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13. Pre-Switching Information

Chapter 13. Pre-Switching Information

Years ago, many Windows users had a hard time understanding that Windows Me was an upgrade to Windows 98, and that Windows 2000 upgraded Windows NT. Today, many users are confused about the differences between Windows XP Home and XP Professional. Imagine walking into a computer store and finding 300 different versions of Windows for sale, each created by a different company, and none of them from Microsoft. You would probably feel overwhelmed and confused about which version to buy. Well, I’ve got news for you: there are over 300 distributions of Linux available. Choice is good, but it can definitely be overwhelming.

A Linux distribution is a compilation of the Linux kernel and hundreds of other open source programs and utilities. Remember, by itself the Linux kernel is not a complete operating system. It is only when it is combined with other programs that it becomes a capable alternative to Microsoft Windows. Distributions are created and sold, or provided for free, by a company, group, or individual. It is up to the distribution creators to choose which programs to bundle together to make a complete OS. The distributors also create installers, hardware detection programs, and special configuration programs to aid in the installation, configuration, and maintenance of a Linux system. The choices made by these distributors are what gives each distribution its unique flav....


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