Software Development with Linux

Specials Linux distributions for software developers

THU, 01 JUL 2010

Last week, Linux Journal published a nice article about Sabayon Linux.  I've already used Gentoo in past, and Sabayon looks like a really good upgrade from Gentoo.  At least, the article made me want to try it.  But more than that, it made me wonder about all the "unusual" or special Linux distributions that exists, but are not well known.

Searching for them, I discovered a bunch of special Linux distributions that can be of particular interest for software developers.  While they aren't general use distributions (like Sabayon), they may well come in handy depending on what you're doing / developing.

In no particular order...

  • SystemRescueCd : a Linux distribution available as a CD-ROM or USB stick, for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. Particularly useful when you crash your development box.

  • Zeroshell : a Linux distribution available as a CD-ROM or Compact Flash image for servers and embedded devices aimed at providing the main network services a LAN requires. Can help you quickly setup network services for testing purpose.

  • Rocks Cluster : a Linux cluster distribution that enables end users to easily build computational clusters, grid endpoints and visualization tiled-display walls. When you need more power than your development box offer.

  • Traffic Engineering Server : a Linux distribution that provides basic tools to monitor and manage traffic passing between LAN and Internet/WAN connection. Monitor your test network.

  • BackTrack Linux : a Linux distribution for penetration testing that aids security professionals in the ability to perform assessments in a purely native environment dedicated to hacking. Don't wait for the bad guys to find flaws in your software / system.

  • Parted Magic : a Linux distribution with its elemental purpose being to partition hard drives. Quickly partition test box, or fix partitions you've broken.

  • Clonezilla : a Linux distribution that allows you to do bare metal backup and recovery. Backup before it crash or do massive deployment for test systems.

And the last one :

  • Qimo 4 Kids : a Linux distribution which comes pre-installed with educational games for children aged 3 and up. They are never too young to start learning Linux ;-)