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Unusual, Obscure, and Useful Linux Distros

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the rare-breed dept.

Open Source 221

angry tapir writes "Most people will be familiar with some of the big names when it comes to Linux — distributions like Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian, and Mandriva. Most of the well-known Linux distros are designed to be used as general-purpose desktop operating systems or installed on servers. But beyond these distros are hundreds of others either designed to appeal to very specific audiences or to fulfill the somewhat niche needs of some users. We rounded up some of the most interesting Linux distributions that you might not have heard of."

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What is the definition of 'distro'? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32753766)

Shipping Ubuntu with a set of preinstalled applications should not qualify as a distro? Half of this list consists of that and custom wallpapers. What a waste of time.

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754024)



ISLE OF MAN - June 1, 2009 - At a press conference today, Canonical CEO and Free Software spokesnigger Mark Shuttleworth announced the immediate availability of version 6.06 of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. The latest version, known by its code name, "The Diaper Drake," includes special features designed to make Linux easier and more comfortable for niggers the world over.

"Niggers have always had trouble understanding new technology," Shuttleworth began. "Computers are no exception. Some people have said this is because niggers are dumb, but I believe the real problem is that technology has traditionally been designed for white people. Ubuntu changes all that. It was developed from the ground up with niggers in mind. It will usher in a whole new era of Afro-ergonomic computing."

Shuttleworth presented an overview of some of the features users could expect in the latest version of Ubuntu, including an Ebonics-to-English converter, African "tribal beats" sound and desktop theme, and a collection of rap music and gay pornography, "which of course will be encoded using patent and royalty-free formats," Shuttleworth added, smiling. He proceeded to elaborate, but Impress crashed at that point.

"But this release isn't just about new features," Shuttleworth said, making a quick segue to the humanitarian and ideological concept behind Ubuntu. "This new version brings black men closer together than ever in the spirit of Ubuntu." Shuttleworth then demonstrated the concept of Ubuntu by getting on his knees and sucking a young black boy's erect penis.

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (5, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754032)

  It only took 12 hours for the site to load, but lets have a look at the "distro" and their roots.

  Damn Vulnerable Linux     unknown
  Tinfoil Hat Linux         unknown
  CAINE                     Ubuntu
  CAELinux                  Ubuntu
  Ubuntu Christian Edition  Ubuntu     unknown
  Parted Magic              Ubuntu
  GMusix GNU+Linux          Debian
  Zeroshell Linux           LFS methods (i.e., actually rolled themselves)
  Mythbuntu                 Ubuntu
  Damn Small Linux          Debian
  Tiny Core Linux           unknown

  Ubuntu          41.6%
  Debian          16.6%
  Known Distros   58.3%

  Unknown distros 33.3%
  Original works   8.3%

  Feel free to reply with updates if you know the origin of the unknown's.

  I know from personal experience, rolling your own distro is hard work.  I tried, using other distros (Slackware and LFS methods) as a guide.   Just taking someone elses patched beyond usefulness sources and calling them your own isn't your own work.  You aren't building, and you can't go back to the original author and submit a fix.  Mine was to stay true to the original author's work, since I've seen so many problems which are directly (correctly) attributed to some distro haphazardly patching (and breaking) things.

  I spent a lot of spare time writing and rewriting build scripts, hunting down sources (real quick, where is the authors site for the most current version of "ps"?), building a build environment, building the sources into installable packages.  It sounds like an awful lot of fun, until you've already spent a month putting things together, and you've just gotten past the low level stuff (basic system utilities, filesystem utilities, compilers, major required libraries, and the boot loader of your choice).  Wow, a month later, and we don't even have X, a desktop manager, or occasionally useful things like a web browser.  Now you have to go back and check all your versions against the current version available from the author.  Unless you have a rather dedicated team of folks with no day jobs nor personal lives, you'll spend your days just verifying that your packages are built from current sources.

  God forbid there's a change in say glibc, which breaks some other application.  Now you're notifying the author of the application, which can be a job in itself to go back and forth with them about what distro you're running (built it myself).  Oh, you're own?  That's good and bad.  What versions of the compiler and required libraries are you using?   "Sign up to my mailing list, so we can all work on it."  Two weeks later, you may have a patch which may become a released version two more weeks later.  If you're a good guy, and somehow have way too much time on your hands, well versed in every programming language and methodology, a genetic disposition to not sleeping, and a serious speed habit, you may be patching it yourself, and handing that patch up to the author.  What?  Your patch was refused because it didn't follow his methodology?  It doesn't work in recursion and will break older distros (like the one right before the glibc update).  Now you've fallen into what others do.  I'll patch mine, but just this one, I swear.  It'll be the authors true code when he releases the right fix.  On to the next!

  So, after months, you get a good working environment running, and installable.  Wrap it up, give it a version number, and make it available!  Now you're just checking several hundred (if it's a thin distro) authors sites daily to make sure that the version you have is current.  What?  A new release?  Great!   The README said it was just a simple security patch, nothing to worry about, and it'll make our users safer.  We'll just put it in the build environment, and put it out as a patch.  Oh, you didn't do enough checking, and missed the fact that zlib 1.2.6rc1 breaks functionality in a dozen other programs.  Back to contacting authors with bug reports.

  I started on mine because I wanted to use Patrick Volkerding's (Slackware) method, but make sure everything was up to date, all the time, true to the author's code, with our own control over everything just in case something happened.

  Doing your own distro is an awful lot of work, and I don't say that from lack of trying.  Since my job wanted me to do more productive work for them, our own distro idea was set aside.  In reality, it was a good idea for our company, it just wasn't practical.  I could hire a staff to work on our distro, except there would be no way in hell to justify the budget for it.  Parts of it remained useful.  My static binaries were very useful for overwriting horribly patched binaries of other distros (who wants a boot loader that doesn't understand what a SCSI drive is?)

