Linux - DistributionsThis forum is for Distribution specific questions.
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(although I prefer the way the first two work to the third). In fact, if you search, using a popular search engine, on 'distro chooser' you could argue that we ought to start a "which distro chooser" thread.
To be slightly more serious for a second, while which distro is a question that newbies always want to ask, I'm not sure that there is a useful answer until they know a bit more about what they want. I think the best to do is to play with something for a while and then work out what you think are shortcomings and move on from there.
With that in mind, you might want to plug in a couple of live CDs and see what you think. They'll be a bit slower, but you'll get a feel for what to expect. (In particular, if 'prettiest' is a high priority, as it seems to be, have a look at the Elive CD - I wouldn't make a more general reccommendation for Enlightenment for a beginner, but it does look good.)
I'm assuming that you intend to carry on playing games on some other OS.
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 2007 on my laptop and Suse 10.2 on my desktop.
If you are coming from a windows environment, try PCLinuxOS 2007. I have used about 7 or 8 different distros and can honestly say that PCLinuxOS is the most complete and easy to use for a newbie - it really is awesome. It works on my laptop better than any other distro I've ever tried - and that includes all of the main ones.
If new computers came with PCLinuxOs 2007 fitted as standard, no one would ever buy Windows again.
This is the distro I use and recommend, Why because it works right out of the box. No need to configure Everything, everything just works. It also comes as a 1 CD install that is a live CD that you can install later if you wish.