DistroWatch currently specialises in providing information about Linux, BSD and OpenSolaris distributions. BSDs were only introduced to DistroWatch in April 2004 and some of them have yet to be listed on this site. The following BSD-based operating systems are still on the to-do list:
Linux distributions which are designed to be installed on file systems used by Microsoft Windows (such as FAT, FAT32 or NTFS) are currently excluded from DistroWatch. These distributions are normally designed for evaluation purposes, they suffer from bad performance and package information is hard to come by. If you are interested in one of these distributions, please visit their web sites for further information.
Embedded Linux distributions, embedded operating systems and toolkits are currently excluded from being listed on DistroWatch. If you need more information about these types of distributions, please visit their web sites.
See also The Embedded Linux Distributions Quick Reference Guide. This Quick Reference Guide provides brief descriptions of many of the currently available commercial and non-commercial sources for Embedded Linux distributions and implementations, and includes pointers to more detailed information.
Some projects are frequently mistaken for Linux distributions - here is the list of the common ones:
Projects frequently mistaken for Linux distributions:
• Cobalt Linux by Sun Microsystems is a server appliance, not a Linux distribution.
• Cooperative Linux (or coLinux) is a port of the Linux kernel that allows it to run cooperatively alongside another operating system on a single machine. For instance, it allows one to freely run Linux on Windows 2000/XP.
• Cygwin is a Linux-like environment for Windows.
• Doors/Linux is an implementation of the Solaris Doors API on the Linux operating system.
• GNU Hurd is the GNU project's replacement for the Unix kernel.
• MOSIX is a cluster management system.
• Multidistro is a collection of several bootable mini distributions on one CD.
• Pogo Linux is a hardware vendor of servers, workstations, and storage systems with a Linux focus.
• SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux by NSA) is a Linux Kernel only, not a complete distribution.
• Ultimate Boot CD is a collection of utilities for performing hardware maintenance. It does include several distributions, including INSERT and Recovery Is Possible.
• Ximian is a commercial company developing a Linux desktop environment and productivity application suite, among other projects. It is not a Linux distribution.
Linux Weekly News - Distributions
This is one of the many Linux resources offered by the LWN team. A vast collection of distributions can be found here and these include embedded Linux and handheld distributions, small, regional, secure and various platform-specific distributions. Another great feature of LWN is its weekly update of happenings in the Linux distributions world (available to subscribers only during the first week after publishing) as part of its weekly bulletin published every Thursday. Well worth a visit!
ibiblio Linux Archive
The ibiblio web and ftp servers provide a great collection of open source software for free download. The distribution page lists a substantial collection of both major and minor distributions with brief descriptions. All distributions mentioned here are available for immediate download from ibiblio - both HTTP and FTP downloads are provided.