What microkernel alternatives to Linux are there?

Software infrastructure

The well-known distributions such as Ubuntu Linux and Opensuse or Mandriva have quickly developed into comfortable operating systems in recent years. But in addition to these all-purpose weapons, there are a number of specialized distributions that the developers have trimmed for specific purposes.

For example, there are Linux versions that are particularly suitable for children and for use in schools. In addition, the open source community has Linux distributions in its portfolio that are specially designed for installation on USB sticks or on old, actually discarded computers. Some operating systems are designed as pure data recovery tools and are ideally suited as an emergency set if the actual operating system (be it Windows, MacOS or Linux) no longer wants to start. There are also live systems that can be started from CD. With them you can safely enter the Linux world.

Linux distributions, which are supposed to guarantee IT security, offer particularly interesting application possibilities. This group includes operating systems that can be used to set up powerful firewalls on decommissioned PCs. Still other Linux distributions track down security gaps in operating systems and applications. PC-Welt, sister publication of Computerwoche, has put together a total of 37 distributions.

  1. Damn Vulnerable Linux DVL
    With these Linux distributions you will learn to track down weak points in a system and then to close them. This Linux distribution has many security test instruments for this. If you take advantage of the vulnerabilities deliberately packed into this Linux distribution, you will learn a lot about hacking techniques. However, certain programming skills should be available. Technically, Damn Vulnerable Linux is based on Backtrack 2 - a classic among security Linux systems. DVL must not be used in productive use because it deliberately contains built-in security gaps.
  2. Nubuntu: Security Linux
    A special Ubuntu derivative that is entirely dedicated to security analysis. Nubuntu (which stands for Network Ubuntu) comes without a graphical user interface and is operated entirely via the command line. There is then a wealth of tools available with which you can put a computer or network through its paces. Port scanners and tools for fuzzing (entering randomly generated data), password cracking, sniffing and spoofing are on board. These include well-known names such as Nmap, Wireshark, Ettercap, Kismet or Dsniff and many more.
  3. Privatix: Particularly secure Linux
    A particularly secure mobile system for the USB stick that shines with encryption techniques (for data and emails) and tools for anonymous surfing. It is ideal for surfing from other computers. The technical basis is Debian.
  4. Mandriva: Linux from France
    The Linux system from France. It is considered particularly beginner-friendly. Originally, Mandriva was developed by Mandrakesoft under the name Mandrake. When Mandrakesoft merged with Conectiva, Mandriva was born. Technically, it comes from Red Hat, from which it also inherited the package manager RPM.
  5. CentOS: RHEL Compatible
    The Community Enterprise Operating System is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) from Red Hat but is developed by the community.
  6. Wubi: Install Linux on Windows
    With Wubi you can install an Ubuntu Linux system under Windows 98, 2000, XP and Vista directly. Partitioning is not required, so Linux can be tried out safely.
  7. Andlinux: Use Linux software under Windows
    With Andlinux you can start Linux programs directly under Windows. At its core is an Ubuntu system that is completely integrated into a Windows OS. Andlinux is available as a slim Xfce and as a KDE variant, both of which can be installed under Windows by clicking on the EXE file. Then start Andlinux via "Start, Programs, Andlinux".
  8. gOS: Open to Google applications
    This Linux variant is often incorrectly referred to as Google Linux. The reason: There are a few links to Google applications such as Googlemail and Google Docs right from the start and are therefore closely linked to the use of many Internet services. Nevertheless, gOS does not come from Google, but from the US company gOS LLC / Everex. Among other things, gOS was installed on the Linux PCs that the US chain Wal Mart sold extremely cheaply. Technically, gOS is based on Ubuntu.
  9. PCLinuxOS (PCLOS): Desktop-optimized
    Originally based on Mandrake and has been specially optimized for desktop use. Considered to be simple and user-friendly.
  10. Granular Linux: PCLinuxOS Remix
    A PCLinuxOS remix that is particularly recommended as a multimedia desktop system.
  11. Sabayon lite MCE Edition
    A Gentoo Linux based multimedia distribution with media center. This is a live system that can be permanently installed at any time.
  12. Gentoo Linux: For hardcore users
    This Linux distribution is aimed at users who want to set up their Linux as individually as possible. For this purpose, Gentoo is primarily available in not yet compiled packages, which are only then translated on the target system and thus optimally adapted to it. Manual intervention in installation and configuration is required throughout the bank. This inevitably requires a thorough knowledge of Linux, so Gentoo is the wrong choice for beginners. In contrast, ideal for tinkerers and inquisitive technicians.
  13. Linux Mint: a chic look
    Send Ubuntu variant with its own configuration tools. 512 MB RAM should be available for smooth work.
  14. Live Response Toolkit llr .sh: Professional tool for forensic experts
    If your Linux system or server was the victim of a hacker attack, you or a computer forensic scientist must track down the attackers. You can do this with the Live Response Toolkit.

