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OK - after much fuss and fuming and frustation and failure, I'm finally ready to install Linux, true and proper. I've narrowed my choices down to two candidates: Redhat 9 or Mandrake 9. Which, for a general purpose OS, is better? I'm currently running Windows XP Pro and I intend to keep it, so the ability to co-exist with Windows is essential. Others things to consider is: ease of installation, stability, hardware support, software library and general userfriendliness. Any of your comments will be greatly appreciated, thanks!
Both of the distributions are very easy to install, both will co-exist with Windows (I dual-boot), both are stable, support all kinds of hardware, have lots of software and are incredibly user-friendly. If user friendliness is your main concern, I believe that Mandrake has the edge.
If you have a fast net connection and a cd burner (and 6 spare blank cds) I would suggest you download both, use one for a week and then switch and then make a decision. You can always give the other set away to a friend/family member. Get isos from Linuxiso.
Head over to Distrowatch, they have a number of reviews of distributions. Or even check out the distribution reviews on this forum.
If i were you I'd go with mandrake 9.1. I just installed it and its really newbie friendly. So is redhat, but...... it offers a lot less options than mandrake 9.1(options meaning packages and support, on and on and on)
If youre really new..... Mandrake 9.1 is for you
But test them both out i guess, see which one you like best. I started with redhat 9 and loved it. Then i installed mandrake 9.1 and loved it a crap load more. So take that for what you will.
I agree with all the above. Try them both. I bought them both on CD but with Red hat it didn't detect my speedtouch usb modem so after it was installed I couldn't get online. I had to reboot into Windows and spent the rest of the afternoon Googling. Then I gave up and put the Mandrake 9.1 Cd's in. It detects the modem no problem and installs the drivers of the CD so I hit the ground running. But your experience may be different so try them both.
I'm in the same boat as you Delmarc, except that my final 2 choices are between SuSE and RH9. I hear SuSE is quite newbie-friendly. I may condider Mandrake after what everyone else says though... but having tried SuSE 8.2 Live cd with everything working, makes me cautious about installing anything else.
I also will keep my Win XP Pro and dual boot, but because it's NTFS, will one distro perform better because of this (anyone?)?
My hd has not been partitioned...will any of these distros do this for me during install?
Any advice about this would be greatly appreciated!
I'm glad i'm not the only one going over this big debate, which distro to use....etc. I've pretty much settled on Mandrake 9, my question is I reformat my drive do a fresh Windows XP install and then a fresh Mandrake install. Will Mandrake let me partition my drive and mange the dual boot OS for me.