  We reevaluated, and decided that Patrick and team over at Slackware really do a great job, and all we'd be doing is trying to duplicate what they've already been doing for years.  Other distros have come and gone, but Slackware has always been there for us.  Our "distro" became a customized Slackware install.  We held it for in-house use only, and only loosely referred to it as our distro, but mainly "our own customized version of Slackware"

  If you're going to customize a distro, sell it for what it is.  If you made a uber leet customization of some distro, with spiffy keen custom skins, and a cool boot loader, just say so.  "This is my customized version of [insert distro here]".  If you made a custom installer for Windows, which put your own themes on, and your logo splattered all over it, sure as hell Microsoft would have their lawyers knocking on your door saying "That's ours, stop calling it l33tdoz.  Here are our demands for damages.  Pay up or spend the rest of your life in court."  I know we're in the Linux community, so the ground rules are a bit different, but it's still not fair to the people who are putting the hard work into the project, for you to wrap it in your own pretty wrapper and call it your own, even with a mention on page 15 of your FAQ saying "this distro is based on Ubuntu"

  [steps off his soapbox]

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (5, Insightful)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754122)

Curse you, mod point allocation bot! I need to mod parent 'eye-opening if, like me, you never considered how much work goes into a distro'.

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (4, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754342)

    hehe. Thanks. :)

    Really, I hadn't thought it was so hard until I tried. I'm glad I did. It's something every really serious senior Linux admin should try at least once. Besides a very interesting understanding of how things work beyond "type this command, watch this happen", it taught me to respect my elders, and watch for mistakes that are made (like the patching chaos that is the Redhat/Debian/derivatives world).

    After that dive in, I pray to the Slackware god, since he does things pretty damned close to the way I like. There are several finer points that I could probably argue with Patrick about over beers sometime (assuming we're ever in the same place at the same time, and he'd accept a free drink or three). Not that the argument would get anywhere, but it would be a nice discussion, and a fun excuse to drink. Bah. Who needs excuses for that? :)

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754124)

" Damn Vulnerable Linux unknown"

It's based on Debbian and Knoppix. See:

" Tinfoil Hat Linux unknown"

Not listed on Distrowatch, or at least I couldn't find it :(

" unknown"

It's based on Arch, see:

" Tiny Core Linux unknown"

Independent (self-rolled). See:

If you want details about Linux Distributions there's no better place I know of, or more comprehensive, than Really surprised Tinfoil is not listed!

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (4, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754622)

  Thanks.  Since the only one left is tinfoil, I grabbed it, and did a little poking around.  Just based on the mentions in the readme.txt, it may be a self-rolled distro.  It to be Busybox based.  I was thinking of rolling one of those up myself, except busybox annoys me when it can't do particular things because it doesn't understand posix flags (my biggest annoyance is with cp).  That can be corrected easily enough with some select static binaries, rather than symbolic links to busybox. :)

  The busybox "cp" flags are:

  cp [-a] [-d] [-p] [-R] Source ... Target

  The posix "cp" flags are:

  cp [-f] [-H] [-i] [-p] [-r | -R] [--] Source ... Target

  There are others, I've just had quite a few occasions to boot to a Busybox based CD, and then my commands don't work.  Or worse, a script on the machine doesn't work because the flags don't work.

  So the distro tally is up to:

  Damn Vulnerable Linux     Debian
  Tinfoil Hat Linux         self-rolled (?)
  CAINE                     Ubuntu
  CAELinux                  Ubuntu
  Ubuntu Christian Edition  Ubuntu     Arch
  Parted Magic              Ubuntu
  GMusix GNU+Linux          Debian
  Zeroshell Linux           self-rolled - LFS methods
  Mythbuntu                 Ubuntu
  Damn Small Linux          Debian
  Tiny Core Linux           self-rolled

  Ubuntu (5)        41.6%
  Debian (3)        25.0%
  Arch   (1)         8.3%
  Known Distros (9) 75.0%
  Original (3)      25.0%

  That's still a long way from a list of distros to check out, unless you like checking out the same thing over ... and over ... and over ...

  BTW, sorry for the code formatting.  I wanted to keep my columns straight in the data parts of the post, and I don't know of a better way on here to do it.

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754126)

I tried to build up a RT Linux distro using the latest release from while trying to support a OMAP processor. Needless to say, since they wanted it in 30 days, I didn't get it all put together. I was shown the door. even though I had the x86 version running.

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754248)

BusyBox with a custom kernel could probably have been pulled off in that time frame. As long you were quite aware of it already.

I find some of the more obscure and useful stuff is simply about finding it.

Plop is a nice busybox variant which has been design to boot and run entirely in ramdisk. I designed several rack burn utilities with plop so I could test on a closed network. The advantage of creating a single head and moving onto the next host with my usb stick was quite handy.

However, getting to that point and finding someone who had laid a good foundation was a bit time consuming.

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754634)

I had busybox on my list of tools I used and cut a systems with it using slack, but I got paranoid
after the latest kernel requirement and bailed to debian for the tools. In the end, I SUCKED and DIED.

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754150)

You forgot

anything Ubuntu Debian

mod up (0)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754242)

Yes, a very good point. Distros based on Ubuntu really shouldn't have their "origin" credited as "Ubuntu". Some credit for Ubuntu is warranted, but certainly not as the "Origin".

Re:mod up (4, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754858)

I only did it to differentiate between those who have chosen to use Ubuntu, and those who didn't. I know Ubuntu is a pretty skinned Debian with some extra patches. Ubuntu patches on top of Debian patches, on previously good code, what could possibly go wrong. Oh, lots.

    It's similar to CentOS being a patched derivation of RHEL. It's another layer of people messing with perfectly good code, and making it not so perfectly good. In the list provided, there were no CentOS, RHEL, nor Fedora variations, so I didn't mention them.

