When you want to play with Linux in almost every case, you will turn to a major distribution. A Linux-distribution (distro) is the basic GNU/Linux Operating System (the Kernel - for the latest kernel go to http://www.kernel.org) together with a list of programs that enhance it in many ways. You can even create your own distribution. As far as I know, there's no restriction whatsoever.

There are quite a lot of different GNU/Linux-distributions out there, each with their specific pro's and contra's. You should check them out for yourself to see which one suits you best.

There's an (almost) complete list of all GNU/Linux distributions at http://www.distrowatch.com.


Red Hat is the leader in development, deployment, and management of GNU/Linux and open source solutions for Internet infrastructure - ranging from embedded devices to secure Web servers. Red Hat is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, USA.


SuSE has been one of the best distributions, always supporting the idea of Open Source Development. SuSE's history -- almost as old as the GNU/Linux kernel itself -- makes it the oldest major GNU/Linux solutions provider.

slackwareSlackware Linux

The Official Release of Slackware Linux by Patrick Volkerding is an advanced GNU/Linux operating system, designed with the twin goals of ease of use and stability as top priorities. Slackware Linux provides new and experienced users alike with a fully-featured system, equipped to serve in any capacity from desktop workstation to machine-room server.

mandrakeMandrake Linux

Together with RedHat this is one of the best GNU/Linux distributions available. A very easy installation manager and several configuration tools gives the beginning GNU/Linux System Administrator a head start.


The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. This operating system is called Debian GNU/Linux, or simply Debian for short. Debian comes with over 3950 packages (precompiled software that is bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine) - all of it free. It's a bit like a tower. At the base is the kernel. On top of that are all the basic tools. Next is all the software that you run on the computer. At the top of the tower is Debian -- carefully organizing and fitting everything so it all works together.

Corel LinuxCorel Linux

Corel is a Debian-based distribution. It is a good installation set for the complete beginner.

calderaCaldera OpenLinux

Caldera International, Inc. is the leader in "Unifying UNIX with GNU/Linux for Business." Caldera enables the development, deployment and management of unified GNU/Linux and UNIX Internet solutions for business through its award-winning OpenLinux, Open UNIX and OpenServer product lines and services.

lfsLinux from Scratch

Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with the steps necessary to build your own custom GNU/Linux system.

lycorisLycoris Desktop/X

Lycoris Desktop/LX is designed with ease of use in mind. Lycoris Desktop/LX loads preconfigured for Internet access, financial management, multimedia, entertainment and more.

trustixTrustix Linux

This Norwegian company uses GNU/Linux to provide the community with a highly secure and very stable distribution. Maybe not that well known, but certainly suitable for companies who want to migrate their network to a whole GNU/Linux-enivornment.