    It secures the volatile data of an attacked computer, for example the contents of the main memory, time and date of the operations carried out, running processes, open files and so on. The collected data can be saved over the network or on a USB stick.

    A professional tool for forensic experts.
  15. Knoppix: The mother of all live systems
    The ultimate rescue and live system. Knoppix uses the Debian distribution and offers extensive hardware support. The slim LXDE is used as the desktop. A new addition in version 6.0.1 is the Adrianes system for speech output for the visually impaired. Knoppix is ‚Äč‚Äčintended for use from CD or USB stick, but it can also be permanently installed on the PC at any time. A special variant is Knoppix-STD with security tools for scanning or for the penetration test.
  16. Slackware: Dinosaur Linux
    Slackware is the mother of many of today's Linux distributions and is therefore an absolute veteran. The distribution is deliberately kept slim and is aimed at Linux professionals, beginners and Windows switchers should definitely have problems with Slackware, especially since the command line with Slackware is the control center (although of course all common graphical interfaces are available).
  17. SystemRescueCD: saves data
    Emergency system to be able to access a defective operating system. SystemRescueCD is based on Gentoo Linux. When booting, the operating system offers the choice between a purely text-based work environment and the graphical user interface of the JWM window manager. SystemsRescueCD provides GParted as well as the tools Partimage, TestDisk and the Norton Commander clone Midnight Commander. It recognizes most Linux file systems like ext2, ext3, reiser3, jfs and xfs as well as some exotic ones like reiser4, ext4 and btrfs and of course FAT, FAT 32 and NTFS. Overall, the scope of equipment is larger than with GParted Live.
  18. GParted Live / GParted LiveCD: Saves data
    An emergency system to access a defective operating system. GParted Live is based on Debian Linux and is a runtime environment for GParted, i.e. for the Gnu Partition Editor, with which you can enlarge and reduce partitions without loss. The software supports the file systems FAT, FAT 32, NTFS, ext2, ext3 and a few others. GParted Live has only a few applications, the classics Vim or Nano serve as editors. A reduced fluxbox is used as a window manager. The ISO image is 94 MB in size.
  19. SliTaz Linux: oldie-fair
    Very resource-saving and therefore also suitable for antique computers. The boot image of SliTaz Linux has been reduced to 30 MB thanks to the Gzip and LZMA compression methods, as well as by reducing it to what the developers believe is necessary. It requires 160 MB of RAM. The window manager is JWM (Joe's Window Manager). Additional features include the "Bon Echo" browser, the lighttpd web server and the SQLite database. AlsaPlayer and mhWaveEdit are available for multimedia.
  20. antiX Linux: oldie-fair
    Very resource-saving and therefore also suitable for antique computers. antiX Linux takes up 400 MB on the hard disk and is based on MEPIS Linux. 128 MB RAM should be available. antiX can also be started from CD. Fluxbox is available as a window manager. The Iceweasel browser, Debian's version of the Firefox browser, is available for web surfers. AntiX users write texts with Abiword, Geany or Leafpad. The package also contains the Gnumeric spreadsheet, the image processing software mtPaint and the media players Mplayer and Xine. For programmers, Python 2.5.2 is installed and ready for use.
  21. Damn Small Linux (DSL): Damn small
    Very slim system for USB sticks and old computers as well as a virtual system. Damn Small Linux (DSL) is based on Knoppix. The boot image requires 50 MB storage space, 128 MB RAM are required for operation. The Monkey HTTP Daemon is available as an http server, and the BetaFTP server is available for FTP downloads. Additional features include an office suite, a file manager and a file viewer for Windows documents and PDF files. As a media player, XMMS does its job.
  22. Puppy Linux: small but nice
    Very slim live system for USB sticks and old computers as well as a virtual system. The boot image is almost 90 MB in size. It offers the SeaMonkey web browser, Gnumeric as a spreadsheet, Inkspace for vector graphics and mtPaint for image processing. The PetGet-Manager is an integrated download and installation aid. A total of almost 200 extension packages are available, including OpenOffice, the Firefox and Opera browsers, and Gimp, Python and Skype image processing. Puppy Linux can be started from CD, USB stick and network. 256 MB RAM should be available. A variant of Puppy Linux is MacPUP 412F, which is based on the appearance of MacOS X. Http://macpup.org. Another branch of Puppy Linux is Flexxxpup Dice .
  23. Fluxflux-Eee: Alternative for EEE PC system
    Fluxflux-Eee is based on the PCLinuxOS distribution and the slim window managers Fluxbox and Openbox. Fluxflux works without KDE and relies on GTK programs that are common under Gnome. Fluxflux supports in different versions not only the Eee PCs 70X, 900, 900A and 1000H, but also the One A110, the MSI Wind U100 and the discounter netbook Medion Akoya Mini E1210. The ISO images of the different versions offered on the project website each offer a live system that must be installed on a USB stick or memory card to start on netbooks. The live system comes with a script for this.
  24. Fedora: Greetings from the USA
    Fedora is the community-based variant of Red Hat Linux. From the US company Red Hat itself only the Linux systems intended for professional use such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux come today, so the separation here is similar to that of Opensuse / Novell Suse. Red Hat and Fedora are working closely together on further development.

