Linux Distribution Sources

upLinux Distribution Sources
DistroWatch.com One of the problems a person interested in getting into Linux faces is the huge number of different distributions (which Linux afficiandos call distros). Keeps up with the multitude of the latest versions of Linux – including links to downloads, forums, documentation. An excellent site for finding the right Linux for your purposes.
Linux Distribution Chooser A test to help aid newcomers in finding a distribution to use.
LinuxTracker Source for bittorrent downloads of Linux distributions.
uTorrent “uTorrent was written with efficiency in mind. Unlike many torrent clients, it does not hog valuable system resources – typically using less than 6MB of memory, allowing you to use the computer as if it weren’t there at all. Additionally, the program itself is contained within a single executable less than 170 KB in size.”
ibiblio Linux Distributions A good source for fast downloads (in US and especially in NC) of Linux distributions.
upMajor Linux Distributions
debian.org “Debian GNU/Linux provides more than a pure OS: it comes with more than 8710 packages, precompiled software bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine.” Here is a freeDebian GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
Fedora (Red Hat) Linux The OS version of Red Hat Linux provider – with links to many Linux resources.
Freespire “Combines the best that free, open source software has to offer (community driven, freely distributed, open source code, etc.), but also provides users the choice of including proprietary codecs, drivers and applications as they see fit.”
Knoppix “Knoppix is a GNU/Linux distribution that boots and runs completely from cd. It includes recent linux software and desktop environments, with programs such as OpenOffice.org, Abiword, The Gimp, Konqueror, Mozilla, Apache, PHP, MySQL and hundreds of other quality open source programs.” Often used as a “rescue CD” for damaged file systems (including Windows!). Here is a HOWTO on“System recovery with Knoppix.” Here is a nice free pdf book on“Knowing Knoppix.”
Kubuntu Ubuntu, but with KDE instead of Gnome.
openSuse.org “The openSUSE project is a worldwide community program sponsored by Novell that promotes the use of Linux everywhere.” Here is a setup tutorial for Suse 10.1 from HowtoForge.
Ubuntu “Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support.” Principally intended as a desktop. Uses Gnome as GUI. With FAQs and WIKISee a review here. Now available in a server version.
easyUbuntu “EasyUbuntu is an easy to use (duh!) script that gives the Ubuntu user the most commonly requested apps, codecs, and tweaks that are not found in the base distribution – all with a few clicks of your mouse.”
Ubuntu Forums Useful support forum for Ubuntu. For example, this configuation howto.
Unofficial Ubuntu Guide Helpful notes on using the latest release of Ubuntu.
upSpecialty Linux Distributions
Damn Small Linux “A business card size (50MB) Live CD Linux distribution. Despite its minuscule size it strives to have a functional and easy to use desktop. Damn Small Linux has a nearly complete desktop, including XMMS (MP3, and MPEG), FTP client, links-hacked web browser, spreadsheet, email, spellcheck (US English), a word-processor, three editors (Nedit, nVi, Zile [emacs clone]), Xpdf, Worker (file manager), Naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC), VNCviwer, SSH/SCP server and client, DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE, a web server, calculator, Fluxbox window manager, system monitoring apps, USB support, and soon it will have PCMCIA support as well. If you like Damn Small Linux you can install it on your hard drive. Because all the applications are small and light it makes a very good choice for older hardware.” (From DistroWatch)
Inside Security Rescue Toolkit “INSERT is a complete, bootable linux system. It comes with a graphical user interface running the fluxbox window manager while still being sufficiently small to fit on a credit card-sized CD-ROM.”
Instalinux Create a custom hands-free Linux install image – based LinuxCOE
Lamppix “A Linux Live CD booting a webserver. LAMPPIX allows you to burn your web projects (i.e. PHP presentations or Perl scripts) onto a CD-ROM and give them away to others. They will only have to insert the CD and reboot — if you configured LAMPPIX right (and this is really easy!) they can view your project.”
SYSLINUX “SYSLINUX is a boot loader for the Linux operating system which operates off an MS-DOS/Windows FAT filesystem. It is intended to simplify first-time installation of Linux, and for creation of rescue and other special-purpose boot disks.”
SystemRescueCd “SystemRescueCd is a Linux system on a bootable cdrom for repairing your system and your data after a crash. It also aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the partitions of the hard disk.”
Topologi-linux “Topologilinux is a free Linux distribution to be run on top or inside your existing windows system. The main thing with Topologilinux is that it does not require any partitioning at all. (uses a single file as linux root system) Topologilinux is therefore very easy to install.”
