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A Linux distribution, often simply distribution or distro, is a member of the Linux family of Unix-like computer operating systems. Such systems are built from the Linux kernel and assorted other packages, such as the X Window system and software from the GNU project. Distributions optimized for size tend to use more compact alternatives like busybox, uclibc or dietlibc. Since the kernel and supporting packages are free software / open source, Linux distributions have taken a wide variety of forms — from fully-featured desktop and server operating systems to minimal environments such as typically for use in embedded systems, or for booting from a floppy. Aside from certain custom software such as installers and configuration tools a "distro" simply refers to a particular assortment of applications married with a particularly compiled kernel, such that its "out-of-the-box" capabilities meets most of the needs of its particular enduser base. There are currently over three hundred Linux distribution projects in active development, constantly revising and improving their respective distributions. One can distinguish between commercially-backed distributions, such as Fedora (Red Hat), SUSE Linux (Novell), Ubuntu (Canonical Ltd.) and Mandriva Linux and community distributions such as Debian and Gentoo. In the early days, a would-be Linux user was required to be something of a Unix expert, not only knowing what libraries and executables were needed to successfully get the system to boot and run, but also important details concerning configuration and placement of files in the system. Linux distributions began to appear soon after the Linux kernel was first used by individuals outside the original Linux programmers. They were more interested in developing the operating system than they were in application programs, the user interface, or convenient packaging. Users were attracted to Linux distributions as alternatives to the DOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems on the PC, Mac OS on the Apple Macintosh and proprietary versions of Unix. Most early adopters were familiar with UNIX from work or school. They embraced Linux for its
or an alternative to that chosen by the distribution. this approach requires local compilation. The package is typically provided as compiled code. GNU tools and libraries. If the additional software is distributed in source-only form. the 'state' of the local system may fall out of synchronization with the state of the package manager's database. If so. Most of the included software is free software/open-source software which is distributed by its maintainers both as compiled binaries and in source code form. . A typical desktop Linux distribution comprises a Linux kernel. window manager. a collection of fonts. a window system. Other software included with some distributions may be proprietary and may not be available in source code form. or a web browser. with installation and removal of packages handled by a package management system (PMS) rather than a simple file archiver. low cost. if additional software is locally added. particularly for new users. Most distributions install packages. to check that all dependencies of a package are fulfilled and/or to fulfill them automatically. it is normal for local administrators to install software not included in the distribution. the local administrator will be required to take additional measures to ensure the entire system is kept up to date. Package management Distributions are normally segmented into packages.stability. The distributions were originally simply a convenience. but today they have become the usual choice even for UNIX or Linux experts. The package management system can evaluate this metainformation to allow package searches. Each package contains a specific application or service. Although Linux distributions typically contain much more software than proprietary operating systems. Each package intended for such a PMS contains meta-information such as a package description. in a predetermined configuration. and a desktop environment. Linux also has proven more popular in the server market. The package manager may no longer be able to do so automatically. Few now require or even permit configuration adjustments at first install time. and "dependencies". version. including the kernel and other core operating system components. additional software. Examples of packages include a library for handling the PNG image format. and for the availability of the source code for most or all of the software included. than in the desktop market. to perform an automatic upgrade to a newer version. documentation. primarily for Web and database servers. This makes installation less daunting. allowing users to modify and compile the original source code if they wish. However. An example would be a newer version of a software application than that supplied with a distribution.
configured." This honesty can worry potential users who have been told otherwise in marketing claims of other operating systems. Not all do so. Designed and even certified for specific hardware and computer architectures. including a distribution's designer. or through inclusion of many music production or scientific computing packages. The permissive licensing of free software means that any user with sufficient knowledge and interest can customize an existing distribution or design to suit his or her own needs. Targeted at regular users or power users. and local administrators are often obliged to spend time reviewing and reconfiguring assorted software.but is not always acceptable. and philosophical variation amongst vendors and users. 7. Designed for enterprise or for home usage. General purpose or highly specialized toward specific machine functionalities. Commercial or non-commercial. Designed for servers. 2. desktops. Broadly. avoiding a distribution altogether. for example through language internationalization and localization. 4. to work correctly with other software. This can be done via compilation on another system capable of building binaries for the intended target possibly by cross-compilation. The diversity of Linux distributions is due to technical. network routers. Note that such adjustments are typically site-specific and it is not possible for anyone. 3. It is possible to build such a system from scratch. compiled. Linux distributors differ from most operating system vendors in not claiming that "no administration is required. organizational. or to be secure. to configure the software provided to meet individual requirements. and computer clusters. and installed locally. By replacing everything provided in a distribution. One needs a way to generate the first binaries until the system is self-hosting. for example firewalls. Targeted at specific user groups. or embedded devices. an administrator may reach a 'distributionless' state: everything was retrieved. 5. Some distributions go to considerable lengths to specifically adjust and customize most or all of the software included in the distribution. Linux and its distributions require its users/operators/owners to perform system administration. Some distributions provide configuration tools to assist in this process. 6. Linux distributions may be: 1. much software must be carefully configured to be useful. Technical variations include support for different hardware devices . For specific requirements. As with all operating systems.