    Red Hat also provided the RPM Package Manager, alias Red Hat Package Manager, which is widely used in Linux and is often used to provide software for Linux. Also Opensuse, PCLInuxOS, CentOS and Mandriva use RPM (whereby under Opensuse the package management mostly takes place via the graphical frontend YAST), Debian, however, relies on dpkg and deb.
  25. Debian GNU / Linux: Professional system for servers
    The veteran Linux distribution and still the first choice for a professional server system. New versions of Debian appear only in relatively long intervals, for example, the predecessor Debian 4.0 (Etch) took almost 22 months. The current Debian has the number 5.0 and the code name Lenny.

    Debian is particularly popular as a stable Linux distribution for server use and forms the basis for many other well-known distributions, including Ubuntu in particular. This certainly led to resentment in the Linux community, as it was said that Ubuntu was drawing every conceivable benefit from the development of Debian without actually contributing anything.

    As a graphical user interface, Debian comes with Gnome by default. Debian GNU / Linux supports numerous computer architectures: Sun Sparc, HP Alpha and Risc, IBM PowerPC and S / 390, Intel IA-32 and IA-64, Mips, ARM as well as AMD64 and Intel EM64T as well as the Orion platform from Marvell, which is included in used in many network storage systems. Supported storage devices include the QNAP Turbo Station, HP Media Vault mv2120 and Buffalo Kurobox Pro.

    In addition, Lenny now supports several netbooks, especially the Asus Eee PC with the Debian Eee PC version, which is currently still beta.

    The installation of Debian 5.0 has been significantly simplified compared to the previous version - thanks to the graphical installation routine. Debian is now also available as a live system for safe testing. Debian GNU / Linux includes free software only. If you are installing Debian for the first time, you will look for Firefox and Thunderbird in vain, at least at first glance. Because of name disputes, the Mozilla browser is called Iceweasel and the mail client is Icedove.

    The package managers used are dpkg and deb, for which there are convenient frontends with apt, aptitude and synaptic.
  26. Asus EEE PC Linux: Xandros variant for EEE PC
    The Asus Eee Xandros Linux with IceWM as Windows manager has been specially optimized for the limited hardware resources of the mini PC / netbook.

    This Asus version of Xandros starts particularly quickly with Fastinit and has the most important applications such as Firefox, Pidgin and Open, which are accessible via large icons. Many scripts have been specially adapted to this variant.
  27. Xandros OS: Basis for the EEE-PC-Linux
    This is a Linux distribution that is less widespread in Germany. Xandros contains the former Corel Linux that Xandros bought. The package management is based on the tried and tested Debian. The focus of interest was on Xandros as the basis for the Asus EEE PC operating system
  28. Juxlala, Lerntux and Edubuntu: Linux for learning
    These three distributions particularly target (young) children, schoolchildren and students. All three can be used as live systems, but they can also be installed. Special learning software such as Gcompris is typical for these Education Linux systems. JUXlala is a Linux distribution for preschool and elementary school children. This becomes clear from the very first glance at the desktop: Instead of Gnome or KDE, the youngsters are greeted by a colorful, child-friendly picture landscape with penguins, a mouse, a sun (which, however, only rolls its eyes), a house, a tree and a cogwheel machine. Lerntux is much broader than Juxlala: This Linux live system can not only be used by small children, but also schoolchildren and even students. In addition to child-friendly games of skill and letter and number exercises, Lerntux also includes geometry exercises and, for example, an extensive Latin trainer. The Linux distribution Edubuntu is a variant of the well-known Ubuntu that has been expanded to include numerous learning programs such as TuxPaint, TuxMath, TuxTyping and Gcompris. The current version of Edubuntu bears the number 7.10, analogous to the Ubuntu version. Edubuntu is always updated almost at the same time as Ubuntu, so new releases appear in spring and autumn.
  29. FreeBSD and BSD: Unix derivatives
    These are Unix-like operating systems that have their own development branch that is independent of Linux. Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) was created in the 1970s at the University of Berkeley as a further development of Unix. Prominent pupil: MacOS X is based on BSD. Various processor platforms are supported. All common Linux programs and interfaces (such as Gnome) also run under FreeBSD / BSD. The defining trademark of FreeBSD is the red devil.
  30. AppArmor: Security enhancement from Novell
    AppArmor is Novell's alternative to SELinux. This is the original security solution subdomain that Novell bought and integrated into Opensuse, among other things.
  31. QNX: real-time system with microkernel