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The differences between Linux distributions

A lot of people have heard of GNU/Linux (more commonly referred to as just "Linux") and are having trouble finding out what the differences are between different versions -- or distributions -- that are available. This article will show how they differ, and how GNU/Linux differs from similar operating systems.

How to replace and disable Internet Explorer

You've probably heard about a particularly nasty trojan horse attack recently which exploited several vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Internet Information Services. While viruses and trojans have been taking advantage of known vulnerabilities for years, this particular attack is new because it uses several vulnerabilities at once, one of them being unpatched by Microsoft at the time of infection, and it doesn't require the user to download or install any programs or visit any malicious websites. Even if you have the latest patches from Microsoft and only visit trusted websites your system is still vulnerable and you're risking your credit card numbers, bank account information, passwords and other sensitive data if you use Internet Explorer. Due to ongoing security concerns, it's time to say goodbye to Internet Explorer forever -- here's how to do it along with a brief explanation of why Internet Explorer is such an abomination before all mankind.

An introduction to command line editors

At some point in your GNU/Linux or BSD adventures, you're going to have to use a command-line text editor. Some of them are pretty easy to use but have few features. Others are powerful but require a study session with the tutorial file to learn how to operate them. Most often you just need a text editor to edit a couple of config files and don't want to spend 45 minutes working through a tutorial. How about a crash course to get you going?

Hacking Linspire 5.0

Linspire 5.0 (Five-0) is a Debian GNU/Linux-based distribution with a pretty interface, proprietary video drivers and browser plug-ins, and a pricey desktop software subscription model. If you like Linspire but hate the company's Click N Run pay-as-you-go software service, here's how to disable and circumvent CNR and switch to using standard Debian packages and the Synaptic package manager. I'll also show you how to set up your system for watching DVDs without Linspire's proprietary DVD player software.

Moving from Microsoft Word to Writer

Whether you're moving from Windows to GNU/Linux, or just from the proprietary Microsoft Office to the free software suite, one of the challenges you'll face is learning how to use Writer effectively if you're used to Microsoft Word. In this article I'll show you around Writer, where to find familiar Word tools, and how to customize the interface and preferences to make it a little more Word-friendly.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 review

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 represents a significant step forward for GUI-based enterprise server operating systems. While others are still fiddling with the 2.4 kernel, Novell has jumped up to 2.6, adding several exclusive features that make SLES9 stand above its competition. On its surface SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 looks like a somewhat reduced version of SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional, but its most exciting features are hidden beneath the familiar green and blue GUI. Slackware or BSD servers are unlikely to be replaced by SUSE and its fancy interface, but Windows Server 2003 has no prayer against this production-quality server OS.

Novell Openexchange Server review

A scalable, stable, secure software stack for small and medium-sized business network services is hard to develop in-house or integrate from piecemeal components. To integrate it all with a single sign-on for users requires even more work. Enter Novell's new SUSE Linux-based OpenExchange, a packaged, full-featured, secure, all-encompassing operating environment.

Mandriva Corporate Desktop 3.0 review

The corporate desktop GNU/Linux distribution is a relatively new invention, having begun with SUSE Desktop, then followed by Sun's Java Desktop System and Red Hat Desktop. But with much less fanfare, Mandrivasoft released a Corporate Desktop product last January. It's cheaper, has no minimum purchase requirement, and has support options of from one to five years. Compared to the alternatives, Mandriva Corporate Desktop is suited more for smaller shops that need a cost-effective and reliable desktop platform with corporate support.

Linspire 5.0 review

Linspire (formerly known as LindowsOS) has consistently made an attractive, easy-to-install and easy-to-use GNU/Linux distribution. With the 2.6.10 Linux kernel and a recent build of, Linspire has fixed some of the video driver problems I had with the 4.0 and 4.5 versions. As in previous releases, Linspire includes many proprietary add-ons "mainstream" desktop users enjoy, but in return it comes with proprietary strings attached.

Mandriva Corporate Server 3.0 review

Mandrakesoft released its Corporate Server 3.0 product in February. It's a significant upgrade to the older 2.1 edition. With a newer kernel and a competent GUI management utility for its services, Corporate Server 3.0 is a good, inexpensive choice for businesses that need a powerful and secure server operating system with as little overhead as possible.