Trinity Rescue Kit “Free CD bootable Linux distribution aimed specifically at offline operations for Windows and Linux systems such as rescue, repair, password resets and cloning. It has custom tools to easily recover data such as deleted files, clone Windows installations over the network, perform antivirus sweeps with 2 different antivirus products, reset windows passwords, read AND write on NTFS partitions, edit partition layout and much much more.”
Vyatta “A complete, ready-to-deploy, open-source routing & firewalling solution that makes it possible for anyone to own an enterprise-class router / firewall.”
upLinux Reference Sites
DesktopLinux.com “This site features news, opinions, HOWTOs, FAQs, product previews/reviews, a discussion forum, and a resource directory, all primarily focused on using — or learning to use — Linux as a desktop operating system.”
Everything Linux Miscellaneous Linux articles
JustLinux.com News and articles on Linux for the Linux novice
Knoppix.net “Knoppix.net is a resource for users, developers, and testers of Knoppix.”
Librenix News and articles on Linux
Linux.Com “A place for individuals of all experience levels to learn (and teach) the power and virtues of the Linux Operating System.”
Linuxdevcenter.com Many useful articles – from O’Reilly – source of quality computer book titles.
LinuxDevices.com Lots of info on Linux devices
LinuxElectrons News and articles on Linux
Linux Format News and articles on Linux (from our cousins in the UK)
Linux Forum “Linux Forum is a large community of Linux users, developers and enthusiasts that are here to help each other with FREE Linux Support, Linux Questions, Linux Help, Linux Problems, and anything else related to Linux.”
Linux Forums Forum, information on Linux software, and many Linux reviews and articles
Linux Journal Excepts from a Linux-specific magazine, many of the articles are of interest to other Unix users
Linux-mag.com Linux magazine with some good articles, for example on the find command.
Linux Online Lots of info on Linux
linuxpipeline News and articles on Linux
Linux Planet News and articles on Linux
Linuxquestions.org Many articles, reviews, and forums about downloading and installing Linux distros – a valuable resource.
LinuxSecurity.com News and articles on Linux security issues
Linux Today News and articles on Linux
Linux-Watch Lots of news on Linux
LinuxZoo.net “Learn Linux from the safety of your chair using a remote private linux machine with root access.”
LiveCDNews Lists and categorizes live Linux distros, with links to articles about same
LiveDistro Another site that lists and categorizes live Linux distros, with links to articles about same
LXer Linux News New/articles on Linux
Mad Penguin News and articles on Linux
OSdir Open Source and Linux news & software
Reallylinux.com Another Linux novice site
ReviewLinux.com “Reviews of the various Linux distributions”
Slashdot “Don’t fear the Penguins” – news and articles for Linux users
tuxmobil.org “Dedicated to Linux On Mobile Computers. It leads you to a lot of useful hands-on information, HOWTOs, and FAQs about installing and running Linux, BSD, Solaris and other UniXes on laptops, notebooks, PDAs, mobile cellular phones, portable music players, wearables and other mobile computer devices.”
LinuxLinks “Reviewers at LinuxLinks list the latest Linux sites through exhaustive searches on the net.”
GNUman.com A few useful articles.
What’s the story with the penguin? The origin of Tux.
upLinux HOWTOs/Docs
Linux Howtos “Howtos are written by anyone who has advice to give on a certain topic – It may be an expert in the field, or just someone who has solved a particular problem and wants to share the solution. Howtos form part of the Linux Documentation Project.”
Linux Clues Twenty+ Linux howtos, as for instance a guide to Lost Linux Passwords
Linux Documentation Project Free, high quality documentation for the Linux operating system
Alphabetical Directory of Linux Commands “Click on any of the 515 commands below to get a description and list of available options.”
IBM Linux Tutorials Many free tutorials and LPI certification practice test
LowFatLinux A Linux tutorial “for people who want to learn the basics of using Linux (and thereby Unix) without getting bogged down in too much detail or technobabble.”
Linux Home Networking Includes a very thorough “Linux Networking” ebook.
The Linux Cookbook “Tips and Techniques for Everyday Use” – now also available in printed, i.e., book form.
Linux Tutorial “A practical UNIX tutorial designed to get you up to speed as a UNIX/Linux user.”
Computer First Aid Using Knoppix Rescue Windows data using Knoppix
Newbie Adventures in Knoppix and Fedora A grandmother rescues Windows data using Knoppix! With no previous experience of Linux!
Soup To Nuts Some useful Linux howto articles
“Knowing Knoppix” Knowing Knoppix is a FREE beginner-friendly book designed to help with these situations: You can’t start Windows! Disaster? Possibly not. It is often possible to rescue files using Knoppix from crashed Windows computers, even when Windows cannot be started. This guide takes you step by step through the process. You are curious about Linux, and you want to discover what all the fuss is about. You want a useful guide to help you get started with Knoppix.
Linux FAQs Documents which describe in detail various aspects of configuring or using Linux
Security Quick-Start HOWTO for Linux “An overview of the basic steps required to secure a Linux installation from intrusion. It is intended to be an introduction.”