    I'm anything but a fan of messing with someone else's code, unless it's for internal use. Sure, I'll make my own changes to your code, but I won't then distribute it as if it was as good as the original. I know there are a lot of authors and software companies/groups who agree with me on that. My changes are usually performance patches (as necessary), and usually commented in the code that the change may be acceptable. For example, here's one I use on Apache for my web servers:

cd apache_$apache/src/include ; cat httpd.h | sed -e s/HARD_SERVER_LIMIT\\ 256/HARD_SERVER_LIMIT\\ 4096/g > ; mv httpd.h.

    (that's just one line of my 152 line Apache/PHP/mod_ssl build script. It's 76 lines without the comments and stdout messages showing the status of the build)

  I don't pass it off my Apache as the official Apache version though. It's known if you use my Apache/PHP/mod_ssl build script, it will make some minor changes like this. If you use my build of Apache, it's a given I've made some changes. It's amazing, I can drop this on just about any server, and it's blazing fast compared to the RH provided one. I can't comment on what changes Debian or Ubuntu make to their installed version of Apache, I haven't needed to deal with that yet for a high load production environment.

Slackware is even better now... (2, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754818)

Its always been a great distro for people who just want a stock Unix on their PC rather than a Wannabe-Windows clone but it was frequently a bugger to get some hardware working properly and also Xwin configuration was very tedious. I defected to Suse for a while because of this but now Slackware is more or less plug and play. I installed 13.0 on my Acer laptop and desktop Dell at work and it Just Worked. The only issue I had was with the wifi on the laptop but that was a kernel bug - I compiled a later kernel (yeah, slackware can still be hardcore) and wifi worked fine.

Re:Slackware is even better now... (3, Interesting)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754912)

What is it with Slackware that attracts so many wannabe "hacker" types like yourself? Those "Wannabe-Windows clones" you speak of can all be just as "hardcore" (as if compiling a kernel is hardcore in any way), and the only notable architectural difference between Slack and "Wannabe-Windows clones" is that Slack uses a BSD style init instead of the not exactly Windows-like SysV.

Yes, Slack is good and well respected, but I swear that among the clueless faux-elitist morons I've come across, more are using Slack than all the other OSes combined.

Re:Slackware is even better now... (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#32755034)

Nothing to do with faux elitism. Its to do with having a clean filesystem layout, sane rc.d startup files (no , its not strictly BSD like - try looking at the FreeBSD startup and you'll see what I mean) and avoiding having 10 gigs of crap that i'll never use installed on the box. Also slackware uses the stock kernel, not some hacked about version like most of the other distros so its easy to upgrade to whichever version you want , not be stuck with whichever one the distro-of-your-choice decides to offer you as a binary update.

As for "wannabe hackers" , FYI pal I've been using slackware on and off since 1994 and have probably written more unix systems code than you've ever even seen.

Re:Slackware is even better now... (4, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32755152)

I think the implication about the "Wannabe-Windows clones" was that there are a lot of "1337" Ubuntu users who go around preaching about how awesome Linux is even though they lack any in-depth knowledge of it, they just popped in a Live-CD and installed it using the GUI installer (which is pretty much just a matter of hitting Next until it's done).

Now, I'll admit that back in the 90s I was a bit of a Open Source evangelist but at least I had some basic knowledge of *nix, these days I keep ending up in conversations with friends of mine who have never used a terminal emulator where they try to convince me of how awesome Ubuntu is (because it's Linux!) and even when I point out that my day job involves keeping a load-balanced Linux cluster running and that I have no Windows machines at home they will keep badgering me with teh awezoomnes of Ubuntu and telling me how I should move from FreeBSD, OS X, Debian and other distros to Ubuntu. Without trying to brag about my own skills it does feel a bit like a random recently converted christian of the protestant kind trying to convert a catholic bishop to his brand of christianity even though he himself knows little of the bible beyond "jesus and god good, satan bad"...

These are the kind of users who almost exclusively run "Wannabe-Windows clones" and apply cargo-cult solutions to any problem they may have. I can understand the frustration with them.

Re:Slackware is even better now... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32755136)

Xorg became almost mindless to get configured. Just run xorgconfig, and let it do it's thing. Ok, so it's not well documented, or at least I don't read the documentation.

    I was having an argument at one job, where they were very insistent that they *MUST* run a Redhat derivative. I was working on one specific machine, so it wasn't just identical hardware, it was the same machine. I found it I installed various verions of Redhat, Fedora, CentOS, and Slackware. Slackware performed like a champ. The others, not so well. Each had it's own fatal problem. Some couldn't see the network card, and no loadable module would make it work, so I added a second card when running that one. Some couldn't get into X at all, insisting the video card didn't exit. For them, I had made a backup of my xorg.conf, so I could copy it back in. Different problems came up with our own application, which was the purpose of the machine. I put Slackware on, when they were finally desperate for a solution. Slackware picked up all the devices properly, and went into X, just as it was told to.

    I'm a strong believer in building kernels specifically for the machine that's in use. I don't want extra drivers. I don't want loadable kernel modules. If the hardware exists, it'll exist. Build it all in, and leave out the fluff. It cuts down the kernel build time dramatically, and improves the performance of the machine. Oh, I didn't mention, building your own kernel may as well have been a moral sin. The guy in charge of the department {sigh} once tried to build a kernel, and it didn't work. Ever since then, customized kernels were against company policy.

    Most of my laptops get the dual-boot treatment. If I'm on the road, and must run a Windows app, I can boot into Windows. That's for silly things like cell modems who don't want to activate on anything but Windows, and for the occasional "But it doesn't work under MSIE" complaint, so I can bring it up in Windows and verify that they were stupid.

