posted on Nov, 7 2005 @ 04:41 PM
If you want good documentation, ease of use, lots of features, and pretty much 100% usable out of the box - then I would suggest using SuSE Linux.
Novell, the people behind SuSE have just brought out a new version; version 10. I have not actually tried it as of yet, the last version I used was
9.2 - but that was really good and prefered it to Windows XP.
The only gripes I have heard about SuSE Linux 10 is that it does not come with DVD Playback and cetain audio playback (such as Quicktime) out of the
The thing with SuSE, is that it comes in either a free version or a commercial version. The commercial versions comes with stuff such as Acrobat,
RealPlayer, etc - but these can be installed on the free version afterwards anyways. I don't know if the commercial version has the DVD Playback and
that out of the box, not too sure on that, but it's pretty simple to get working anyways - just need to install a couple more programs.
If you after a complete package out of the box, with a paper based book / documentation, I would say go for the commercial version. This will set you
back around £50 (roughly $80). The free version is complete though, just doesn't include those commercial plugins by default and doesn't have paper
The other suggestion, is Mandriva Linux. I think version 2005 is the latest, although 2006 should be out soon (if not alreeady). I have used 2005 and
didn't like it that much, only because of the default installation it gave me, like the graphical look. After changing some settings, it's fine.
Mandriva I think is just as good as SuSE, basically just a matter of personal opinion I think.
The last one I will mention is Fedore Core 4. This is basically RedHat (so very mature), but using the latest software - a lot of it still in beta
stages though. Have a read up on it and see what you think. All 3 of them are perfect for your needs though.
Many people mat mention Linspire, and although I haven't personally used it - I don't like the sound of it. Please somebody correct me if I am
wrong, but it sounds to me like it's trying to be something else other than Linux, which I think is wrong. Linux is great, it doesn't need to
pretend it's Windows or anything else.
In conclusion, the distributions I think you should look at are:
* SuSE Linux 10
* Mandriva 2005
* Fedora Core 4
Try and get the latest [stable] version of whatever one you pick.
I have been using Linux for about 4 years now, and I will love it - no matter what anyone else says. So well done for choosing to explore Linux. If
you don't like Linux after using it, fair enough... Everyone has their preference. It's nice to hear people wanting to give it a try. I know a lot
of people who have never even used it, or even looked at it - but still bash it.