Ntfsresize “The free Ntfsresize utility non-destructively resizes the NTFS filesystem of Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, Windows NT4 and Longhorn. All NTFS versions are supported, used by 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. No defragmentation is required prior resizing.”
How to Repartition Hard Drive without Reformatting A Linux how-to using Mephis 3.3
Linux Network Administrator’s Guide On-line book
Linux Newbie Administrator’s Guide On-line book
HowtoForge HowtoForge provides discussion forums and howto articles on OpenSource software.
Linux Home NAT Firewalls/Routers Information “Various floppy and hard drive based Linux NAT firewall products”
This Old Box “People say Linux can make old machines useful. Can it really? In this new series, Peter Seebach takes a busted laptop and … builds a household appliance that actually does something worthwhile.”Another, newer article on the same subject.
NdisWrapper Your wireless card not working in Linux? NdisWrapper may very well be the solution to your problem.
Getting Your WireLess NIC Working with NdisWrapper “Walks you through the compiling, installing and configuring a Windows based PCMCIA WireLess Network card using the Open Source NDIS Wrapper Device Driver.”
Wireless LAN resources for Linux “The Linux Wireless LAN Howto is an Open Source project sponsored by Hewlett Packard.”
Copying Windows to a new drive, using Linux “This guide will show you how to copy an existing installation of Windows (or any other OS) from one drive to another – as long as the destination drive is the same size or larger. This is a free and relatively easy method that will create a clone of your current hard disk, without having to buy any third party software.” Recent HOWTO – April 2005.
USB Drive Saved by Linux USB Drive Ruined by Windows – Saved by Linux
Linux XDMCP HOWTO “Describes how you can use the combination of X Display Manager (xdm, kdm and gdm) and XDMCP (X Display Manager Control Protocol) to provide a solution for the X-Terminal and to provide a platform of efficient Remote X Apps environment.”
linsec.ca “linsec is a collection of articles and documents detailing security on Linux in particular, but also on any other *NIX-ish operating system (ie. OpenBSD, Mac OS X, etc”
John Murray’s Homepage Some useful Linux HOWTOs, such as “Building the Lo-Fat Linux Desktop” – a newbies guide to building a fast desktop system that will perform well on older hardware..
Linux From Scratch “Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with the steps necessary to build your own custom Linux system.” Free online/downloadable book.
A Guided Tour of a Linux Boot “The firmware and software programs output various messages as the computer and Linux come to life. These notes attempt to help clarify what routines and devices are doing.”
How does Linux boot? A higher-level treatment of the topic.
Parallelize Linux system services to improve boot speed “This article shows you how to improve the boot speed of your Linux system without compromising usability. Essentially, the technique involves understanding system services and their dependencies, and having them start up in parallel, rather than sequentially, when possible.”
Tuning Apache and PHP “Compilation of tips on how to optimise Apache on Linux for PHP and CGI programs”
FastCGI “FastCGI is a language independent, scalable, open extension to CGI that provides high performance without the limitations of server specific APIs.”
High Performance PHP with IIS: Using FastCGI “FastCGI processes are persistent as they are reused to handle multiple requests. This solves the CGI performance problem of creating new processes for each request. In benchmarks, you can expect a x4 to x8 improvement in performance compared to plain-old CGI.”
Learning guide: Linux tools Short list of a number of Linux tools/whitepapers.
Easy Firewall Generator for IPTables “This program generates an iptables firewall script for use with the 2.4 or later linux kernel. It is intended for use on a single system connected to the Internet or a gateway system for a private, internal network.”
Automatic Backups with rsync and Anacron “How to quickly set up your computer for simple, hassle-free, and transparent backups using only rsync and cron (or Anacron).”
upLinux Software
Open Source Software Educational Society “Online self-study training resource with a special emphasis on scripting languages, computer security issues, Linux Certification, non-trivial sysadmin tools”
TUCOWS Linux Guide to 1000’s of Linux software applications & games
RPM.pbone.net Missing an RPM? Find it here fast!
OpenOffice.org “Mission Statement: To create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format.” Available for Windows and Linux. Now includes a database (named BASE) that stores its data in XML (reads and writes Access, DBase, and MySQL files.
freshmeat.net A Linux software repository carrying a complete set of applications for almost any purpose.
sourceforge.net “The world’s largest development and download repository of Open Source code and applications.”
Apache Server Project The Apache project is an effort to develop and maintain an open-source HTTP server for various modern desktop and server operating systems.
XAMPP “An easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use – just download, extract, and start.”
Web Servers: Apache An Apache news and tutorials from ServerWatch.com
Gimp “The GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.”
