a timeline for distros as well?
Rather than detailing every distro, maybe mention some important common
* Package management (integral part of practically all distros) --
install just the features you need, change your mind at any time,
keep everything up-to-date with a single command.
* Portability--the second architecture that Linux was ported to (DEC
Alpha) was 64-bit, in 1994/1995. So Linux went 64-bit at the same time
as it went portable. It now runs on about two dozen different
major processor architectures (32-bit and 64-bit), so it has been
adding around one new architecture per year. That probably makes it
the most portable--and ported--OS in the world.
* Mention the (in)famous flamewar with Andrew Tanenbaum over
microkernels? I would say history shows Torvalds was right.
* Modularity: the GUI is just another layer, usually easily replaceable.
Extra services (e.g. file server, web server, print server,
DBMS) can easily be added or removed at any time without having to do
a full reinstallation. There are log files telling you what various
pieces of software are doing. So when something goes wrong, you can
usually figure out what it is and fix it, as opposed to “turning it
off and on again” (and hoping it doesn’t recur) or, worst of all,
* Hundreds of distros mean choice, but not fragmentation. They all run
pretty much the same common software, just packaged and presented
differently. In particular, you can easily move your user files
between one distro and another. Or have a choice of multibooting
different distros on the same machine, with the user files shared in
common among them.
These are all good points!
And I didn't mean detailing all the distros, just showing a graph of
all the choices that you have as a user, compared to Windows.
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Waikato, NZ
+64 (7) 858-5174