Linux

Video: Five things to consider when choosing a Linux distribution

Choosing a Linux distribution shouldn't come down to which desktop has your favorite color scheme. Linux distributions are different and some will suit your company's needs better than others. In this IT Dojo video, Bill Detwiler discusses five critical factors IT managers should consider when choosing a Linux distribution.

Some argue that Linux distributions are essentially the same, and you should just pick the one with the color scheme you like the best. In reality however, distributions are different and some will suit your company's needs better than others. In this IT Dojo video, I discuss the following five critical factors IT managers should consider when choosing a Linux distribution:

  1. 100 percent open source or not
  2. Package management
  3. Desktop environment
  4. Intended use
  5. Security

After watching the video, you can learn more about choosing the right Linux distribution by reading Jack Wallen's article, "10 things to consider when choosing a Linux distribution"--the basis for this video. For more Linux and open source information, check out the following TechRepublic Resources:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

25 comments
Shaun.G
Shaun.G

I have watched this, and while I understand some, the terms APT, RPM, URPM mean nothing to a novice Linux user. I still do not know which one to use...and some of the following comments are too negative. As for the pronuniciation... is that all you could come up with, that its pronounced NOME (silent g)? I know that its not and I know nothing about Linux at all. The one commenting about that not enough was spoken on, and mentioning SELinux and AppArmor... so what? It was a four minute video, not a four day conference. There are many distros from my understanding. Instead to pull down Bill Detwiler, why not say he did not mention them, and then mention them and say why they are good rather than to write that way? Thanks Bill for taking the time to produce this... If you could do one for the 'way before novice' Linux non-user wannabe using linux not vista user... then it will be appreciated.

mark.higgins
mark.higgins

A couple of errors/ommisions 1. Bastille-Linux is not a distro, rather its a hardening script for mainstream distro's. 2. If you are looking to be assured that a distro is "secure" then you should make sure you check out those distros that have been Common Criteria evaluated. 3. No mention of SELinux and AppArmor? SELinux is good but complicated to configure and is available for most mainstream distros. AppArmor is an alternative approach and ships with SUSE distros> AppArmor is easier to configure, but is also easier bypass if you know what you're doing.

dtigue
dtigue

This idiot says GNOME wrong. He pronounces it 'Guh-nome' and it should be pronounced 'NOME'. The 'G' is silent. It says so right there on the 'Guh-Nome' website.

mixerhb
mixerhb

Congratulations. Very useful. ??What about Suse?

smoore
smoore

Great info I liked it.

Icelock
Icelock

What is better Fedora linux or Suse linux? I've been switch between the two distrabutions for that last 2 years. I like both of them, but I'm not sure which might be better.

wbarowy
wbarowy

I love your out-takes.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Especially for us Linux wannabies!

ismgr
ismgr

This makes me think that the first step is to determine which is THE HIGHEST PRIORITY for your situation--the "deal-breaker" so to speak, since you can't get all of what you want in one package. But isn't the first step really to get an assessment of the relative health of the distro? Aren't some distros abandoned, pretty much?

info
info

This was very helpful thank you. One linux distribution that works great for small businesses is SME server, it is based on the CENTOS flavor of linux. It works great for small businesses and I have customized it to use faxing, samba, and other features small businesses need.

alchahine
alchahine

It was very helpful a lot. Thanks

Wally Bahny
Wally Bahny

Is it still considered "on the air" when you're broadcasting over the Internet? For that matter, is it "on the air" when watching cable? :-) I also have a t-shirt idea if you ever Dojo a Barracuda appliance -- the free t-shirt that comes with it. Says "EAT SPAM" on the back. Uber-cool! Tell that Wally guy to stop commenting on the bloopers...

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