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To start using Linux, you will want to choose a distribution. A distribution, or distro, is the Linux operating system. Distributions are put together by companies or nonprofit groups with the operating system and preinstalled software they feel will best suit you. Many distributions include an application that can search the internet for other Open Source software, download and automaticly install it for you free of charge.

We have listed some of the more popular distributions below including our favorites, Ubuntu and Red Hat. Many distributions, such as Ubuntu, offer the ability to create a bootable CD so you can try out Linux without even having to install it over your current operating system. Once you pick your distribution, it might be a good idea to pick up a book to help you with the installation and setup for your needs.
UbuntuUbuntu Home Page
Ubuntu is a community developed, linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. It contains all the applications you need - a web browser, presentation, document and spreadsheet software, instant messaging and much more.
Red HatRed Hat Home Page
For businesses, governments, or other users looking for stable, supported, and certified Linux. Red Hat can be bought off the shelf at many software retailers and offers various levels of pay support.
DebianDebian Home Page
Debian is produced by almost a thousand active developers spread around the world who volunteer in their spare time. It comes with over 18,000 packages, precompiled software bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine.
GentooGentoo Home Page
A special flavor of Linux that can be automatically optimized and customized for just about any application or need. Extreme performance, configurability and a top-notch user and developer community are all hallmarks of the Gentoo experience.
SUSESUSE from Novell Home Page
SUSE, now part of Novell, is an enterprise level version of the Linux operating system. This mainstream distribution is popular with businesses who want an alternative to other OSs.
Yellow Dog LinuxYellow Dog Linux Home Page
An open source, Linux operating system for home, office, server, and cluster users. Built for the PowerPC architecture, it runs on several platforms such as Apple PowerPC computers and even the Sony PS3.
Ark LinuxArk Linux Home Page
Ark Linux is a Linux distribution for everyone - designed to be easy to install and learn for users without prior Linux (or computer) experience, while powerful enough for longtime Linux users.
FedoraFedora Home Page
Fedora, sponsored by Red Hat, is a Linux-based operating system that showcases the latest in free and open source software. Fedora has a predictable and consistent time-based release schedule. There is a new release every six months that drives incremental improvements to users at a rapid pace.
SlackwareSlackware Home Page
Since its first release in April of 1993, the Slackware Linux Project has aimed at producing the most "UNIX-like" Linux distribution out there. Slackware complies with the published Linux standards, such as the Linux File System Standard.
MandrivaMandriva Home Page
A full Linux operating system on a single CD for both new and experienced Linux users, it is fast to download and install, and also safe to try with a live mode. One is really the one CD you need.

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