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Distribution: RedHat (RHEL, FC, CentOS), openSuSE, Mac OS X
i'd argue none of those is an OS, linux is the OS, distros are merely .... snap on tools.
SuSE would probably be the go, it's cheap to get the pro edition and comes with alot of stuff, which is grand if you don't want to download everything.
I've bought it 3 times, so yeah ... i liked it.
Mandrake, i've tried twice, it was ... easy, right up to the point where it thinks it knows better what you want to do than you ... (bought that once, and got it of a mag once) significantly cheaper than SuSE but you get far less, besides comparing a pocketbook edition to a pro bundle ain't exactly fair. Oh yes, compiling a kernel was too much of a pain, i tried for a collective 10 minutes before i decided that debian was easier to use than mandrake9 in that regard.
As for Redhat ... lets see
bought it as a pocketbook distro four times, and went from using it for hours at a time down to using it for 30 minutes. after those 30 minutes were up i sufficiently disliked red hat 7.3 that i decided to go to mandrake 8.1 and give it a decent workout. Problem was, Redhat had issues with my installing nvidia drivers, ... i'd had issues with X before then, but not like that. Turns out redhat, X and KDE are renown for not getting along.
the choices you don't give, that i would list, are Debian, which was wonderful, a true eye opener, taught me alot, such as how to configure a cd burner ... and to appreachiate emacs to configure the system. Plus it is cheap, 6 cd distro for $30, alas ... the .deb package management had issues, though RPM on SuSE is just as vile at times. Plus ... when java crashes on debian, it crashes good. Locked libraries = reboot. SuSE did that alot better, (java still crashed, but atleast you can kill the processes and don't have to reboot)
Lastly, Slackware ... "they don't exist anymore" i was told a little while ago, (idiots, just like german tourists are everywhere) oh boy, i've been using this for ... 2 weeks now, it is the most beautiful thing i've ever used.
And i mean in terms of how things work, KDE 3.1.2 goes along way, but still has a long way to go too. Truely a "where have you been all my life" experience. and it fits on a single CD (though i bought the 4 disk set) ...
Overall i've spent more money on Linux than on Microsoft products, but it is so worth it ... Software runs faster, more stable and with less hassles on Linux, (and that includes debian + Java) ...
Out of those three... there is no choice... Mandrake 8.2 is the only semi-good distro.
I used it for over a year, upgrade to 9.0, and never used mandrake again. Redhat 8 was as bad as Mdk 9..... never tried suse though. I switched to the best distro ever
Which of these three OS would you choose for personal desktop use:
Please submit your opinion about the "one" you would choose.. Also please submit the version also. Thank You!
Of the three you mention, I use Mandrake the most often. Mandrake used to be my desktop Linux distro of choice.
All three of these distros are just fine for the desktop, and all three of them are getting really good on the desktop. Red Hat began life by bringing relative simplicity to Linux system packaging, but in recent years, has been mostly focused on the server side applications rather than consumer or business desktop systems. Their most recent versions, 8.0 and 9, now recognize the importance of the desktop and are getting better. Red Hat makes a good choice.
Mandrake really raised the bar of desktop Linux use, and it has been a desktop oriented system from the very beginning. Mandrake often sacrifices application stability for access to the very latest software, but they are also very good about making fixes and updates readily available, but if stability is more important to you than trying the latest software, you might want to reconsider. Otherwise, Mandrake is great. I'm using Mandrake 9.1 happily now and I've had good results with 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, 9.0, and now 9.1.
SuSE is a good choice, too, but it just doesn't fit my interests. It's actually very comparable to Mandrake and Red Hat in many ways, but I run into petty little problems when I install most versions, and getting freely available download versions is difficult with SuSE, so I tend to use Mandrake and Red Hat more. It's still a really solid distro, for personal taste, I prefer the others.
Mandrake used to be the distro I use most. These days, I use Lycoris most for casual desktop purposes and Libranet, a Canadian Debian distro, when I want to develop and test software. The two L distros, Lycoris and Libranet, both from Northwest North America (Redmond, WA and Vancouver, BC, respectively), get my personal nod.
I have worked with RedHat for years, I haven't worked with the other 2. I do know they are all RPM based, and I LOATHE RPM. All of my machines a directly connected to the internet, and are power some highly visible server on the net. I don't have a choice about staying up to date with patches.
Perhaps it's because I run computers at a museum. I think like a curator, and I can't stand nuking a computer every 9 months to stay up to date. I'd much rather have that machine that I completely understand, and can incrementally patch until the bloody hardware fails.
Suffice to say some of my requirements are onerous, others are arbitrary, but none of them are met by any of the 3 options. Though I'd be happy to discuss some alternatives if requested.