Debian GNU/Linux

Non-commercial, popular with volunteer developers contributing to the project, very large and takes a while to install, easy to install upgrades with apt-get installer.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux: LSU Overview

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, also known as REHL, is the officially supported Linux operating system at LSU. Commercial, features the GNOME interface, and uses Yum/ PackageKit as an update method.

Gentoo Linux

Non-commercial, source based, installer provides some binary code packages to get you started however it is meant for the user to compile all source packages, very time consuming because everything must be download and then complied.


Live CD, good recovery tool because it can be run from CD without installing it, CD stores software in compressed form and Knoppix decompresses it, uses Debian package management.


Commercial, follows Debian format, software downloads for a fee in Click-N-Run Web-based interface.

Mandriva Linux One

Uses Red Hat Package Manager for software, has Mandriva Flash a 4GB flash drive that will bring operating system up without installing it.


Live CD, Debian based, good hardware detection, comes with Java and multimedia software.

Slackware Linux

Uses compressed tar files, provides text based installer, limited automatic hardware detection, all software configuration done by editing text files.

SUSE Linux

Two types: SUSE Linux Open Source Software which is free and SUSE Linux which is based on open source, YaST installation and configuration tool which is a highly favored administration tool, uses RPM packages.

Ubuntu Linux

Non-commercial, Debian based, both install CD and Live CD, install basic desktop from CD then use apt-get for installing other packages and staying up to date.

Xandros Desktop OS

Debian based, targets first time users, installer repartitions hard drive, versatile Xandros File Manager, has proprietary components that stops redistribution.

Last Updated: 8/14/2020