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Updated: Sunday, February 8, 2009
  • Linux Distribution Sources
  • Popular Linux Distributions
  • Security/Rescue Linux Distributions
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  • Linux Docs/HOWTOs
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  • LAMP
  • Converting to Linux
  • upLinux Distribution Sources
    DistroWatch.comOne 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.
    LinuxTrackerSource 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 DistributionsA good source for fast downloads (in US and especially in NC) of Linux distributions.
    upPopular 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 free Debian GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
    Fedora LinuxThe Open Source version of Red Hat Linux - with links to many Linux resources.
    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."
    KubuntuUbuntu, but with KDE instead of Gnome.
    Mageia"Mageia is a fork of Mandriva Linux formed in September 2010 by former employees and contributors to the popular French Linux distribution. Unlike Mandriva, which is a commercial entity, the Mageia project is a community project and a non-profit organisation whose goal is to develop a free Linux-based operating system." (From DistroWatch
    Linux Mint"Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution whose goal is to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback, Java and other components. It also adds a custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, and a web-based package installation interface. Linux Mint is compatible with Ubuntu software repositories." (From DistroWatch
    openSuse.org"The openSUSE project is a worldwide community program sponsored by Novell that promotes the use of Linux everywhere."
    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 WIKI. See 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 ForumsUseful support forum for Ubuntu. For example, this configuation howto.
    Unofficial Ubuntu GuideHelpful notes on using the latest release of Ubuntu.
    upSecurity/Rescue Linux Distributions
    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."
    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."
    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."
    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 LinuxMiscellaneous Linux articles
    JustLinux.comNews and articles on Linux for the Linux novice
    Knoppix.net"Knoppix.net is a resource for users, developers, and testers of Knoppix."
    LibrenixNews 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.comMany useful articles - from O'Reilly - source of quality computer book titles.
    LinuxDevices.comLots of info on Linux devices
    LinuxElectronsNews and articles on Linux
    Linux FormatNews 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 ForumsForum, information on Linux software, and many Linux reviews and articles
    Linux JournalExcepts from a Linux-specific magazine, many of the articles are of interest to other Unix users
    Linux-mag.comLinux magazine with some good articles, for example on the find command.
    Linux OnlineLots of info on Linux
    linuxpipelineNews and articles on Linux
    Linux PlanetNews and articles on Linux
    Linuxquestions.orgMany articles, reviews, and forums about downloading and installing Linux distros - a valuable resource.
    LinuxSecurity.comNews and articles on Linux security issues
    Linux TodayNews and articles on Linux
    Linux-WatchLots of news on Linux
    LinuxZoo.net"Learn Linux from the safety of your chair using a remote private linux machine with root access."
    LiveCDNewsLists and categorizes live Linux distros, with links to articles about same
    LiveDistroAnother site that lists and categorizes live Linux distros, with links to articles about same
    LXer Linux NewsNew/articles on Linux
    Mad PenguinNews and articles on Linux
    OSdirOpen Source and Linux news & software
    Reallylinux.comAnother 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.comA 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."
    OnLAMP.comLAMP 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.
    Linux CluesTwenty+ Linux howtos, as for instance a guide to Lost Linux Passwords
    Linux Documentation ProjectFree, 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 TutorialsMany free tutorials and LPI certification practice test
    LowFatLinuxA 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 NetworkingIncludes 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 KnoppixRescue Windows data using Knoppix
    Newbie Adventures in Knoppix and FedoraA grandmother rescues Windows data using Knoppix! With no previous experience of Linux!
    Soup To NutsSome 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 FAQsDocuments 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 ReformattingA Linux how-to using Mephis 3.3
    Linux Network Administrator's GuideOn-line book
    Linux Newbie Administrator's GuideOn-line book
    HowtoForgeHowtoForge 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.
    NdisWrapperYour 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 LinuxUSB 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 HomepageSome 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 toolsShort 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 LinuxGuide to 1000's of Linux software applications & games
    RPM.pbone.netMissing 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.netA 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 ProjectThe 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: ApacheAn 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."
    rdesktopA 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 howtoHow 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.
    osCommerceFree! "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."
    LFTLayer 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 (tm) 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
    Web server setup, Ubuntu Server, LAMP, Webmin, and Virtualmin"Over the past few years I have experimented with different web server setups. I have found that the combination Ubuntu, LAMP (Linux, Apache, Mysql, and PHP), Webmin, and finally Virtualmin provide many advantages in my day to day workflow as a web developer. This setup provides me with an easy to use and easy to maintain web server that lessens the time spent configuring the server and increases my time programming. Here are my step by step instructions for setting up my favorite server configuration."
    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."
    WampServer"WampServer is a Windows web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache2, PHP and a MySQL database. Alongside, PhpMyAdmin allows you to manage easily your databases."
    upConverting to Linux - Running Win Progams under Linux
    Successfully making the transition to GNU/LinuxAlthough 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.netEquivalents / 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 LinuxA 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 appsOpen 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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