    I've only had one laptop that didn't perform very well under Linux. There was some funky software control for the wireless network card, where the card would be seen, and an IP could be statically set on it, but there was a soft button that enabled the antenna. I didn't find a physical reason for it, so it's something they put in the card.

    I know we've come a long way with Linux. There's really no messing around with every driver, trying to get sound, graphic mode video, etc, up. Usually, a generic install will make everything work fine. I remember the "good old days", when once you got Linux installed, you were trying to figure out what drivers would support your hardware

    On my current laptop, an Acer Aspire 5532, there's something funky with the touchpad mouse. It doesn't accept clicks on the pad. You have to reach down, and click the physical mouse buttons. That's no show stopper. It's a known bug with these specific touchpads. The damned thing doesn't work very well under Windows either, so I use a wireless USB mouse most of the time. I can't complain much, it was a $350 laptop, and works very nicely.

    My home machine dual boots (Slackware64 13.0 and Windows 7 Ultimate). I've had several instances so far where Windows messes up and doesn't want to boot. I can go into Linux and everything is fine. I have to dual boot it though. There's one game, Stargate Resistance [] (Wine info says it won't work) [] that I need Windows to play. Even then, it won't play for more than a few minutes on an ATI video card. With a Nvidia card, it plays fine, but there's a bug in the Win7 x64 driver so even Windows will randomly crash. Nice, huh? So, when I want to do something, and keep doing it, I do it under Linux. When I want to play the game, I play under Windows until it crashes.

    I've installed Slack on just about everything I've gotten my hands on, without fault. The only glaring exception was an old Transmeta tablet (Progear). USB worked, but the internal network card didn't. The card itself is fine (verified in a laptop). It just doesn't work. I found some message boards that said to use a specific old distro, that no one has available. The other option is WinXP tablet edition, which runs (very very slowly), and sees the network card, but forgets the wireless connection is there after about 15 minutes.. You can't blame Linux, it's a screwy tablet. I was able to get it online with a crappy USB wifi dongle, but with only one USB port, that makes things difficult bulkier than I wanted for a tablet.

    The official manufacturer stance is "it's old. It's your problem.

    Progear was even less help


Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754910)

Just organize the differences you make as a set of SlackBuilds and release those. Call it a derivative (unless you are a financial institution).

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32755200)

    I was using Slackbuilds, but those can get complicated, with programs that require complex setups. I wish everyone just set up for "./configure && make && make install", of course with setting an install prefix so it doesn't just go stomping all over the running filesystem.

    For my old work, we ran our own Slackware mirror, and let it pull additional packages as needed. It was a very smooth operation. You have to love a network of about 150 machines, where there are just two guys doing all of the IT, and everything works like clockwork, so the only "urgent" work is the occasional page warning something is down. Of course, those come at the worst times. No woman is impressed when your phone starts beeping, when you're having an X rated adult moment. Somehow, the servers knew when it was happening, and would break something before either of us finished. :(

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32755174)

I read your post and i'm not really sure why you are taking something someone else did and trying to keep "loyal" to his work.

If your making your own distro/branch/whatever. You snapshot whatever source your taking it from, and then just work from that. If you keep going back to the source and trying to add updates to your NOT finished work, you will never get your project finished.

You take the source, do what you need to do to get it working. Then you can go back to the updates and work them in.

Plus, if your going to follow someones source so close, just go help them out instead of stealing their crap and changing stuff for your own. Your just wasting your time, and then theirs if they are trying to help you fix something that's not working.

Re:What is the definition of 'distro'? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754052)

oh look! it's the rare and elusive slashdot story about how good linux is! i never would have expected that from a news source owned by a company publicly traded on the stock market as: lnux! geez no coincidence here!

The most useful distro is... (5, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753786)

... the live CD you have with you.

Re:The most useful distro is... (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753872)

I would put my vote on a live USB stick. Usually easier to save to.

Re:The most useful distro is... (0)

miggyb (1537903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754166)

Really? You think putting a Linux distro on a USB stick is easier than burning a CD? There's a lot of good reasons for putting Linux on a USB stick, but convenience of setup is not and will never be one of them.

Re:The most useful distro is... (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754216)

Oh no, I was refering to when you want to save the files you are working with and that it is usually easier if you boot from a USB stick instead of a CD. :-)

Re:The most useful distro is... (1)

mikechant (729173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754650)

Really? You think putting a Linux distro on a USB stick is easier than burning a CD?

Neither easier or more difficult.
I don't know what you use to put Linux on a USB stick but I use a utility which is essentially identical to a CD image burning utility - select source image, select destination drive, click on 'write'/'burn'.

Re:The most useful distro is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754804)

Reading comprehension FAIL.

Re:The most useful distro is... (3, Informative)

Tom9729 (1134127) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754980)

Ever heard of unetbootin [] ? In some cases it's even easier than burning a distro to a CD, because it will even handle downloading the ISO for you. Just stick in a formatted fat32 flash drive and within 15 minutes you can have a liveusb stick working.

Never say Never again is not just a Bond movie (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#32755090)

"There's a lot of good reasons for putting Linux on a USB stick, but convenience of setup is not and will never be one of them."

Really? []

Re:The most useful distro is... (4, Informative)

grantek (979387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754154)

... the live CD you have with you.

Which is ALWAYS System RescueCD - I've never come across a better emergency disc.

Needs a mirror? (5, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753792)

We need a new instant mirror site for slashdot. Any suggestions?
"One of the benefits of open source software that many people are most familiar with is that it's free to download.
This means you can grab great applications — such as Mozilla's Firefox Web browser, the office suite or the GIMP photo editing program — without paying a cent.
However, the other major benefit of truly open source software (some "open source" software licences are more restrictive than others) is that you're allowed to modify a program and redistribute your altered version so other people can enjoy it.