servers or routers. a Red Hat derivative popular in France and Brazil. which also provides a community version in the form of Fedora CentOS. a distribution targeted at power users. a Live CD distribution that runs completely from removable media and without installation to a hard disk a commercial desktop distribution based on Ubuntu. maintained by the American company of the same name. one of the first Linux distributions. a distribution derived from the same sources used by Red Hat. 7. 1. 9. maintained by a dedicated volunteer community of developers. Mandriva. or the package management system they are based around. founded in 1993. Other differences are motivated either by technical decisions. 2. 3. 5. originally derived from Slackware. Volkerding Debian. sponsored by the company Novell Gentoo. 3. Distributions are organized into sections by the major distribution they are based on. Gentoo-based RPM-based Fedora-based . known for its FreeBSD Ports-like automated system for compiling applications from source code Knoppix. Debian-based Knoppix-based Ubuntu-based 2. Some well-known Linux distributions include: 1. Linspire. a non-commercial distribution maintained by a volunteer developer community with a strong commitment to free software principles Ubuntu. 8.and systems or software package configurations. 10. and since then actively maintained by Patrick J. philosophical or even historical reasons. today maintained by the French company of the same name OpenSUSE. 4. Some distributions specialize in use on desktops. 6. Slackware. a newly popular desktop distribution maintained by Canonical that is derived from Debian Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
OpenSUSE is a community project. Novell decided to release the SUSE Professional product as a 100% open source project.A server-oriented Linux distribution supplied by Novell. Inc. Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based Others (RPM-based) such as SUSE Slackware-based SLAX-based SUSE Linux A desktop-oriented Linux distribution supplied by Novell.3. After acquiring SUSE Linux in January 2004. 4. SUSE is one of the most popular distributions in Europe. Inc. to develop and maintain a general purpose Linux distribution. sponsored by Novell. and targeted at the business market. It includes a multipurpose configuration tool called YaST. The initial release was a beta version of SUSE Professional 10. SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time .0 and as of October 2007 the current stable release is OpenSUSE 10. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server . including Linux kernel Modules. Free Eval versions is available for the SUSE Linux Enterprise versions. Inc. involving the community in the development process. SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop . OpenSUSE maintains a strict policy of insuring all code in the standard installs will be from Free/Libre/Open-Source Software solutions. Novell's enterprise Linux products are all based on the codebase that comes out of the OpenSUSE project. it is a large distribution on several CDs/DVDs. and targeted at the enterprise market. OpenSUSE .A specialized version of the SUSE distribution from Novell designed to support low latency for time critical operations.A desktop-oriented Linux distribution supplied by Novell. .A branch developed by the community and sponsored by Novell. Like Red Hat Linux.
Include RPM software that is not included by default Remove software that is included Edit software Personalize the distribution Standard settings for your country. company . easiest distribution for all users. VirtualBox. it allows the user to select which GUI they are comfortable with (either KDE or GNOME). fostering discussion on open mailing lists and in Internet Relay Chat channels. Beagle: desktop search OpenOffice: productivity suite Customization of SUSE distribution includes the following. Features OpenSUSE has a lot of features which makes it distinct from other distribution such as • • • • • • • • AppArmor: gives certain applications rights based on how they run and interact with the environment. The community assists in developing OpenSUSE collaboratively with representatives from Novell by contributing code through the open Build Service. Xen. OpenSUSE provides a web portal for community involvement. Novell markets OpenSUSE as the best. Like most distributions it includes both a default graphical user interface (GUI) and a command line interface option. and supports thousands of software packages across the full range of open source development. GNOME: a desktop environment. and improving the OpenSUSE site through its wiki interface. writing documentation. Compiz Fusion: a 3D desktop that runs on XGL or AIGLX. YaST: a system management application which OpenSUSE uses as a Control Center. designing artwork.Beyond the distribution. K virtual machine and Qemu: virtualization software KDE (extended with such tools as Kickoff and KNetworkManager) a desktop environment.
