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Well - first I'd like to stress, that I am not trying to provoke a Distro-War here. I have been lurking on this forum for quiet a while now - and I have been using SuSE Linux since more than one year by now (started with 8.2).
I have a very simple problem there - I am on the lookout for a good distro that fits my wants. Those would be the following:
1) It should conform to commonly acknowledged Linux Standards - for example in mounting files, how the KDE/GNOME Menu is presented, etc. Best would be if I could get the option to install the unmodified versions of all programs available.
2) It should have a fairly large software archive for offline usage. Either as a DVD (as it happens to be with SuSE) or for a one time download that I can just put on CD/DVD. The reason for this is pretty simple: I have only an ISDN connection here - and trust my I long for more bandwidth. But it seems like that won't happen anytime soon.
3) It should come with up to date packages (especially Kernel, KDE/GNOME)- I have toyed with Debian but I am put of by the impression I got that even Sarge will be out of date by the time it will be designated stable.
4) It should have a decent support for Hardware - and a decent routine to detect it. I have become frustrated by my inability to install ISDN on Slackware 10.
5) An active community would be appreciated.
So far I have taken a look at the following Distributions - and I have the following problems with them:
SuSE 9.1 Pro - well, it is a nice distri, but I am put of by two things: a) it is heavily modified, and b) I seem to be unable to reproduce any kind of install result with some reliability. 5 different installations were done with a modified K-Menu, the 6th did only come with the native K-Menu.
Slackware 10.0 - I thought this might actually be what I was looking for. Unfortunately I seem to be too dumb to get ISDN working under it. I4L wouldn't even compile.
Debien - seems too outdated for me.
Mandrake 10 (Community Edition): Well - the installer crashes every time, so I can't say much about that one.
Any suggestions you might have what I should try? I can get access to greater bandwidth for some limited time - so I can download almost any distribution available, but I need to be able to get most packages at that time, I can't just download them when needed.
I am reading DistroWatch regularly - but most Linux Users seem to have broadband connections and don't have to worry about downloading 1GB of data every few days it seems.
So - my question is - what do you think I should try? I am open to pretty much any adventure (and wouldn't mind paying for a distribution, if it is worth it).
Mandrake 9.2, unless you have an unpatched LG driver, or Mandrake 10.0 Official, would be my recommendations. The download cds (with the 4th one) have a great set of thousands of common apps, and the PowerPack set has even more plus support and manual. I've purchased 9.0 and 9.2 PowerPacks, and downloaded/brought burned cds for 9.1 and 10.0 Official. Highly reccomended for easy of install and use.
1) It should conform to commonly acknowledged Linux Standards...
2) It should have a fairly large software archive for offline usage. Either as a DVD...
3) It should come with up to date packages...
4) It should have a decent support for Hardware...
5) An active community would be appreciated.