Startups and the choice of Linux Distributions

Are you a budding entrepreneur and the very thought of having a start-up of yours has just tickled your head? After the initial thought process of the product/service niche you’re willing to plant yourself in, the next steps would include setting up your budgets. A penny saved is a penny earned! Why not consider an open source alternative against purchasing several licensed copies of your favorite operating system or getting a pirated copy of the same!

It’s a general notion amongst people who have used Windows say for years that switching to Linux isn’t beneficial and easy. But the ones who did so have fallen in love with this OS. If you are a start-up or possess an ubiquitous desire to save some money, GNU/Linux is the obvious choice for Linux is free, licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL). Various packaged versions of Linux kernel along with applications result in the so called Linux distributions where each distribution is fundamentally different from each other in the way they’re packaged, they appeal they have and the size of course. Assortment of various software and hardware management tools along with different desktop environments add a flavor to the selection. However, most Linux distributions run on the same Linux kernel for the core.

Linux adoption has been gaining a lot of momentum lately. Knowing and understanding all the distros can be stressful but it will interest you once you start working with it. SuSE, Slackware, Mandriva, Fedora, Gentoo , Knoppix, Red Hat , CentOS, Debian , Ubuntu are few of the most commonly used Linux distributions. To make it simpler, these distributions are classified as base distributions, all in one distributions, small distributions and in several other ways by different developers.

Debian and Slackware are generally known as base distributions. Debian is one of the oldest distributions and supports most platforms and languages. Slackware is only developed for the i386 platform. However, Slackware is an advanced Linux operating system and brings the best of all worlds to the table. Gentoo Linux is a source-based distribution that offers extreme performance. It is versatile, fast and has an advanced package management system called Portage. SuSE is the again one of the most stable and secure operating system and is often preferred by a lot of start ups. It delivers most features used for home computing, small business and networking.

Red Hat is a top commercial Linux Company in the world and mainly focuses on Enterprise Linux. It is the premier operating system for open source computing. CentOS developers use SRPMS (Source Packages) from Red Hat to build this distribution. The Fedora Project is an open source project sponsored by Red Hat and supported by the Fedora community. Mandriva is a user friendly Linux OS which specializes in ease-of-use for both servers and the home/office and is available in many languages throughout the world. Knoppix is a debian-based distro and is the best known for its Live CD. Ubuntu is Debian-based, free, has frequent updates (twice per year for major releases), easy to install and use. The recent popularity of Linux was partly contributed by this user-friendly Distro.

There are many other Linux distributions, and it is one of the strong reasons that make Linux a wonderful OS. A free and open source environment comforts intelligent users to evaluate, choose, install and use a Linux Distro according to their requirements.

Startups, who would like to work on free and open source technologies should consider driving their servers and workstations on Linux.