The aim of the new Linux distribution is to eliminate the cumbersome process of installation and make it more users friendly as well as allow users to select the bare minimum package. These steps are repeated more than once till a satisfiable outcome is obtained. Configure build Configure the build tool. Kerala Chapter is mainly responsible for the propagating the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) concept in Kerala. accentuating Free and Open Source software. This is the location where the files used to build the package are put. Fix any problems RPMs in the current OpenSUSE version. The Office editions are mainly aimed at offices as well schools and for novice users. which contains all the required and optional packages that the user may find appealing on his/her system. The following steps outline a normal work flow to build a package. The new distribution based on OpenSUSE is named “Malu Linux“. The office edition is aimed at Government Offices and Schools while the Enterprise edition is purely for server purposes. 3. This new distribution is developed in accordance with the new IT Policy of the Kerala State Government. The theme behind the project is to minimize the dependency on proprietary software and help to make people aware about Software freedom and Open Sources. Create source directory Create a directory somewhere that is accessible to root. which is the core concept in the Kerala Government IT Policy. While the server edition as usual comes equipped for server purposes as well as for advanced users. 1. Get project source files . The Open Source Technology team along with the Free Software Foundation. Install requirements Identify and install all the required rpms. Both the edition comes with the bare minimum packages with the exception of all the server packages for Enterprise edition. “Malu Linux” comes in two flavors: The Office Edition and Enterprise Edition. Both the edition comprises of an additional CD known as the Packager. There are some settings that have to be configured to match local environment. Rebuild the source rpms. 2. And C-DIT as a government organization is committed to abide by government laws and is a major player for the state government in the IT arena of the State. 4. The workflow for the above project can briefly summed up in following steps.
Hardware Requirements Malu Linux supports most PC hardware components. Build the package Build the package within the directory containing spec file. The Microsoft as well other proprietary software developers have influenced the users so much that its virtually impossible to leave them out completely and go for the not fully developed or matured alternatives.. Most projects provide source files in compressed tarballs. and patches are. The “Malu Linux” uses Compiz and other 3D acceleration tools that enables the Opens Source users also to be at the same level of satisfaction like others.Get the project's source files necessary to build the package. The following requirements should be met to ensure smooth operation of Malu Linux: Processor Intel: Pentium 1-4 or Xeon AMD: Duron. and other audio and video codec. Network drivers and Video drivers such as the ATI and NVIDIA drivers. Create the spec file Start the usual RPM creation process. acrobat reader etc. Create a spec file for the package. real player. Athlon 64. 7. and codec such as the support for DVD. 6. Athlon. Athlon XP. Since replacements for some proprietary software are still very behind the “Malu Linux” comes equipped with some proprietary software like flash player. 5. Microsoft Windows have established itself very well within the home as well as office arena although most of the users are using the pirated packages. RPM spec files should be written according to the OpenSUSE Package Conventions. Among other customization. Sempron or Opteron . one major process is the localization of Operating System which includes support for local languages and “Malu linux” support for Malayalam language is provided which itself forms a major work. source. Test the package Test the functionality of your package. Athlon MP. The Open Source communities have made rapid strides in various areas which the Microsoft and other proprietary software dealers considered to be their fort. One such improvement is the support for 3D acceleration and virtual desktops.
YaST2. YaST displays an overview of all installation steps on the left hand side of the window . the central tool for installation and configuration of your system. Qt and Shell Scripts Installation with YaST Install Malu Linux™ system with YaST. 512 MB recommended Hard Disk Space At least 500 MB for minimal system. YaST guides through the installation process and the basic configuration of the system. 3 GB recommended for standard system Sound and Graphics Cards Supports most modern sound and graphics cards Hardware Requirement for the Project “ Malu Linux” Processor Hard Disk Memory : : : Pentium IV or above 20GB or More ( IDE/SATA) 256MB or Higher Software Requirement Operating System Tools : : OpenSUSE Linux with running RPM. By default.Main Memory At least 256 MB. During the installation and configuration process. YaST analyzes the current system settings and hardware components and proposes installation settings based on this analysis.
Click Help to view the help text and Steps to switch back to the overview. Background information is provided where appropriate. We can also adjust the settings if we want to fine-tune our system according to our needs and wishes.and provides online help texts for each step. .
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