Distro Watching 2

Some notes on the distros based on the Distrowatch rankings from 2002-2005, or, all the commentary that didn’t make it into my previous blog entry… oh and while some most nearly all of this will look like flaimbait, I assure you its not ;)

The Debian Family
Ubuntu: the new kid everyone thinks is cool. Some of the other distros are jealous.
MEPIS: a popular Debian derivative surpassed now only by Ubuntu.
Debian: the mother of them all; well known and well liked.
KNOPPIX: a Live CD that was really popular in 2003 and 2004; likely being displaced by Ubuntu’s Live CD.
Damn Small: just like it says. While something of a specialty distro, its quite popular.
Xandros: Still popular, but starting to get crowded out.
Kubuntu: Ubuntu’s kid brother; trying to be all Kool with KDE, but still not nearly as popular.
KANOTIX: a Live CD that’s not as popular as KNOPPIX.
Linspire: on its way out; it hasn’t been in the top ten since before it changed its name to Lindows.

The Mandriva Family
Mandriva: formerly Mandrake; $80 (ouch! now you know why Ubuntu is the most popular ;)
PCLinuxOS: the most recent common ancestor with Mandriva was in 2003; its diverged considerably since. Not nearly as popular as its cousin.

The Slackware Family
SUSE: $50, but increasing in popularity.
Slackware: slowly declining in popularity.
SLAX: a nose ahead of Vector in the race for third place in the Slackware family.
Vector: a nose behind SLAX in the race for third place in the Slackware family.
Zenwalk: new, but relatively popular for a newcomer; keep an eye on it.

The Red Hat Family
Fedora: Free! This would explain how it completely displaced Red Hat in the rankings.
CentOS: a recent addition, but gaining in popularity.
Red Hat: Is this for consumers anymore? “Price (US$) 180 – 2,500
Vine: Specialty OS (Japanese language) that’s currently in decline.
Yellow Dog: never really all that popular because of its specialty nature; with the impending retirement of the PPC, this will soon be ‘Old Yeller‘ ^_-;

Gentoo: having vanquished Sorcerer and its proteges, it finds itself as the lone major source-based distro amongst the package-based distros, to which it is slowly losing ground.
Puppy: small and cute, its gaining popularity.
Arch: not to be confused with Ark (below ;) its almost in the ‘long tail’
Yoper: at its peak in 2003, its been in decline since; just in the ‘long tail’
Ark: not to be confused with Arch (above ;) its in the ‘long tail’


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