Scientific Linux 5 and Scientific Linux 4 are two old, but still supported branches of this open source distribution of Linux based on the public sources of the well known Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system.
Distributed as 32-bit/64-bit installable-only DVDs
All Scientific Linux branches can be downloaded as installable-only DVD ISO images for the 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64) hardware platforms. However, a separate Live CD edition is also available for download via Softpedia for each Scientific Linux branch.
Boot options à la Red Hat Enterprise Linux
The boot menu on the DVD ISO images has not been modified, only the artwork was changed. It allows users to install or upgrade in graphical mode or in text mode, as well as to rescue a broken installation or add extra kernel parameters for specific devices.
Graphical installation process that is intuitive and straightforward
The graphical installer, which is also used on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS and Fedora operating systems, is intuitive and straightforward, requiring users to choose a language for the installation process and a keyboard layout, partition the disk (encryption is supported), configure the network, setup the timezone and system clock, and add a root password.
In addition, you must choose what software packages to install. It is possible to install GNOME and/or KDE desktops, software development tools, clustering, cluster storage and server-oriented utilities, as well as office and productivity applications.
Furthermore, you can customized the software selection or add additional software repositories. At the end of the installation, you need to configure the system (enable/disable the built-in firewall, configure SELinux, set the date and time, add users, test the sound card).
Summing up, the Scientific Linux operating system is a great and completely free product that is used by numerous scientists around the globe. Do not hesitate to try out the Live CD edition of Scientific Linux, as well as newer branches.