Needs for Linux

How do you decide what you need?

Your no longer in the "windows world" with Linux. With windows, you got just enough of a system to get the computer going the Microsoft way. Any applications to do any real work would be supplied free along with your hardware like the scanner, webcam, modem, or sound card. These additional apps supplied with your devices would be individually installed. Additionally, you could purchase needed applications from Microsoft or any one of a number of venders or could download free or trials from the net. As such, windows has no concept of application management. Until you actually install an application windows has no way of knowing about it so management is merely blind install, or remove. When you do install these Windows apps for your hardware, the total sum of information available for the app is contained in a help file that accompanies the app. Details of what libraries and support routines are included is seldom documented.

     Linux incorporates RPM (Red hat Package Management) ,or deb (debian packager) and now repositories whereby, each compressed package contains a full description of what it does and what additional packages are needed in order to use the application. Every time you obtain a new distribution of Linux, new respository or download more rpms or debs, the list of packages available is updated. As you add or remove packages you can see exactly what is on your system and what isn't. Also it tells you when a package is available which is an upgrade to something on your system. As you browse through the individual packages, you see a full description of what each package has or does. So as you can see, you can decide whether or not you want to try a new package before you even install it. With such powerful application management, it is far easier to tell when there may be a conflict before you try. As you work with the system, you can also easily add or remove applications without any harmful effects and this allows you to try different apps until you have just what you want.

If we just count applications found on the Linux-mandrake 7.0 Box-set CD's which are unique we find:
      923 applications compared to what windows offers which is less than 40!
      an additional set of 241 are available for free download and 121 commercial apps are available

Moving on to Linux-Mandrake 8.1 downloaded from Mandrake:
      915 applications are supplied, of which 282 are improved, 53 are new, 61 are dropped but if
         you already have them on your system you can still use them.
      844 additional apps are available for free download, 419 commercial apps are now available 
     * version 8.1 now offers a GUI boot loader instead of just a text boot-up sequence

with Linux-Mandrake 9.1 download from Mandrake:
      922 applications are supplied, of which 201 are improved, 43 are new, 36 are dropped but if
        you already have them on your system you can still use most of them.
     1204 additional apps are available for free download, 611 commercial apps are now available
      * version 9.1 offers a totally new GUI boot loader & now handles scanners and camera's

Today Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Mandriva (formerly Mandrake), OpenSuSe are versions that rank high on
     Linux users most liked distributions.
A look at OpenSuSe reveals:
      1545 applications are supplied, of which 600 are new, different or improved, 115 are unique to
        the above Mandrake version so are not part of the application set. OpenSuSe provides similar
        ones unique to their distribution.
      2500++ additional apps are available for free download, over 2000 commercial apps now exist.
      * most new hardware is supported with a noted difficulty that exists using USB Internet wireless