Linux you use, the piece of code common to all is the Linux kernel. Although the kernel can be modified to include support for the features you want, every Linux kernel offer the following features: multiuser, multitasking, graphical user interface, hardware support, etc."
Get details about these and additional Linux features in this excerpt from Christopher Negus's Fedora 5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Bible.
Red Hat Linux
"Red Hat is a leading software company in the business of assembling open source components for the Linux operating system and related programs into a distribution package that can easily be ordered."
Get the complete definition of Red Hat from WhatIs.com.
"In September 2003, Red Hat, Inc., changed its way of doing business. That change resulted in the formation of the Red Hat–sponsored Fedora Project to take the development of Red Hat Linux technology into the future. But what does that mean to individuals and businesses that have come to rely on Red Hat Linux? With Fedora Core 5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, the promises Red Hat made to the open source community and to Red Hat's commercial customers have finally begun to solidify."
Read about the beginnings of the Fedora project and enterprise Linux in this excerpt from Christopher Negus's Fedora 5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Bible.
"To distinguish itself from other versions of Linux, each distribution adds some extra features. Because many power features included in most Linux distributions come from established open source projects (such as Apache, Samba, KDE, and so on), often enhancements for a particular distribution exist to make it easier to install, configure, and use Linux. Also, because there are different software packages available to do the same jobs (such as window managers or a particular server type), a distribution can distinguish itself by which packages it chooses to include and feature."
Get a thorough list of Fedora features in this excerpt from Christopher Negus's Fedora 5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Bible.
SUSE Linux enterprise
"SUSE (pronounced soo'-sah) is a German Linux distribution provider and business unit of Novell, Inc. Like Red Hat and Caldera, SUSE Linux enterprise assembles open source components for the Linux operating system and related programs into a selection of distribution packages that can be purchased."
Get the complete definition of SUSE from WhatIs.com.
"You can install SUSE in numerous ways. Different installation methods are useful in different circumstances. The most common and recommended installation method is to use the installation media provided with the boxed SUSE Linux product. This book focuses on installing SUSE Linux 10 through the CDs provided with the SUSE Linux product. Installing SUSE Linux using the DVD that is also provided in the boxed SUSE product follows essentially the same process, but with the added bonus of not having to switch CDs."
Read about some SUSE installation options in this excerpt from Justin Davies' The SUSE Linux 10 Bible.
"If you are installing SUSE for the first time on a new computer system, you have nothing to worry about [in terms of settings]. If you are installing SUSE on an existing computer system on which you need to preserve existing data, double check your settings before proceeding."
Get a complete step-by-step guide on configuring SUSE 10 in this excerpt from Justin Davies' The SUSE Linux 10 Bible.