Inkscape “Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.”
vsftpd “vsftpd is a GPL licensed FTP server for UNIX systems, including Linux. It is secure and extremely fast. It is stable.”
rdesktop A Remote Desktop Protocol Client for accessing Windows Terminal Services from Linux/Unix
Rsync “rsync is an open source utility that provides fast incremental file transfer. rsync is freely available under GPL.”
Rsync mirroring howto How to use rsync
Clam AntiVirus “Clam AntiVirus is a GPL anti-virus toolkit for UNIX. The main purpose of this software is the integration with mail servers (attachment scanning). The package provides a flexible and scalable multi-threaded daemon, a command line scanner, and a tool for automatic updating via Internet.”
Webmin “Webmin is a web-based interface for system administration for Unix. Using any browser that supports tables and forms (and Java for the File Manager module), you can setup user accounts, Apache, DNS, file sharing and so on.” Here is a forum discussion of setting up Webmin under Ubuntu.
osCommerce Free! “The leading Open Source online shop e-commerce solution that is available for free under the GNU General Public License. It features a rich set of out-of-the-box online shopping cart functionality that allows store owners to setup, run, and maintain their online stores with minimum effort and with no costs, license fees, or limitations involved. osCommerce is able to run on any PHP 4.1+ enabled web server running on Linux, Solaris, BSD, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows environments.”
Zen Cart “A free, user-friendly, open source shopping cart system. The software is being developed by group of like-minded shop owners, programmers, designers, and consultants that think e-commerce could be and should be done differently. Some “solutions” seem to be complicated programming exercises instead of responding to users’ needs, Zen Cart™ puts the merchant’s and shopper’s requirements first. Similarly, other programs are nearly impossible to install and use without an IT degree, Zen Cart™ can be installed and set-up by anyone with the most basic computer skills. Others are so expensive … not Zen Cart™, it’s FREE!” Implement in PHP, Apache and MySQL.
High-Availability Linux Project “Linux-HA provides basic high-availability (failover) capabilities on a wide range of platforms, supporting thousands of mission critical sites all over the globe.”
ploticus “A free, GPL, non-interactive software package for producing plots, charts, and graphics from data. It runs on various Unix, Linux, and win32 systems. ploticus is good for automated or just-in-time graph generation, handles date and time data nicely, and has basic statistical capabilities.”
Cygwin “Cygwin is a Linux-like environment for Windows. It consists of two parts: 1) A DLL (cygwin1.dll) which acts as a Linux API emulation layer providing substantial Linux API functionality and 2) A collection of tools, which provide Linux look and feel.”
Project Cyrus “The Cyrus Electronic Mail Project is continuing to build a highly scalable enterprise mail system designed for use in a small to large enterprise environments using standards based technologies. The Cyrus technologies will scale from independent use in small departments to a system centrally managed in a large enterprise.”
Xen ” Xen is a virtual machine monitor for x86 that supports execution of multiple guest operating systems with unprecedented levels of performance and resource isolation.”
cabextract “Free Software for extracting Microsoft cabinet files, also called .CAB files, on UNIX or UNIX-like systems.”
LFT Layer Four Traceroute, is a sort of ‘traceroute’ that often works much faster (than the commonly-used Van Jacobson method) and goes through many configurations of packet-filter based firewalls. (Binaries available for Linux and Windows.)
AWStats “A free powerful and featureful tool that generates advanced web, streaming, ftp or mail server statistics, graphically. This log analyzer works as a CGI or from command line and shows you all possible information your log contains, in few graphical web pages.”
Openadaptor.org “A Java/XML-based software platform which allows for rapid business system integration with little or no custom programming. Openadaptor can be loosely classified as EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) software. It is highly extensible and provides many ready-built interface components for JMS, LDAP, Mail, MQ Series, Oracle, Sybase and MSSQL Server as well as data exchange formats such as XML.”
GParted LiveCD “The CD aims to be fast, small in size, and use minimal resources to get that disk partitioned the way you want it. GParted LiveCD is based on Slackware Linux and uses Xfree86’s Xvesa, the lightweight Fluxbox window manager, and the lastest 2.6 Linux Kernel.”
Ghost for Linux “Ghost for Linux is a hard disk and partition imaging and cloning tool similar to “Norton Ghost”(c) and ™ by Symantec. The created images are optionally compressed, and they can be stored on a local hard drive or transferred to an anonymous FTP server. A drive can be cloned using the “Click’n’Clone” function. g4l supports file splitting if the local filesystem does not support writing files >2GB. The included kernel supports ATA, serial-ATA, and SCSI drives. Common network cards are supported. It is packaged as a bootable CD image with an ncurses GUI for easy use.”
