Operating System Selection
After seeing the 900th post on "which Linux is better?" or "which Windows is the most secure?" Well, to be honest, one thing you have to understand about Linux and *NIX is, there all so good and well built in their own ways that, the best one depends on what you need it for. same with Windows.
I'm going to go over a few different systems here so you can see some of what i mean, i have experiance in alot of systems so im going to give detail where i can and also if i havnt used it (like solaris iv never used) ill give information about what iv heard about it.
PC-DOS: Ok for starters, stop laughing, this has almost no RAM requirements and alot of hacking tools were written and run under DOS, if you wanted to start learning some stuff about hacking, or advanced features in Windows, you need to know a little DOS. If you have a few older machines and want to set up a LAN, adding DOS is a good idea to learn.
Windows 3.x : For the PCs of the 80386 class and up, Windows 3.x is still a choice, itís faster than Windows 95 and there are a lot of hacking tools that run on it. not for people looking to build a server obviously though.
Windows 95/98: This operating system you need to know, a lot of PCs run this, this was the home user and end users only real choice for a long time. Very insecure so setting up a Window 9x box on a LAN can be a good idea to start learning how to hack and secure a box. Also if you are into gaming, Windows 98 SE is like a very VERY good choice.
Windows NT: Better than Windows 95 and requiring more resources, this operating system cannot be ignored, many corporations still run this system and itís also full of holes to explore.
Windows 2,000: This is for the people looking for a reliable version of Windows. its fairly nice and iv used it before.
Windows XP: better than what it gets credit for, Windows XP is fairly reliable and also a nice OS if you have a good fast computer. This is the only other real choice for gaming and alot of people use it so learning it helps.
UNIX: Found in large corporations, banks, insurance companies, universities, and phone and network companies and in the military, UNIX has always been the hackerís operating system of choice, written by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie for AT&Tís bell labs in the late 1960ís, the original UNIX ran off a floppy disk. If you plan on becoming an actual hacker, knowing UNIX is a must, it runs the web.
Linux: Linux is THE hackerís choice, written by a MINIX hacker named Linus Torvalds, completely open source, so you can change what you want about the operating system and keep going, millions of hacking tools run on Linux, and millions of hackers run Linux, I donít think I need to say anymore about this system, learn it.
Now for those of you who ask, which Linux should i use? Well, heres a few types of Linux:
Red hat: This is the most popular version and everyone says to use it, personally i dont use it, it does have some nice features though, if you actually buy it, it costs as much as Windows XP pro does for the upgarde version.
Open Linux: this is a distro that is amied at businesses, its fairly easy to learn and is a nice distro.
Caldera: This is a nice easy to use distro, this was my first Linux experiance, its easy to install and if you use the "teach yourself Linux" books this comes with it usually.
Turbo Linux: more of a workstation type Linux, i dont have alot of Experiance in this noe though.
Lindows: I dont know why im actually putting this here, It's ok if you wanna play around but not exactly the high point of reliability.
SuSe : This is like, my personal favorite. SuSe is very easy to install, if you have never used Linux this is the one i would recommned, some people have problems with the mouse but i never have had a problem like that at all, i guess it depends what you use and how you install. It has a very nice GUI but if you want you can also use it with less GUI effects. It comes with ALOT of tools, if you buy it its fairly cheap and comes with alot, you get a SuSe Linux install and user guide and also a Linux Admin handbook, 7 CDs and a DVD (yes alot of tools) everything from ham radio and scanning tools to MP3 and video and picture editing tools. Also after you becomes familiar with Linux you can play with the advanced features, basically you can grow with this distro.if you install with the basic install, it will take an entire 3 mouse clicks to install.
Debian: this is a Linux elitists distro, not exactly easy but youll learn alot.
Slackware: this is for those who want to get into Linux alot, its a great distro, if you want to really learn Linux and dont mind learning hard, go for this.
Basically with Linux, if you want to use it for basic use and learning it and having MP3s, go for Suse, also Suse is good for students and even scientists. It comes with tools for science, chemicals, alot.
for games, Well every Linux has awesome games, but if your into games that you buy your going to have to stick with Windows.
Open BSD: Very secure and a good OS to learn.
Free BSD: Free BsD is awesome, great for servers, and also they make a distro for destop users, it comes with alot of games Like Linux does and also can run Linux binaries.
Free BSD is in my opinion one of the best OSs ever made.
for more information on Linux distros check out
also for BSD check out
and remember, google is your pal.