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With all these posts lately about which one is best and what not, I remembered a long time ago I posted a thread to a article that could help you out in your choosing of a distro. So I've bumped up this thread..
Picking a distro is like picking a mate. Unless you know what exactly you are looking for, play the field, and be willing to change partners.
I can think of a few times where I have actually tried several different distros to solve a problem. In one case I was trying to install a minimal X-windows system on a Thinkpad to act as an X-terminal. The catch: the computer only had 16MB of ram. Too new an installer would blow out the RAM. Too old an installer would not see my PCMCIA network card.
I Tried RedHat 7.3, Debian, Slackware, even a few of the micro distros. I finally got RedHat 6.1 working (after hacking the installer ramdisk image to trick it into using the same module for my network card as an older model.)
Try each out, but don't be afraid to push the envelope. Personally, I use my own home-rolled distro called "Seanix" that is built on top of Gentoo.
Since TrickyKid was kind enough to show us that article, I thought that I should post one too . Anyway here it is. Enjoy. I just don't agree with that bit about picking the 'popular distros' because otherwise you can't get support. I got all the support I need...