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Security and Privacy Guide


Easy-to-Use GNU/Linux Distributions

Here are the easiest GNU/Linux distributions (versions) to use, listed in descending order of included applications and helpful, useful configuration.

Why All but One of the Following Distributions are Based on Debian

Note: I believe SimplyMEPIS has the best configuration and selection of included software, but some think Linspire is the most user-friendly for new Linux users, while others think Kubuntu or SUSE is. skip

Caution: There's always a chance that software from ''unofficial' repositories will make your system unstable. To be safe, always download them from official ones.

1. SimplyMEPIS

(a free distro based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian - includes a firewall enabled by default) skip

Note: ''MEPISLite is a lightweight version of SimplyMEPIS optimized for 'modest hardware.' To run gently on older machines, MEPISLite includes skinnier packages [software programs] and a number of tweaks to minimize 'disk thrashing.' It has been used successfully with as little as a 2 GB hard drive and a Pentium 2 processor with 128MB of RAM. MEPISLite preinstalls a full complement of software including KOffice, Kontact, and Firefox.'' - mepis.org

ATTENTION: Before installing GNU/Linux on a hard drive that has your data on it, make sure you back up your data first! And check your computer's hardware for compatibility.

If you need information about your hardware before installing GNU/Linux for the first time on a Windows PC, run Belarc Advisor (free) or Sandra Lite (free) and print out the results.

Note: To install SimplyMEPIS on your hard drive, boot up the SimplyMEPIS CD, enter root as both the username and the password, and log in. Then click on the Install SimplyMEPIS icon on your desktop.

Note: The following GNU/Linux distributions require a membership to download software programs which you can download for free with SimplyMEPIS.

CAUTION: You can also download them for free with the following GNU/Linux distributions, but they probably won't work, since these distributions have tweaked the GNU/Linux distributions they and the software programs are based on (Debian and Corel Linux).

2. Xandros

(free and commercial distros based on Debian) skip

WARNING: 1)Xandros Open Circulation Edition does not come with a firewall installed. But you may either download the Firestarter firewall from Xandros Networks (membership is required, but the firewall is configured for Xandros) or download Firestarter or Guarddog for free. Then enable it. (These free firewalls may or may not work in Xandros). 2)The firewall in the Standard, Deluxe and Business editions may not be enabled by default. To enable it, open the Personal Firewall Wizard. It's in the Internet section of the programs menu. skip

ATTENTION: Before installing GNU/Linux on a hard drive that has your data on it, make sure you back up your data first! And check your computer's hardware for compatibility.

If you need information about your hardware before installing GNU/Linux for the first time on a Windows PC, run Belarc Advisor (free) or Sandra Lite (free) and print out the results.

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