upLAMP
OnLAMP.com LAMP is an Open Source web platform consisting of MySQL used in conjunction with Linux, Apache, and either Perl, Python, or PHP. This is the O’Reilly site with many articles and resorces.
Setting up LAMP Platform Short, simple guide to setting up LAMP.
Lamppix “A Linux Live CD booting a webserver. LAMPPIX allows you to burn your web projects (i.e. PHP presentations or Perl scripts) onto a CD-ROM and give them away to others. They will only have to insert the CD and reboot — if you configured LAMPPIX right (and this is really easy!) they can view your project.”
XAMPP “An easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use – just download, extract, and start.”
WAMP5 “WAMP5 installs automatically Apache 1.3.31, PHP5, MySQL database, PHPmyadmin, and SQLitemanager on your [Windows 2000 and above] computer. It’s principal aim is to allow you to easily discover the new version of PHP : PHP5. WAMP5 comes with a service manager installed as a tray icon. It allows you to manage WAMP5 and access all services.”
upConverting to Linux – Running Win Progams under Linux
Successfully making the transition to GNU/Linux Although this article from April 2003 is obviously somewhat dated, it does clearly layout the three major issues that those considering switching to a Linux desktop from Windows should consider – motivation, expectations, preparations.
Choosing an upgrade path from Windows 98 “This article outlines a strategy to avoid costly upgrades from Windows 98 to Windows XP (in terms of both hardware and software), by upgrading to Linux, instead. Basically, the article provides a “how-to” on using some of the existing software that currently runs on Microsoft Windows, combined with a number of freely available Linux applications.”
Why and when open source products best Microsoft “In part one of this two-part column, I’ll cover problems I’ve had with proprietary software and my take on the total cost of ownership (TCO) debate. In part two, I’ll talk about what I consider to be Microsoft’s unethical practices and when not to use open source software.”
Why Open Source Software? “This paper provides quantitative data that, in many cases, using open source software / free software is a reasonable or even superior approach to using their proprietary competition according to various measures.”
demosoftware.net Equivalents / replacements / analogs of Windows software in Linux
The Cathedral and the Bazaar “Two fundamentally different development styles, the ‘cathedral’ model of most of the commercial world versus the ‘bazaar’ model of the Linux world … these models derive from opposing assumptions about the nature of the software-debugging task … a sustained argument from the Linux experience for the proposition that ‘Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow,’ suggest productive analogies with other self-correcting systems of selfish agents, and conclude with some exploration of the implications of this insight for the future of software.”
Move on to Linux A page to get you started.
Linux Migration Quick Reference “This site gives you the nuts and bolts view of how to get things going in Linux in the shortest amount of time.”
Colinux “Cooperative Linux is the first working free and open source method for optimally running Linux on Microsoft Windows natively. More generally, Cooperative Linux (short-named coLinux) is a port of the Linux kernel that allows it to run cooperatively alongside another operating system on a single machine.”
Topologi-linux “Topologilinux is a free Linux distribution to be run on top or inside your existing windows system. The main thing with Topologilinux is that it does not require any partitioning at all. (uses a single file as linux root system) Topologilinux is therefore very easy to install.”
VMware Server “VMware Server installs on any existing server hardware and partitions a physical server into multiple virtual machines by abstracting processor, memory, storage and networking resources, giving you greater hardware utilization and flexibility.” Run multiple versions of Windows, Linux, etc., simultaneously – requires lots of RAM, disk space, and fast processor. See this article on VMware for Wikipedia.
Wine HQ “Wine is an Open Source implementation of the Windows API on top of X and Unix [& Linux]. Think of Wine as a compatibility layer for running Windows programs. Wine does not require Microsoft Windows, as it is a completely free alternative implementation of the Windows API consisting of 100% non-Microsoft code, however Wine can optionally use native Windows DLLs if they are available.”
WINE in Linux migration strategies “This whitepaper by Codeweavers COO Jon Parshall and CEO Jeremy White takes a detailed look at the potential value of WINE (“Wine Is Not an Emulator”) as an ingredient in a strategy for enterprise migration from Windows to Linux desktops.”
Linux equivalents of Windows apps Open source alternatives to proprietary applications, known as the “Table of Equivalents/Replacements/Analogs of Windows software in Linux.”
Linux Client Migration Cookbook “For anyone who is exploring or planning for a Linux desktop migration. Provides in-depth detail on the technical and organizational challenges. Includes methods for planning and implementation.”
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Indian Organization using FOSS(Free and open source software)

