I provide a rundown of many of the current Linux distributions in Chapter 21, in the section "Obtaining a Linux Distribution." If you're unfamiliar with Linux, just about any of the major distributions will serve your needs well. Debian and Slackware are two possible exceptions to this rule, because neither comes with extensive GUI configuration tools. If you're already familiar with Linux, you might want to favor a vendor that ships the same distribution you've used in the past. If you buy a system that runs another distribution, you might be puzzled by the differences between the distributions. This is particularly true with respect to configuration features. For instance, Red Hat and Mandrake both use the linuxconf tool for system administration, shown in Figure 22.1. SuSE, on the other hand, uses the text-based YaST, shown in Figure 22.2. Other distributions use other configuration tools.
Red Hat's linuxconf is an extensible configuration tool used by the Red Hat and Mandrake distributions.
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