The Operating System

Well, this is obviously our the first brick of our "Open Infrastracture". Among all free OS available today, we've choosen Linux, which finally is the title of this site. But wich distribution ? You don't have to know Linux very well to be informed that there are a lot of various distributions delivering a Linux OS. A distribution will deliver the Linux kernel and all that is needed to boot a server but also a lot of supplemental applications doing a lot of things like web servers, database servers, graphical desktops or office applications.
The most used distributions are :
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Suse Linux Enterprise, for which a paying subscription is needed. This is a RPM based distribution supported by commercial organizations: Red Hat Inc. for the first and Novell for the later.
  • Fedora Linux, which is a community project supported by Red Hat which can be installed freely. The current Fedora version usually gives an overview of what the next RedHat Enterprise Linux will be.
  • CentOS or OpenSUSE which are free community version of RedHat Enterprise and Suse Linux Enterprise, this means that a community of developper as rebuild and repackages all the Open Source components of these two commercial distribution, proposing a free and totaly compatible alternative to them. For instance in CentOS 5 you have exactly the same Open Source software at the same version level and with the same back-ported patches than in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • Debian which is a free community maintained distribution using his own package format, DEB.
  • Ubuntu which is based on Debian and deliver a desktop version as well as a server version. Note that the Ubuntu-server distribution offer more choice of Debian package to install, and because she is updated more quickly offer more recent version of software than a pure Debian distribution (security updates happen at the same speed on both distribution, there is no difference