Linux Distribution Comparison

The Linux Operating System is very different than proprietary Operating Systems. Linux has a community based development model where many people, organizations and businesses jointly develop the software.

Red Hat Linux

  • For many, the name Red Hat www.Red, as it is probably the best-known Linux company in the world.

  • Founded in 1994, Red Hat, Inc. has only recently started showing signs of profitability, due to services rather than the distribution itself.

  • Yet, Red Hat Linux is a first choice for many professionals and is likely to be a major player for a long time.

  • They wisely resisted any rapid expansion plans during the dot-com boom times in 1998 - 1999, concentrating on their core business.

  • This type of prudent management, if continued, is likely to guarantee stability and dependability.

What is so special about Red Hat Linux?

  • It is a curious mix of conservative and leading-edge packages put together on top of many knowledge- intensive utilities developed in-house.

  • The packages are not the most up-to-date; once a new beta version is announced, the package versions are frozen, except for security updates.

  • The result is a well-tested and stable distribution, the beta program and a bug reporting facility are open to public and there is a great spirit on the public mailing lists. Many mission-critical servers around the world run Red Hat Linux.

  • One other reason for Red Hat’s success is the variety of popular services the company offers.

  • The software packages are easy to update via Red Hat Network, a free repository of software and valuable information.

  • A vast range of support services is available through the company and, while not always cheap, you are virtually assured of an excellent support by highly skilled support personnel.

  • The company has even developed a certification program to further popularize its distribution - the RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) training and examination is now available in most parts of the world.

  • All these factors have contributed to the fact that Red Hat is now a recognized brand name in the IT industry.

Fedora Linux

Fedora Linux was started by Red Hat Linux in September 2003 as a community based open development Operating System based on the Red Hat Linux distribution. The Red Hat distribution was first released in October 1994 and has progressed to one of the most popular Linux Distributions available today.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux creates a reliable, secure, high-performance platform designed for todays commercial environments with capabilities that match or surpass those of proprietary operating systems.

  • Sold in a family of four products that span client systems to the largest servers, Red Hat Enterprise Linux delivers a consistent application, management, and user environment.

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the corporate Linux standard, already at work running some of the world‘s largest commercial, government, and academic institutions.

  • For any deployment—from the desktop to the datacenter—Red Hat Enterprise Linux delivers unmatched performance and cost savings, and the freedom of open source technology.

Server Solutions

Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS (Advanced Server):

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS is the top-of-the-line server operating system solution. Supporting the largest
  • servers, it is the ultimate solution for large departmental and datacenter server deployments.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES (Enterprise Server):

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES is the perfect server operating system solution for the majority of today’s business computing needs – suitable for systems ranging from the edge-of-network to medium-scale departmental deployments.

  • The IBM System x3650 M3 Express server powered by Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series offers you the reliability to run business-critical workloads.

  • Its comprehensive system management tools constantly monitor the health of the system and help you easily diagnoses an impending issue.

  • The reliable x3650 M3, with the valuable expertise of IBM Business Partners, can help you to confidently run your business.

Client Solutions

Most people who use Linux-style environment know that a machine can be reached over the network at the shell level using utilities like telnet or ssh. And some people realize that X Windows output can be redirected back to the client workstation.

There are several of open source applications that can be used to achieve this:

  • VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is a remote display system which allows the user to view the Desktop of a remote machine anywhere on the internet. It can also be directed through SSH for security. To do VNC, need to install VNC server on the server and install client on your local PC. Setup is extremely easy and server is very stable. On client side, you can set the resolution and connect to IP of VNC server. It can be a bit slow compared to Windows remote desktop and also has the tendency to take more time refreshing over low-bandwidth links.

  • There is RealVNC, TigerVNC and UltraVNC. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Most popular one is RealVNC. By default, communication between client and server is in clear text on port 5900. Here is a quick way of setting it up if you have access to command line shell: # ssh -ND 5900 <user> When you get prompted, enter your password. Popup open VNC client and connect to ̳local host. This‘ll route your connection to VNC server on remote machine.

  • Then there is FreeNX FreeNX is a system that allows you to access your desktop from another machine over the internet. You can use this to login graphically to your desktop from a remote location. One example of its use would be to have a FreeNX server set up on your home computer, and graphically logging in to the home computer from your work computer, using a FreeNX client. It provides near local speed application responsiveness over high latency, low bandwidth links.

  • The third free application is 2X Terminal Server for Linux. 2X Terminal Server for Linux is an Open Source project, licensed under the GPL and is free of charge. As far as performance goes, No Machine‘s technology is on par with Windows‘ own Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) suite, better than VNC. Both X2 and FreeNX is based on No machine technology.

  • Then there is XDMCP. The X Display Manager Control Protocol uses UDP port 177. Compared to the list above, it‘s not as easy to setup for remote desktop but it‘s the original way of doing this on Linux.

  • CygwinX. A complete Linux emulation on Windows. You‘ll find every tool and app that you have on Linux on Cygwin.

  • XRDP. RDP server that runs on Linux, thus allowing you to use Windows Remote Desktop Client or rdesktop to connect.

  • x2vnc –great little utility that allows you to tie a Linux and windows (or anything that can run the vncserver) together with a single keyboard/mouse, avoiding the need for a switcher box

  • Xming –It‘s a great and lightweight implementationof X11 for Windows that allows you to Connect to a Linux box.

  • KDE Desktop Sharing (formerly krfb) –part of KDE since version 3.1. It is located in the kde network package. If your distribution splits the KDE applications into separate packets, you may find the client as ̳krdc‘ and the server as ̳krfb‘.

  • X-Win32 -Top rated PC X server solutions for Windows PCs connecting to remote Linux and Linux host systems. Works well over SSH.

  • Single Click UltraVNC –In case you would like to remote control without any software installed on the target computer you need UltraVNC SC. The user can controll computer needs to simply click on a web page and remote controlling begins.

  • CrossLoop –CrossLoop is a FREE secure screen sharing utility designed for people of all technical skill levels. CrossLoop extends the boundaries of VNC‘s traditional screen sharing by enabling non-technical users to get connected from anywhere on the Internet in seconds without changing any firewall or router settings.

  • Thin station–Although not a remote desktop but worth mentioning here. Thin client linux for terminals using standard x86 hardware. It can boot from network, pxe, syslinux, loadlin, CD, floppy or flash-disk and connect to servers using VNC, RDP, and XDM, SSH etc…

  • Rdesktop -an open source client for Windows NT Terminal Server and Windows 2000/2003 Terminal Services, capable of natively speaking Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in order to present the user‘s NT desktop.

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