The IT @ School project of Kerala replaced Windows software with
FOSS on 50,000 desktops in schools across the state. Tangible
benefits amounted to Rs 490 million ($ 10.2 million1).

○ Great Market , a large e-commerce firm, adopted
FOSS for servers, MIS development, document management and for
desktops. The savings from desktops alone came to Rs 3 million ($ 63
thousand).

○ Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), one of the largest insurers in India,
with an IT infrastructure of 3500 servers and 30,000 desktops, saved
about Rs 420 million ($ 8.75 million) by adopting FOSS.

○ The New India Assurance company, a general insurance firm, having
1100 offices, and an IT infrastructure of 1500 servers and 7000
desktops saved about Rs 800 million ($ 16.67 million) in tangible and
intangible costs.

○ GGG  is a medium-sized e-commerce solutions IT firm
that relies heavily on FOSS. GGG saved about Rs 3.6 millions ($ 75
thousand) by using FOSS on its desktops.

○ IT for Change is an NGO with about 30 employees. They use FOSS
extensively on all their servers and desktops and estimated tangible
savings of about Rs 0.12 million ($ 2.5 thousand) per annum (on an IT
budget of Rs 2.1 million ($ 44 thousand)).

○ IIC (affiliated with Delhi University) is an institution of higher
education that has adopted FOSS. The tangible and intangible benefits
for an infrastructure of 100 desktops and 5 servers is about Rs 1.75
million ($ 36 thousand).

○ JustDial has more than 200 servers with its mission-critical Intranet and extranet applications running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The company currently employs 3,000 in its work force and has more than 100,000 SME advertisers.Executives used to attend close to a total of 2,50,000 calls per day

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Build Your Own Linux Distro

If you find yourself making the same adjustments each time you install a new distribution, it’s worth creating your own customised version.

We’re used to thinking of Linux distributions being set in stone. They’re either KDE or Gnome, use a certain kernel and bundle certain applications. But this doesn’t have to be the case. If you find yourself making the same adjustments each time you install a new distribution, it’s worth creating your own customised version. Revisor is a tool that lets you do just this, and in this tutorial, we’ll show you how…

Update: And don’t feel left out if you’re a Windows user. Check out our tutorial about how to build your own Windows. And if you’re a die hard Linux fan, check out our guides to cluster computing in Linuxand booting into Linux over a network, Finally, if you want an even flashier way to put together a distro, why not use SUSE’s tools and build it online?

1. Install Fedora

The Revisor tool has been a part of the Fedora distribution for the last few releases. This means you can use any of these versions to create your own Linux distribution, although we’d recommend using the latest – Fedora 10. Installation is very straightforward, and shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve installed any other version of Linux from the last two years.

After installing the operating system, the only other prerequisite is the Revisor application itself. This can be installed by clicking on the Administration menu, selecting ‘Add/Remove software’ and searching for a package called revisor. Click ‘Apply’ and accept the additional packages that need to be installed.

However, there is one step that is vital to success, and that’s updating Fedora to include the very latest patches. You can do this using the Update tool in the Administration menu. This is required because the version of Revisor that was bundled with Fedora 10 was broken, and this won’t create a workable Live CD. You need to either use an older version, or update your 10 installation to use the fixed version of Revisor.

2. Disable security

After installation, Revisor can be found in the Applications | System Tools menu. Click on the icon and enter your root password. If you see an SELinux error, you will need to change a security setting for your system. SELinux is an ultra-tight Linux security system that keeps a close eye on what certain application can and can’t do. Revisor falls out of its remit, so you need to change its level of protection to Permissive.

