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Two brand new Linux distribution releases: the Fedora Project releases Fedora 13, and Patrick Volkerding (et al) releases Slackware 13.1.

Fedora is, of course, the proving ground for new features for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and contains cutting edge technologies in its releases. Fedora releases are always available at http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora.html. Fedora 13 (Desktop) CDROMs are available for ix86 32-bit and ix86 64-bit. If you’re looking for a different “spin” – such as a different desktop or specialized for a particular purpose – be sure to check out Fedora Spins. For system and network administrators, the most interesting is probably the Fedora Security Spin.

If you don’t want to try the cutting edge Fedora, try the next generation of Red Hat Enterprise: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta 1.

Patrick Volkerding, the driving force behind Slackware from the beginning, announced release 13.1. Slackware is the oldest Linux distribution out there, and perhaps the most “BSD-like” of any of them. One doesn’t hear about Slackware servers nor about commercial support for Slackware servers, but it’s certainly a viable alternative if you’re able to choose anything you like. Downloads for Slackware are available at all the mirrors; the site lists USA mirrors here.

Slackware (as driven by Patrick) doesn’t run on multiple architectures, but folks have ported Slackware to other processors such as ARM, SPARC, IBM S/390, and Macintosh PowerPC. However, the ARM port seems to be the only current one; the others have fallen behind.

If you’re serious about using Slackware (sometimes called “Slack”) check out the SlackBuild repository; they offer scripts that will help you consistently build your software for Slackware.