I think SUSE is better since it has a very large collection ( believe me its a huge collection) of softwares.
Sorry to say, that I believe this to be poor advice. IF it was a case of "I want the distro that has the most software" then I'd suggest the obvious answer would be debian. As I understand it, there is currently in excess of 10000 different packages available.
But that's not the question.
Redhat product's are big in the US, though in the past I understood that they tended to be aimed at business users and just happened to have a free download version available. I strongly suspect that this is still the case now that they've renamed the download to fedora though whether that's to change the product/what's available or just a marketing thing ?? Who knows!
Mandrake probably as many packages available as SuSE (whether that will remain so, again who knows!) if you explore things mandrake, especially stuff like "easy urpmi
" and then follow the instructions to include the extra sources from the likes of the plf and texstar, then you can play to your heart's content. I do
One thing that I would suggest is worth while, is getting "boxed set" versions if you have the money.
For instance, before I got myself sorted out with a modem/router for my dsl service, I had one of those annoying "alcatel speedtouch usb" modem's, and also my system has an nvidia based graphics card.
It depends how "all about" you are with linux, and even though I could now confidently download and install the various packages needed for the 2 hardware item's I've mentioned, the boxed set's have them pre compiled and they'll auto install if needed. It was such a relief when I found this out - absolutely no stress.
there's also shit loads of stuff here at LQ to help you on your way or you could also look here
for specific type stuff - there's lots more, just google.
The choice is yours, but I've had no problems with mandrake and thoroughly enjoy using it.
p.s. If you are pretty "switched on" IT/Linux wise, you could always have a go at gentoo - now that really is a distro to test your patience/stress level's/blood pressure