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I was thinking all of them as same words but in every forum they are mentioned.

Aren't they have same meaning means linux

Is Debian linux OS --- means noun

or

Ubuntu is Linux

and

debian and Ubuntu are different or same

Red hat is linux which means equivalent to Ubuntu

I am confused with these terms. can someone please clearify these

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Linux (capital "L") refers specifically to the linux kernel.

Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Redhat are all linux OS distributions that contain the above kernel as well as a host of other userland tools, configurations, etc.

More specifically, Ubuntu as a distribution, is in a way a descendant of Debian. Package management, configuration, file structure, etc, are very similar on Ubuntu and Debian.

Likewise, Fedora is a descendant of Redhat.

Oftentimes, you hear Linux referred to as GNU/Linux. This is a nod to the fact that Linux itself is only the kernel, and as such is pretty useless in and of itself. To give functionality to that kernel, you need the GNU (and other non-GNU in some cases) userland tools.

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From the Chart given below i understand that ubuntu is from debian and fedora is from Red hat How is Debian and Red hat different –  John Dec 9 '09 at 4:43
    
As mentioned above, the both use (plus or minus a few vendor patches) the same linux kernel. Also as mentioned above, they differ in some tools like package management, system configuration, etc. Neither one is "better" than the other - it just comes down to a matter of personal preference. For my personal servers, I run debian, but at work, we license Oracle's ULN (another Redhat derivative) for our VMware clusters. –  EEAA Dec 9 '09 at 5:01
    
You say that linux kernel is same. Is there any possibilty of having new linux kernel –  John Dec 9 '09 at 5:15
    
Sure - each distro releases new packaged versions of the kernel periodically. Alternatively you always have the option of compiling your own kernel, but aside from a few select edge cases, there's really no benefit to doing this. –  EEAA Dec 9 '09 at 15:03

You may find Ancestry Of Linux to be informative.

And the following image may complete/complicate matters for you more!

Image GNU/Linux Timeline GNU/Linux Timeline

Think of it like a family tree only drawn sideways instread of vertical.

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Awesome diagram! –  Massimo Dec 9 '09 at 17:58

Ubuntu, Debian, and RedHat are distributions of the Linux operating system. They have slightly different configurations and tools to work with, but they are all linux.

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Think of Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, etc as brand names. So, Debian brand jeans might be looser and more comfortable, while Ubuntu brand are a bit more stylish. Red Hat makes sturdy jeans, and they are rather popular.

Linux here would be the jeans. Several companies work on them, and make their own variations, letting you choose the best fit. But, in the end, you make a decision, and end up leaving the house in something other than your underwear.

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