Linux is a classic example of this: there are hundreds (at least!) of different Linux-based operating systems. Most people will be familiar with some of the big names — distributions like Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian and Mandriva.
Most of the well-known Linux distros are designed to be used as general purpose desktop operating systems or installed on servers. But beyond these distros are hundreds of others either designed to appeal to very specific audiences or to fulfil the somewhat niche needs of some users.
We rounded up some of the most interesting Linux distros out there that you might not have heard of.

Insecure by design: Damn Vulnerable Linux

Damn Vulnerable Linux is "The most vulnerable and exploitable operating system ever" according to its Web site.
It's designed for security training; it includes training material and exercises (as well as a whole bunch of flaws to exploit). As Mayank Sharma notes: "Damn Vulnerable Linux (DVL) is everything a good Linux distribution isn't. Its developers have spent hours stuffing it with broken, ill-configured, outdated, and exploitable software that makes it vulnerable to attacks."

Indulge in paranoia: Tinfoil Hat Linux

Tinfoil Hat Linux is pretty much the opposite of Damn Vulnerable Linux: it's designed for the paranoid among us.

"It started as a secure, single floppy, bootable Linux distribution for storing PGP keys and then encrypting, signing and wiping files.
At some point it became an exercise in over-engineering." According to its developers, a possible reason for using it is that that "Illuminati are watching your computer, and you need to use morse code to blink out your PGP messages on the numlock key." They're joking. Probably. (In case you want more tinfoil protection, there are some links to a site about aluminium foil deflector beanies and tinfoil suits.)

CAINE (Computer Aided INvestigative Environment) is probably one of the coolest niche Linux distributions around. It's designed for digital forensics (so sadly, no blood spatter analysis) and was developed at the Information Engineering Department of the University of Modena e Reggio Emilia in Italy. It includes software such as TheSleuthKit and Autopsy Forensic Browser for examining file systems, data recovery applications, steganography tools and utilities for securely wiping drives (you know, in case someone else has a copy of CAINE).
Open source engineering: CAELinux

Eminently embeddable: Zeroshell
Zeroshell Linux gets its name from being designed to be solely administered through a Web interface. It's intended to be used on servers and embedded devices.
Its features include load balancing, support for 3G mobile broadband connections and RADIUS support.

Ditch Windows Media Centre: Mythbuntu
Mythbuntu is not really a niche distribution, but it is designed for a specific task rather than being a general desktop distro.
Mythbuntu is used to run PVRs and media centre PCs. As its name indicates, it's derived from Ubuntu Linux.
However, it's ditched the Gnome and by default utilises the relatively barebones Xfce desktop environment.

Damn Small Linux is damn cool

Damn Small Linux (DSL) is actually quite a well known distribution. It's not nearly as small as the amazing MenuetOS (which is a non-Linux OS written entirely in assembly language), but at 50MB it's still incredibly petite considering how many features it packs in. In fits in productivity software, Web browsers, graphics tools, a Web server, and more!
And then there's really small: Tiny Core Linux

It's hard to make DSL look like bloatware, but Tiny Core Linux comes close to doing so. It's just 10MB but if that's too much, just grab the 6MB version that comes sans GUI."

CAELinux is designed for computer-aided engineering (CAE). It's an Ubuntu-based operating system that's packaged with a range of open source applications designed for simulating physics involving "non-linear thermo-mechanics, coupled fluid-
structure dynamics, seismic / non-linear explicit dynamics, contacts, visco-plasticity, fluid dynamics, heat exchange, convection heat transfer and radiation, electro-magnetics".

Seeking open source converts: Ubuntu Christian Edition

According to the project's FAQ page, Ubuntu Christian Edition is not intended to split the Ubuntu community.
Instead, it's "intended to draw a larger Christian base to the already thriving community of Ubuntu users.
The Ubuntu Christian Edition simply makes it easier for Christians who are new to Linux to see the power of Ubuntu combined with the added benefit of having the best available Linux Christian software pre-installed". It's a good example of a community constructing a Linux OS to meet their needs.
It includes applications such as Xiphos and e-Sword (Bible-study tools), as well as DansGuardian Web filtering software.


The distro is a great piece of Linux evangelism: it's a live DVD (you don't need to install it on your hard drive) and it does exactly what it says on the box (err, or downloadable ISO file, or something). It's designed to showcase Linux as a gaming environment, and ditches all the standard productivity software included in distros in favour of open source games.

Hard disk wizardry: Parted Magic

Parted Magic is a one-stop shop for manipulating your PC's hard drive — creating and manipulating partitions (if you want to dual boot operating systems, for example), benchmarking drive speeds and testing for bad sectors.

Get creative: Musix GNU+Linux

There are a number of Linux-based operating systems designed for multimedia work. Musix is one such distro, and it's a based on Debian.
It has the distinction of being on the Free Software Foundations list of fully free (as in speech) Linux distros. Musix GNU+Linux is available for download as a live CD/DVD."

Re:Needs a mirror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32753814)

Just add to the end of the domain name. The first page seems to have been mirrored. The second, not so much.

On a side note, I wish the maker of the Digger Firefox extension added "Find page on" along with "Find page in Google Cache" and "Find page in the Internet Archive".

Re:Needs a mirror? (5, Funny)

anss123 (985305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753892)

Damn Vulnerable Linux

Finally the distro I'm been waiting for. I'm ditching Vista!

Re:Needs a mirror? (-1, Flamebait)

aussieslovethecock (1840034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754014)

shut up, fag. Your joke is fucking stupid.

Re:Needs a mirror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754160)

Look, Slashdot is a place where Linux people come to vent the enormous chips on their shoulders, safe in the knowledge that the Slashdot groupthink will mod any dissenting pro-Windows/anti-Linux comments into oblivion. Don't let the naive misunderstood references to 1984 fool you, this is not a place where rational debate and fact are welcome!