To do this, load the SELinux Management application from the System | Administration menu and change the Current Enforcing mode to Permissive. When you launch Revisor again, the error will have disappeared.

3. Getting started

From the Revisor main window, click ‘Get Started’. You now have to decide how your new distribution will be booted. You can choose between the standard installation and Live media. The first option is a good choice if you’re planning to install your own version of Fedora on many different machines, for example, in an office. The DVD or CD you create will let you install your own distribution, complete with your own set of applications, without any prompting. If you want to create your own distribution for personal use, then the chances are you’ll find the Live media types more useful.

This creates either a Live CD/DVD or a USB stick installation of your distribution, and you’ll be able to boot into your desktop from either of these installations by simply inserting the media into your PC. As with any Live media, you’ll be able to work on your desktop and use the applications you choose, but your distribution won’t touch the host machine’s hard drive. This is a great solution for Internet cafes or college PCs. We’ve opted for the Optical media type installation, as we find this is the most flexible.

4. Repository information

Click on the ‘Forward’ button to bring up the package repository configuration page. This lists the sources for the packages that are going to be installable for your distribution, as well as the packages for a specific hardware type. These are decided by the option to the right of Configuration Section to Use, and by default this is set to the most generic option – f10-i386. If you want to build your Linux distribution for a different platform, such as Intel 64-bit or PowerPC, then you will need to use a version of Fedora running on that hardware. You can’t build a distribution for an architecture different from the one which Revisor is running on.

Other than system architecture, another option you might want to change is the Destination Directory. This is where the final image for your distribution will be built. Beneath this option, you will see a list of the repositories that are going to be used for pulling the packages you want to include in your distribution. We disabled all but the simple Fedora repository.

5. Package management

Skip the page titled Load Kickstart Data. The step after this is the most important because it’s where you get to choose the packages that are going to be installed on your own distribution. Not only will this selection define what can and can’t be done with your distribution without any further modification, it will also define exactly how big your distribution is going to be. That’s important if you want to fit everything onto CD.

If you do need to keep package size to a minimum, then we’d recommend opting for the XFCE desktop environment, rather than the fatter Gnome or KDE options. These are ideal choices if you want a more powerful environment, but you’ll need a DVD’s worth of capacity to make the distribution useful. You should also install everything listed in the base category, as these packages are needed to create a functional environment. By default, the Package Selection screen only displays groups of packages, rather than individual selections. If you want to install GIMP, for example, you need to switch to the Search view and type ‘gimp’ into the find field. You can then select the package from the results list. You should consider installing a web browser (Firefox), a word processor (OpenOffice.org), a music player (Amarok or Rhythmbox) and a video player (totem).

6. Distro configuration

You now have the opportunity to fine-tune your distribution to your liking. The first page is the most important, as this lets you define your language and keyboard layout, as well as the root password for your Live system. You can ignore the kernel parameters and the authentication page, although you should also add a single default network device on the following page and leave the firewall enabled for safety. You may also want to create a default user account.

When you’re happy with your customisations, click on the ‘Forward’ button. Revisor will calculate dependencies (those packages that are required to make your selection work), and tell you how much space your distribution is going to use. If this is too much for your install medium, you will need to click ‘Back’ and remove some of the packages you’ve selected.

7. Composition

A basic installation of XFCE and GIMP took up around 700MB in our example. Clicking ‘Forward’ one more time will start the compilation process. This consists of 11 separate steps.

 

  1. Packages are downloaded
  2. The file system is created
  3. Packages are installed
  4. The system is configured
  5. Networking is configured
  6. The RAM file system is created
  7. The system is relabelled
  8. The bootloader menu is installed
  9. File systems are unmounted
  10. The kernel image is compressed
  11. The ISO image is created

 

The speed with which all of this is accomplished is obviously dependent on the number of packages you’ve chosen, the speed of your Internet connection and the capabilities of your machine. But to give you a ballpark figure, our Intel Core 2 Duo 6400@2.13GHz machine took around 90 minutes to build a 700MB-sized distribution.

8. Burn the disc

After the generation of the file has completed, you will find the final ISO located in a ‘/srv/revisor’ subdirectory (as long as you didn’t change that earlier). Our file was hidden in the Live folder, and called Fedora-10-Live-i386.iso. You need to burn this file to a blank CD, and you can do this from within Fedora by right-clicking on the ISO file and selecting ‘Write to disc’. You have to be careful with ISO images, as you don’t want to mistakenly write them as a single file to a new disc. You need to make sure they’re used as an image to copy the contents from the ISO file onto the disc.

