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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
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Distribution: Ubuntu, Windows, Puppy, and about 50 others on or off
The distro one usses is realy of no importance because most Linux distro's offer more or less the same programs.
What IS of importance is the desktop one chooses, because that is the most important factor on how somebody experienceses the quality of the distro.
Personaly, I would advice any newby to choose a distro with either the XFCE or the MATE desktop. Both desktops are very easy to handle and are adjustable to ones personal needs.
There are so many active distro's to chose from so any newby (are not so newby) can choose out of a pudlle of distro's.
My main Linux distro at this time is Jessie (debian testing) with the MATE desktop.
Once Debian Jessie is released as the Stable release, I might advice any newby to try Debian Jessie.
Why would I advice a Debian distro? Because it uses the .deb-packages and these are rather easy to find for any 3th party program if you (not yet) can master installation through source files.
So (in case of Ubuntu and/if Mint) I would advise any newby to try out Xubuntu insstead od Ubuntu and/or Mint with the XFCE desktop, and any Debian based relase with a MATE desktop oce the Stable Jessie is released.
With Jessie coming up, I would go for the MATE desktop. There is also a release of Ubuntu MATE which is (for me) pretty much what I need with te advantage of the ubuntu repo's.
At this moment, I use Debian testing with the MATE desktop as my main Linux distro and I'm very satisfied with it.
But as I said above: there are choices galore. Just choose for a desktop you are comfartable with.