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Refresher Course: The Free Unix Desktop

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Linux

I have been using a Mac at home since 2002. So, after a five year absence, I caught up on what’s changed on the free unix desktop. Here are some observations from an old unix geek that’s been away for awhile:

The horizon has changed substantially in the time I’ve been away. Back in the mid 90’s, for linux there was Redhat, Slackware, Debian, SuSE and a bunch of smaller distros. After them came a whole slew of Redhat and Debian based distros, and some brand new ones as well. Mandrake got big for a while. Yellow Dog was just about your only option if you had Power PC based hardware. I ran Brazilian distro Conectiva for a bit and thought it was very polished, but I spent most of my linux time on SuSE.

The linux landscape has really expanded. There are lots of new distros. Lots of distros based on old favorites, lots of entirely new distros and lots of distros based on what are new distros to me. I’ll just cut this short and say that there are a lot of choices if you’re interested in linux.

My first move was to download the latest .iso release of a Gentoo-based linux distro I had read a little about, Sabayon.

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