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First off, most any Linux distro should have the same compatibility and peripherial support because, in the end, it's basically the same software.
As for the user interface, both have Gnome and KDE, which run on top of the Linux kernel as X servers. I would reccomend Mandrake for this though due to the fact that red hat tries to add their own little things to make it look more interesting. Mandrake let's you configure it all yourself from the start. My Mandrake looks so pretty it isn't even funny
Beauty......I know XP extremely well and have used all sorts of tweaking to make it look prettier:
Themes, changing the shell, icons, etc......NOTHING, NOTHING makes it look as gorgeous as my KDE setup in Mandrake.
Gnome looks even better, except you can't get rid of the icons on the desktop and it's making me go nuts!!!
As for 3rd party support.....once again, it should all run.
The only real difference is what packages are installed at the start. You can get Mandrake or Red Hat from a Debian install if you put in the right packages.
In the end, if you know Linux already, I'd go for Red Hat. It has more community support and they won't go bankrupt.
I presenlty have Windows 2000 Professional and Redhat 7.1 and I was using Redhat 9.0. Since I formatted the drive recently, and since I got the CDs of both Redhat 9.0 and Mandrake 9.1, I wish to give a try to Mandrake as I did not see it yet and I am familiar with Redhat versions. So please tell me whether Mandrake is good than Redhat 9.0? Or is it worth to give a try to Mandrake 9.1 than installing the same stuff again ie Redhat 9.0?
As good as Redhat? Debatable, I'd say yes though. If you are familiar with Redhat and are looking for something else, give Mandrake a try. If you are looking for something totally different, give something like www.archlinux.org a try. But since you've already got the Mandy discs, go with Mandrake first and move on from there
I've choosen Mandrake 9.1 instead of Windows XP.
I've read a lot of topics and after one month of trying and learning, i can say that it is a good choice for beginner like me.
I've found all the similar applications and games i was used to work ( play ) with on this distro.
sorry for the late reply.. but i use mandrake 9.2b and i must say, it works great and has all the compability you can dream of
redhat 9 was also a try of mine, but finally, i switched to mandrake.
then i found a page, plf.zarb.org and i was all through.
they give the possibilities to enhance your rpm lists by a great number. so i had it all without choosing any other rpms to install from the web.
the urpmi (rpm manager) is a great tool and much better than kpackage
i will go and get kde3.1.4 for redhat now and try to put it on the system. i hope it works and your answers got through, too