Re:Needs a mirror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754190)

Dude, it's not 1999 any-more. The pro-Linux code has mostly moved on.

Re:Needs a mirror? (1)

1mck (861167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754192)

shut up, fag. Your joke is fucking stupid.

Bill....Is that you?

Re:Needs a mirror? (2, Funny)

ZeRu (1486391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754810)

Bill....Is that you?

No, Bill is a grown-up.

Re:Needs a mirror? (0)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754136)

LOL! :)

Re:Needs a mirror? (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754152)

I'd run that in a sandbox.

Re:Needs a mirror? (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753900)

Not only is the article page slashdotted, but it seems that some of the pages the article references (or at least the linux gamers distro) are too.

Morse code on LED (3, Informative)

LambdaWolf (1561517) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753918)

According to its developers, a possible reason for using it is that that "Illuminati are watching your computer, and you need to use morse code to blink out your PGP messages on the numlock key."

Nice. For the uninitiated, this is (spoiler alert) an allusion to one of the coolest (realistic) hacks in all of fiction, which occurs in the novel Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Required reading for computer and cryptography geeks.

Re:Morse code on LED (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754306)

Thanks for pointing us all towards such a little known author and title.

Re:Needs a mirror? (3, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753962)

Ubuntu Christian Edition? What's the matter? Jesux [] wasn't holier-than-thou enough?

Re:Needs a mirror? (4, Funny)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753968)

I hope they get along.

Last thing we need is a literal distro holy war.

Re:Needs a mirror? (2, Funny)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753984)

I was more partial to Ubuntu Satanic Edition []

Re:Needs a mirror? (3, Funny)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754018)

Did they turn gksudo into UAC?

Re:Needs a mirror? (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754062)

I'm Jesux and so is my CentOS

Re:Needs a mirror? (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754164)

No fortune -o

Re:Needs a mirror? (1)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754710)

We need a new instant mirror site for slashdot. Any suggestions?

Coral Cache [] fits the bill quite well, I have no idea why the editors don't use it. It'll create a mirror of any url you link to and navigate through, and they can take a slashdotting :)
Follow this link [] to check out the CCed version of the article.
If you're on Firefox the TADSEE extension [] provides a handy shortcut to a Coral Cache mirror when you right click a link.

The abbreviated list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32753798)

The site is rapidly going down the slashdotting drain. This is the twelve without analysis or explanation.

Insecure by design: Damn Vulnerable Linux
Indulge in paranoia: Tinfoil Hat Linux
Open source engineering: CAELinux
Seeking open source converts: Ubuntu Christian Edition
Hard disk wizardry: Parted Magic
Get creative: Musix GNU+Linux
Eminently embeddable: Zeroshell
Ditch Windows Media Centre: Mythbuntu
Damn Small Linux is damn cool
And then there's really small: Tiny Core Linux

Re:The abbreviated list (5, Informative)

Clopnixus (1276606) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753870)

Can't get to the site but if your list is complete I'm surprised there's no mention of Scientific Linux. The distro created by the Fermi National Accelerator laboratory and CERN has to be high on the list of unusual and interesting Linux distributions. Actually, works pretty well as a standard desktop too...

Re:The abbreviated list (4, Interesting)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753978)

What surprises me is no SLAX. When i first found it SLAX was a very usable live-cd which would fit on those tiny 8cm CDs (before large enough USB sticks were affordable enough to just have a few in your bag) and had an easy startup option to load the entire image into ram

Then i check it a few months ago, it now offers an interface on the website to select from a very large library of software, click the boxes you want and presto, instant live-image completely to your own taste

These distros should become meta-packages. (5, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753824)

These distros should become meta-packages for larger distros. You should not need to install a specialized OS because you need specialized applications or specialized configurations. The application developer would be better served working with the larger Linux community, to ensure that the usefulness of the given applications is compatible and availible across all distros and platforms. Linux should always have a diverse ecosystem, but Linux should also have a universality about it, that a given meta-configuration can be established to a given Linux with automatic dependency resolution.

Re:These distros should become meta-packages. (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753860)

How do you propose adding to Debian to make tinycore?

Re:These distros should become meta-packages. (3, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753880)

Some of these, Parted Magic in particular, are just meant to be on a Live CD/DVD. Not all of the people who are going to use the Live CD are going to be full-time Linux users, or want to give up a partition for something they use once in a blue moon.

Re:These distros should become meta-packages. (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754064)

Yeah, I've just had to use Parted Magic recently (great little distro - a utility, but nicely put together and presented) but it sure wouldn't be my core desktop distro.

As for the meta-packages idea, they'd either end up a) having to get included in the core distro and its repos (which will be difficult in Ubuntu, as they'll want a certain level of confidence in it) or b) stashing it in a separate add-on repo that you've got to install yourself after the main install. Either way around, it isn't as self-contained as a pre-configured distro, and I'm sure most of the apps could be or are made available outside the distro anyway.

You do it (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754174)

What gives you the right to tell others what they should do?

If someone wants to make a carbon copy of Ubuntu but written entirely in Perl on a single line, that is THEIR business. NOT YOURS.

Re:You do it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754268)

What gives you the right to tell others what they should do?

If someone wants to tell someone else that they should not make a carbon copy of Ubuntu but written entirely in Perl on a single line, that is THEIR business. NOT YOURS.

The Recursion Fairy

Re:These distros should become meta-packages. (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754750)

I think some already are, like MythBuntu. I might be wrong, but I think it uses the same mythtv package you can install on plain Ubuntu, the distro just drops many of the standard packages and makes you boot directly into myth. The latter might be good reason to have a separate distro, what a "sane" detault is probably depends on whether it's a dedicated appliance box or not.

Ask the developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32755052)

Time for a reality check! Let's get started.