9. Give it a spin

When the burning process has finished, you’re ready to launch your freshly squeezed Linux distribution. Insert the disc into the optical drive of your machine and reboot. You will also need to make sure that your system is configured to boot from the optical drive, either through your system BIOS or by a boot-time device selection menu.

This article originally appeared in Issue 279 of PC Plus.

Graham Morrison

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0diggsdigg

I think everybody should try also SUSEstudio, which does everything that the revisor does and a lot more, It is still at alpha but I found it very usable.

www.susestudio.com

Create a Persistent, Bootable, and Virtualized Linux USB Drive with LiLi

Live Linux USB drives are often the go-to tool for virus removal and file recovery, but what if you want to install software on your drive without rebooting? Here’s how with the LinuxLive (LiLi) USB Creator.

We have shown you how to create a bootable Linux flash drive in the past, and even how to do it directly from an existing ISO. These methods still work great, but if you want added features like drive persistence and the ability to open your Linux OS under Windows with Virtualbox, LiLi is the easiest way to go.

Download and Install LiLi

To get started, download the latest version from the link below.

Go through the installer and change the installation location or language settings if you need to.

Once the installer finishes launch the application.

Install Linux to Your USB Drive

LiLi is broken up into steps for you to follow from top to bottom as you select options for your installation.

Step one is to choose your USB drive or portable hard drive for installation.

If you drive is currently formatted in NTFS you will get this popup. Just make sure you check the box to format the drive to FAT32 in step four.

In step two you can choose to use an existing ISO/IMG/Zip file, a Linux CD, or download an ISO file from a list of supported distributions.

LiLi will check your ISO file to make sure the file is good.

Step three will let you select how much space you want for your drive to be persistent.  This will take a significant amount of space on your USB drive, but if you want to be able to save installed programs or files between reboots, it is a necessarily trade off.

OS updates will use up your persistent space, so don’t update often unless you have a lot of available space.

Step four has an option to hide all of the files related to the live Linux distribution in Windows. This won’t affect the files in any way; you just won’t see them when you browse your drive under Windows so long as you have the “show system files” option turned off in explorer.

Enable launching LinuxLive in Window to download portable VirtualBox and allow you to install programs without needing to reboot.

Finally, step five lets you create your new USB drive. Click the lightning bolt to begin.

If your drive is going to be formatted you will be warned ahead of time.

You will be updated about the status of your USB creation in the step five window.

Once the drive is done being created, a browser will open showing you how to use your new USB drive and a finished notice will be shown in the LiLi program.

Virtualizing Your Linux Drive

Once everything is installed, open an explorer window and navigate to your USB drive. Double click VirtualBox\Virtualize_this_key.exe to launch portable Virtualbox running the OS installed on your drive.

If you chose to hide the files, you won’t see any files on your drive except for the ones you will need to.

Virtualbox will open and start your portable OS.

You can install software, updates, or create files from the virtual OS and the changes will stay even after rebooting. EDIT: Our wonderful readers pointed out that LiLi does not recommend using persistence with portable VirtualBox.

You can also boot from your USB drive just like normal.

If you get an error about VirtualBox not starting make sure the portable VirtualBox and installed VirtualBox versions are the same. Otherwise you may get conflicts about the modules not loading in Windows.

LinuxLive USB Creator

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AIX Linux Admin Add to shortlist

Maxim India Integrated Circuit Design Pvt Ltd. – Bengaluru/Bangalore

The System Administrator will be responsible for the installation, maintenance, usage and administration of AIX/Linux servers and attached Storage for a 24 x 7, multi-site enterprise. The Administrator will perform server & storage installation, allocation…

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Yesterday from: naukri.com

Linux Systems Administration Add to shortlist

Persistent Systems Limited – Pune

Infrastructure (Linux administration) management… At least 4 years exp in Linux – Preferably RHCE Certified… Good Knowledge on Configuring H/W in Linux environment… Should lead a tech support team and should be capable of preparing team shifts/schedules…

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Today from: Monsterindia.com

Linux Embedded Developer Add to shortlist

SigmaEdge Software Consulting Private Limited – Hyderabad

Wor king Experience Minimum 5Years… Good understanding of static and dynamic Routing protocols such as RIP… Worked in Linux environment for past 3years… Bridge and net filter modules in Linux STP, VLAN… Gateway features such as NAT, DHCP Server/Client/Relay..