You all must have heard about Linux. The free opensource operating systems used everywhere around the world, anywhere some scientific work is being performed.

But do you understand what Linux is?

Linux is the family of operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by the legendary Linus Torvalds. The Linux in itself was another name for rebellion against the concealed world, being the open-source software it supports the philosophy of

let those who deserve, have!!

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So basically what LINUX is, it’s just a kernel developed by millions of volunteers around the globe and maintained and managed by the original creator Linus Torvalds.

Now the operating systems that you use like

  • Ubuntu
  • Kali
  • Parrot
  • Fedora
  • Debian
  • Manjaro
  • Arch
  • Backtrack
  • Mint, etc. etc.

These all are developed using Linux at their HEART hence inheriting the name Linux OS.

You can know more about the story of Linux here

and

About various Linux Distributions here


But do you really understand how vast is the ocean of Linux distros?

To understand this let’s characterize Linux distributions according to their parent Distro or according to the package management system they are based upon.

But first, what is a package manager?

A package manager or package-management system is a collection of software tools that automates the process of installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing computer programs for a computer’s operating system in a consistent manner.

A package manager deals with packages, distributions of software and data in archive files. Packages contain metadata, such as the software’s name, description of its purpose, version number, vendor, checksum (preferably a cryptographic hash function), and a list of dependencies necessary for the software to run properly. Upon installation, metadata is stored in a local package database. Package managers typically maintain a database of software dependencies and version information to prevent software mismatches and missing prerequisites. They work closely with software repositories, binary repository managers, and app stores.

Package managers are designed to eliminate the need for manual installs and updates. This can be particularly useful for large enterprises whose operating systems are based on Linux and other Unix-like systems, typically consisting of hundreds or even tens of thousands of distinct software packages

Majorly Linux distributions are categorised using two different filesystems.

.deb based and .rpm based


but first!!

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RPM-based

Red Hat Linux and SUSE Linux were the original major distributions that used the .rpm file format, which is today used in several package management systems. Both of these were later divided into commercial and community-supported distributions. Red Hat Linux was divided into a community-supported but Red Hat-sponsored distribution named Fedora, and a commercially supported distribution called Red Hat Enterprise Linux, whereas SUSE was divided into openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise

Distribution
Red Hat Linux
CentOS
Fedora
openSUSE
Clear Linux
Mandrake Linux

Fedora-based

Fedora is a community supported distribution. It aims to provide the latest software while maintaining a completely Free Software system.

Distribution
Aurora SPARC Linux
Berry Linux
BLAG Linux and GNU
EnGarde Secure Linux
Fuduntu
Hanthana
K12LTSP
Korora
Linpus Linux
Linux XP
MeeGo
Moblin
MythDora
Network Security Toolkit
Qubes OS
Russian Fedora Remix
Sugar-on-a-Stick Linux
Trustix
Yellow Dog Linux

Debian-based

Debian Linux is a distribution that emphasizes free software. It supports many hardware platforms. Debian and distributions based on it use the .deb package format and the dpkg package manager and its frontends (such as apt-get or synaptic).

Debian (Testing) based

Distribution
BackTrack
Kali Linux
Parsix
PureOS
Astra Linux
Ubuntu

Ubuntu-based

Ubuntu is a distribution based on Debian, designed to have regular releases, a consistent user experience and commercial support on both desktops and servers.

Official distributions

These Ubuntu variants simply install a set of packages different from the original Ubuntu, but since they draw additional packages and updates from the same repositories as Ubuntu, all of the same software is available for each of them.

Distribution
Kubuntu
Lubuntu
Ubuntu Budgie
Ubuntu Kylin
Ubuntu MATE
Ubuntu Server
Ubuntu Studio
Xubuntu

Debian (Stable) based

Distribution
grml
Knoppix
MEPIS
RXART
Raspbian
SteamOS
Astra Linux
Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS)
Canaima
Corel Linux
CrunchBang Linux
Deepin
Devuan
Dreamlinux
Emdebian Grip
Finnix
gNewSense
HandyLinux
Kanotix
Kurumin
LEAF Project
LiMux
Maemo
MintPPC
Musix GNU+Linux
NepaLinux
OpenZaurus
Pardus
PelicanHPC
Sacix
Skolelinux
SolydXK
SparkyLinux
Sunwah Linux
Symphony OS
SalineOS
The Amnesic Incognito Live System (TAILS)
TurnKey GNU/Linux
Univention Corporate Server
Webconverger
Vyatta
VyOS

and this is just the tip of the iceberg.


Here in the bottom graphic, you can see a detailed description of various Linux distributions according to the timeline !!

linux distributions timeline
Linux distributions timeline

Such is the vastness of our beloved Operating Systems!

Keep Exploring!!


Editorial Team
editor.theinformatica@gmail.com

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