Mandrake LinuxTM is a friendly Linux Operating System which specializes in ease-of-use for both servers and the home/office. It is freely available in many languages throughout the world.

Mandrake Linux was created in 1998 with the goal of making Linux easier to use for everyone. At that time, Linux was already well-known as a powerful and stable operating system that demanded strong technical knowledge and extensive use of the "command line"; MandrakeSoft saw this as an opportunity to integrate the best graphical desktop environments and contribute its own graphical configuration utilities and quickly became famous for setting the standard in ease-of-use and functionality.
With this innovative approach, MandrakeSoft offers all the power and stability of Linux to both individuals and professional users in an easy-to-use and pleasant environment. Thousands of new users are discovering Linux each and every day and finding it a complete replacement for their previous operating system. Linux as a server or workstation has no reason to be jealous of any other more established operating systems.
The GPL license (General Public License) governs the development and redistribution of Mandrake Linux. This license provides everyone the right to copy, distribute, examine, modify and improve the system as long as the results of these modifications are returned to the community. It is this development model that allows Mandrake Linux to collect the best ideas from developers & users from across the globe to result in a rich variety of techniques and solutions.

Red Hat offers technology solutions built on the benefits of Linux and open source software and strengthened through there alliances with technology leaders such as Oracle, Dell and HP. Red Hat Linux Advanced Server is the premier technology solution for deployment of mission-critical applications. This software is delivered on an annual subscription basis along with Red Hat Network for software distribution and Red Hat Services for skilled support.

The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. This operating system that we have created is called Debian GNU/Linux, or simply Debian for short.

An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. At the core of an operating system is the kernel. The kernel is the most fundamental program on the computer and does all the basic housekeeping and lets you start other programs.

Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel. Linux is a completely free piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide.

However, work is in progress to provide Debian for other kernels, primarily for the Hurd. The Hurd is a collection of servers that run on top of a microkernel (such as Mach) to implement different features. The Hurd is free software produced by the GNU project.

A large part of the basic tools that fill out the operating system come from the GNU project; hence the names: GNU/Linux and GNU/Hurd. These tools are also free.

Of course, the thing that people want is application software: programs to help them get what they want to do done, from editing documents to running a business to playing games to writing more software. Debian comes with over 8710 packages (precompiled software that is bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine) -- all of it free.