LINUX distributions from FORSIS

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LINUX as a sensible alternative for industrial computers

In addition to MicroSoft © WINDOWS® as the operating system, the demand for Linux as the operating system for the FORSIS industrial computer series continues to grow.

Contrary to the different WINDOWS® versions such as WIN XP®, WIN7® and WIN 10®, there are a large number of variants or distributions with LINUX, which often causes confusion and effort.

Basically, the task of WINDOWS® and LINUX is the same.

An operating system is a software package that manages the hardware platform using software resources and forms an interface to the software applications. In addition, standard software packages are made available in the form of utility programs.

Linux could now develop completely freely due to its openness (free source code). Today there are a large number of different operating system variants from various providers and communities. For example, distributions are offered by

  • Debian,
  • Ubuntu,
  • Red Hat,
  • CentOS,
  • Fedora,
  • Slackware,
  • SuSE

We have adapted these listed variants for our industrial computer series: PROFI, EXPERT and MOBILE.

It is our task to configure, test and provide you with the system boards and extensions for the industrial computer series mentioned.


Pay close attention to the names and versions of the FORSIS LINUX distribution and the kernel.

LINUX Distribution / KERNEL

Ubuntu Desktop Version 20.04.1 LTS

Debian 10.6.0 amd64

OpenSuse Leap 15.2.x86_64

Cent OS 8.2.2004 x86 / 64 4.18.0-193

Fedora 33-1.2 x86_64

RedHat Enterprise 8.3 x86 / 64

A combination of the Linux components forms a distribution, i.e. a Linux distribution. You can now imagine the multitude of possible variations.
We have not compared the individual advantages and disadvantages, as they appear different for each user. Our focus was on the compatibility with our products.

Basically, most of the variations always consist of the standard GUI (desktop environment), the package manager and standard applications.
The kernel, the system tools / libraries and the command line interpreter CLI (Command Line Interface) are relatively constant.


The bootloader is a small program that is stored in the MBR (Master Boot Record) and supports the loading of an operating system into memory. GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) LILO (LInux LOader).


The kernel of every Linux is the low-level system program that interacts with the hardware and allocates the computer's resources to the other programs you run. It offers a software interface to the underlying hardware. File system, storage management, network and others.
System software GNU tools and libraries provide the low-level functions of the operating system.

Command line input (CLI)

It offers the possibility to interact with the operating system and the programs only via text commands. CLI - command line interpreter

Graphic user interface (GUI)

The GUI is the front end of the desktop environment for an operating system and its programs. A desktop environment consists of a display server, display manager and window manager. GNOME, KDE, Xfce

Package manager

The Package Manager simplifies the process of installing, updating, configuring, and removing programs in a consistent manner. dpkg, apt, rpm, yum

With WINDOWS® there is mainly only one desktop.

About ten variants are widespread in Linux distributions. This is confusing, but offers the convenience of customization in terms of functions and operation. Resource management in old installations, input reduction, etc. play a role.

The desktop environments can be roughly classified into the following categories:

Similar to MS Windows Cinnamon, Mate or KDE Plasma
Easy to use Gnome 3, XFCE or LXDE / LXQT
Flexible and adaptable KDE Plasma, Cinnamon, XFCE
Low hardware requirements LXQT, XFCE

Display server
The X Window System, or X11 for short, is a network-based graphic window system based on a client / server architecture. Programs that want to display their output in windows are clients who make use of the service offered by the display server, namely bringing output to the screen and receiving input from the keyboard and mouse. Client and server communicate using a protocol, the so-called X protocol. Technically, the X protocol is the actual definition of the X window system.

By defining a unique protocol that includes all capabilities for the transmission of graphic output, X11 becomes a hardware-independent graphics platform. The X11 system is divided into a display server and programs that use the display service, i.e. clients. A server can be written for any kind of graphics system; any clients can then use the predefined X protocol to make their output on the server.

The window manager
The pure X11 model does not yet contain any mechanisms for moving, resizing or “iconifying” windows. Only when a window manager is started does the X server become a workable graphics station. Only then allows the user to move windows, change their size or turn them into an icon. It usually also defines menus that can be activated by pressing the various mouse buttons (if the mouse pointer is not within a window).

Development steps of the LINUX distributions

Gnu Linux Distribution Timeline

Linux Distributions


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