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I've installed openSUSE for others, even complete PC novices, even one 80+ year old relative who had to be shown the keyboard as he had never used a keyboard of any sort before. He is happily using it for digital camera work, burning CD's and DVD's, word processing and spreadsheets, skype, surfing the web, email, Yahoo IM to his daughter, managing updates and many other jobs, most of which he discovered himself. The only recurring problem was loss of sound which after a while turned out to be a bad on-board sound chip, he ordered a new sound card, I fitted it and he did the mixer settings and we've not had a problem since. Another relative 68+ with just a few months experience of W2K on an old donated P166, uses openSUSE mainly for digital photo work, photo CD's of weddings and birthday parties as well as audio CD's.
If any distro is well setup and the user is willing to learn, the battle is won. I've given up on helping out Windows users, it was always a great waster of my time.
This is all sooooo dependent on the person... if you are willing to get your hands dirty and maybe struggle and google, then try red hat 5.0 like i did (joking).
the best way to learn is by doing. find one that sounds good to you and do it.
debian is fun, i find. ubuntu, of course, is debian based with polish and money backing.
slackware takes time and care but can be fun if interested.
gentoo is like slackware with the additional fun of seeing the programs compile in front of you.
just do it, because it's all sooooooo much more fun than windows.
SERIOUSLY, debian just works. ubuntu same(ish). slackware is awesome when you have some time (which i unfortunately do not). i went from redhat 5.0 to mandrake (now mandriva). then went to debian and have not looked back from the debian based distros.
ahhh, gentoo. my drunken friend. gentoo, i hope, will recover from it's pub crawl through self-destruction and is now back on course. yes, yes, my friend: i will come see you again some time.
As for slackware, I really doubt that it can be called a distribution in the real sense. There are zero management tools provided
This myth is what got me interested in Slack in the first place. The more you get to read and use Slack, the more you realise how much it is really just a myth.
Having said that I would not really recommend Slackware to newbies. As a present to myself I installed OpenSUSE on my last birthday, and I must say I was impressed how easier it was, and it just worked out of the box. I uninstalled it with a broken heart. So my advise is to kick start with SUSE and move to Slackware when you think you can take a bit more of a challenge.
Another point is that OpenSUSE seems to be everyone's second best distro. So there must be something good about it. My vote goes to the smiling gecko.
Last edited by ChrisAbela; 07-01-2008 at 07:44 AM.
I suggest getting a book about Linux.
That's how I learned. I bought a book including a distro.
The book described how to install and how to edit settings and how to use the commandline.
I guess that's the best way to start with linux.
That is if you really want to know how linux works inside out and want to be able to use the commandline properly.
However, if you are just looking for stability and reliability and using it as a simple desktop I suggest one of the above except Debian. I personally think Debian is less user friendly and more trouble.