The developers of each of these distributions kept them seperate from mainstream distros, because that's what they wanted to do. Obviously they had the choice of offering some kind of add-on system for mainstream distros, but they didn't, and they must have had reasons for that. If the developers didn't have that choice, or were pressured or harassed into trying to merge into an existing distro, then they probably wouldn't have done it at all.

In conclusion, mind your own business and stop worrying about whether other people are "contributing" to the world in the "correct manner" as defined by yourself, and simply let people enjoy what they do.

pfsense? (0, Flamebait)

bundaegi (705619) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753828)

Not seen this one mentioned yet. pfsense [] is by far my favourite specialised linux distro.

Re:pfsense? (3, Informative)

simoncpu was here (1601629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753846)

Replying to undo moderation. pfSense is based on FreeBSD, not Linux.

Re:pfsense? (0, Flamebait)

aussieslovethecock (1840034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753988)

what's the difference, you jew?

Re:pfsense? (1)

tapanitarvainen (1155821) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754404)

pfSense is based on FreeBSD, not Linux.

Yeah. There're several Linux-based firewall distros, though; IpCop is perhaps closest to pfSense.

Re:pfsense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32753862)

Probably because pfsense doesn't use Linux for starters, knucklehead.

Also, at this point I would hardly call pfsense obscure... Whatever though.

Unslung (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753894)

It makes the Slug rock!

Slashdotted (4, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753910)

Coral Cache: []

List of the distros:


Gaming distro? (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753922)

But really, I think this is all the common people would want/need if they want to replace Windows.

Re:Gaming distro? (1)

i ate my neighbour (1756816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753976)

No, it's Damn Vulnerable Linux that will make them feel home.

Re:Gaming distro? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32753992)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA(aaah...snif.) Man, you're funny.

Anyway, absurd overstatement aside, it /is/ a nice selection of Linux gaming. Such as it is.

The site is /.'d of course, so here's the game list from google cache:

The following games are included on the most recent release of live.linuX-gamers

Games that are bold are only contained on the "big" release. The genres are provided in brackets.
armagetronad (tron-like)
astromenace (shoot-em-up)
blobby2 (beachball)
chromium-bsu (shoot-em-up)
extremetuxracer (down-hill racing)
foobillard (billard)
frozen-bubble (puzzle)
lbreakout2 (breakout)
ltris (tetris)
neverball (balance puzzle)
neverputt (minigolf)
osmos-demo (ambience puzzle)
pingus (puzzle, lemmings-like)
smc (jump-and-run)
teeworlds (action)
worldofgoo-demo (puzzle)
xmoto (action, balance)
  [bold startz]
fretsonfire (music)
glest (real time strategy)
hedgewars (artillery, worms-like)
lincity-ng (city builder)
maniadrive (action driving, stunts)
nexuiz (first person shooter)
openlierox (action)
openttd (industry planner)
sauerbraten (first person shooter)
scorched3d (artillery)
supertuxkart (kart racing)
tremulous (first person shooter)
urbanterror (first person shooter)
warsow (first person shooter)
warzone2100 (real time strategy)
wesnoth (turn-based strategy)
widelands (real time strategy, settlers-like)
worldofpadman (first person shooter)
  [bold endz]

Re:Gaming distro? (2, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754050)

Yeah I don't see that coming close to something a gamer would replace Windows with. Like it or not, Windows beats the pants off of Linux when it comes to gaming. I wish it weren't true, but it is.

Re:Gaming distro? (2, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754110)

A few of these are actually decent games - Wesnoth is well-designed and a lot of fun, as is Scorch3d even if it's not nearly so original - but there are a couple of major failings of that list. First of all, there's none of the big-name games, the ones that would be expected by any PC gamer looking to switch operating systems. Second, none of the games that I recognize are specific to Linux, meaning that they are not, in and of themselves, a reason to switch (at best, they are a reason not to avoid switching). Third, the list excludes a couple of very popular genres, like MMORPG (there actually are some for Linux) or even RPGs in general (plenty of those, and if usually not terribly "pretty" they are some of the best-designed Linux games out there). I realize that a LiveDVD has limited space and that games tend to be expensive in terms of install footprint, but they seem to have selected many of the "flashy" games instead of the quality ones. It's also worth pointing out that by including Wine they could add a ton of titles to that list, including some very popular Windows titles, assuming they could get redistribution rights.

TA Spring? (2, Interesting)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754532)

I haven't checked on the TA-Spring (or simply the spring project) updates anymore... but a year ago, that seemed like one of the best (ever) real time strategy games - as far as I'm concerned up there with the likes of Starcraft... meaning it's up there with the popular windows games.

It has it's problems for the installation (you need separate bots, maps, and sets of units), but that's really why I was hoping to have it included in this gaming distro.

Re:Gaming distro? (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754228)

You're kidding, right? Because the only games Windows users would want to play is 400 ripoffs of Quake 3 Deathmatch? Hey for some stuff Linux works great, for example it makes a damned good web server or embedded environment, but quality gaming sure as hell ain't one of them. It takes a shitload of money to even make a B class game these days, and getting thousands of guys across the planet to donate their time to the really hard work like designing a top notch game engine? Ain't gonna happen.

That is why I'd say for the foreseeable future Linux games will be nothing but maps built upon whatever engine the guys at Id are nice enough to donate. Servers and embedded yes, gaming and multimedia? Not so much. The same as I doubt Myth will ever take the place of WMC, or even windows based add-ons like Mediaportal. It takes a hell of a lot of work to support all that hardware, and writing drivers? Really not fun. With Myth I spent nearly a week fighting the damned thing trying to get it stable, whereas with Win7 WMC it was plug and play.

Which is why I guess I just won't "get it" with regards to all the resources wasted on trying to make Linux do jobs it simply isn't good at, when there are so many jobs that it is good at where those limited resources could be better put to use. Servers, embedded, forensics, HPC, kiosks, etc. Why waste all those resources trying to force a square peg in a round hole?

