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January 2000, "At last - here's the first ever home-grown Linux distribution"

Until now, every commercially available boxed Linux distribution has originated outside the UK. While that's not a problem as such, it means obtaining the free technical support offered with most boxed sets usually entails either international phone calls or faxes, or waiting for your answer via email. Definite Linux 7 is set to change all that, since it was designed and originated in the UK, and the free installation support comes directly from the very people who built and compiled the distribution.

Definite Linux 7 is yet another distribution based around the robust and very popular Red Hat Linux 6, along with competitor like Mandrake 6.1, which we gave away on last month's CD. As with most Red Hat- derived distributions, you're getting a very stable and well-tested version of Linux, along with an easy to follow text-based installer and a good selection of applications.

Breezy Installation

As such, Definite Linux is as easy or awkward to install as Mandrake or Red Hat. If your hardware is supported - and the list is impressive, including some very new

and very old kit-then installing Definite Linux is basically painless. Just like Red Hat, there's no graphical tool to aid you with disk partitioning, but you do at least have access to the excellent Disk Druid, which helps a lot.

The main enhancements to Definite are in the separately available Server version, touted as "ecommerce in a box" since " includes the secure version of the Apache Web server. As a desktop OS, it's very stable indeed, as you'd expect from the Red Hat pedigree. Nothing Definite has done undermines this, and our installation ran smoothly with no hassles. The current version is based around the 2.1.12 release of the Linux kernel, and manages to include something that's lacking in almost every other Linux distribution availabe - direct support for ISDN, straight out of the box. It's hard to categorise Definite Linux in terms of a desktop OS. -it's fast, robust and we had no problems with it.

It's easily on a par with any other version of Linux we've used recently, and has the added bonus of direct UK support. If you can't afford Red Hat and think you'll need support, Definite Linux is well worth the price.

PC Answers verdict: 78%

Frank Charlton

* Definite Linux Advanced Internet Server Edition is optimised for Pentium processors - the standard edition isn't in order to ensure compatibility with the maximum range of hardware - Definite Linux.
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