Puppy Linux Arf Arf (5, Informative)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753974)

My favorite, but no longer obscure. Puppy is now v. 5.0 and # 10 in page hit ranking on Distrowatch. Puppy is arguably the cutest distribution, the most sincere distribution, and the most beloved distribution. Not to mention very compact, very capable, very easy to install or run live, and very extensible. Try some now! Try some today! Puppy is good for you! Everyone should know about it!

Ubuntu for Christians? (3, Interesting)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753980)

At first reaction, I laughed quite hard. Upon further examination, the software included in the distro looks to be quite useful. I have forwarded Xiphos (a piece of bible study software included in the distro) on to my grandfather, who immerses himself in study of scripture. If that's your thing, I would check it out. Guess I learned about a new project today. Look at that, Slashdot taught me something.

Unusual, Obscene, and Useful Linux Distros (3, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753982)

That was how I read the title at first glance. So disappointed.

Re:Unusual, Obscene, and Useful Linux Distros (5, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753986)

We could have had distro's with names like DebDoesIan and YouCanLeaveYourRedHatOn

Mandriva? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754000)

WTF is Mandriva?

Ubuntu Christian Edition (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754004)

1. Jesus saves - early and often. Or maybe you could just configure him to auto-save?
2. Who needs backups when you have faith?
3. Wait until you see our "firewall"!
4. Well, good, at least they're trying to convert those Linux heathens.
5. Some tools not included: head, finger, fsck...
6. "missionary" the only available filesystem (mount -t missionary - and then only for procreation)
7. Good news! Jesus healed the Gimp! Zombies raised from the dead!
8. Thou shalt not take the hostname in vain.
9. Honor thy PPID.
10. Thou shall not kill -9.
11. Those are penguins, not nuns!

Known bugs:
Sometimes Jesus thinks he's Richard Stallman.

vlc only plays G-rated AVIs.

$ mesg y
$ write god
write: god is not logged in

Re:Ubuntu Christian Edition (2, Funny)

fatp (1171151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754168)

Re:Ubuntu Christian Edition (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754238)

Funny stuff. I especially liked

If you uninstall Ubuntu Christian Edition, it will automatically re-install after three days.

I cracked myself up with "Honor thy PPID".
I swear to $DEITY I've never heard of Ubuntu Christian Edition before now.

Re:Ubuntu Christian Edition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754332)

Ofcourse, Richard Stallman thinks he is Jesus sometimes too!


Makes me appreciate Bob's insights (1)

DreadPirateShawn (1246208) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754010)

"If you don't laugh, you didn't get it, but if you ONLY laugh, you didn't get it." [Book of the SubGenius]

If we're talking Specialist Distros... (3, Informative)

Lexical_Scope (578133) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754118)

Surely BackTrack needs a mention. One stop shop for Penetration Testing, Ethical Hacking, Security Analysis and pretty much anything else security-related. It might not qualify as a fully-blown "distro" depending on your definition, but it's a lot more customised than your standard "Clonebuntu" variants.

If you are even remotely interested in Network Security or Penetration Testing, it's a really invaluable tool.

Got Slack? (0, Offtopic)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754156)


Re:Got Slack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754772)

Slackware isn't so much unknown as it is ignored. It's one of the old-timey distros that simply isn't going to get the same attention as the newer ones.

With that, I'd recommend Slax to anyone familiar with Slackware and looking for a good live CD. It's a live CD based on Slackware.

I want 64bit distro that has working Flash & S (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754214)

I just want a 64-bit distro that has working Flash and sound drivers. Even if I had to buy a specific sound card I'd be happy.

Of course the first time I updated it would probably switch to some new sound driver which wouldn't work.....

And then there's the issue of Adobe dropping support......

I want to use Linux, I really do! But I need to get some work done, not spend all my time tracking down drivers and patches.

Re:I want 64bit distro that has working Flash & (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32755096)

I call bullshit -- parent is either a troll or an idiot.

I've been running 64-bit (open)SUSE for about 5 years (since 9.0 or 9.1, I can't remember which I started with now) on an assortment of commodity desktops and laptops, and Flash and sound have always Just Worked for me.

(PS - What sort of "work" *requires* you to have Flash and sound?)

They forgot Jesux! (1)

noz (253073) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754220)

The original Christian distribution: Jesux [] !

The interesting bits (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754550)

The highlights

DansGuardian [] web filtering not something I'm bothered with for myself but anyone with kids should be concerned with what their children see.

Its built into ubuntu christian edition along with bible study software and other religious junk but obviously would work for any ubuntu edition. [] ubuntu satanic edition has some really nice art work not mentioned in the article but in the comments also there is sabily A muslim edition of ubuntu. Other religions are available even one designed to run Amiga software on, []

musix is a fully open source multimedia debian based distro
caine is for digital forensics

DVL might be interesting if you have an interest in security

HML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754642)

Where's Hannah Montana Linux?

sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32754780)


Unusual, Obscure, and Useful (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32754822)

Is this like fast, cheap, and reliable - choose any two?

Voyage Linux (1)

brianbek (1205928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32755064)

I'd like to throw voyage-linux in there as well, (its debian lenny based). I use it alot loading linux onto embedded devices (x86). Great if the system only has a cf card for storage, load the live cd up on your desktop, and pxe boot the embedded device. After installed, two commands remountrw and remountro let you update/change stuff on the device and then set the filesystem read only again. []

Backtrack 4 (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32755108)

I'm suprised no-one has listed backtrack yet. I always have one flash drive and one dvd of it in my kit with me at all times (among some other things listed). It rocks for throwing up metasploit or cracking WEP real fast. It is a merge of Whax and Auditor) I also miss PHLAK.

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