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I have tried Knoppix's LiveCD, Ubuntu, and Mandriva. Knoppix was pretty cool, and was how I first started Linux. Ubuntu wouldn't install correctly, and Mandriva was cool, but I could never get the sound driver working. I have a Dell Dimension 3000 with a ATI Radeon 9250 PCI and a Creative Soundblaster Live 24-bit. DVD ROM, CD-RW, P4 3.0 gHz, 512 mb RAM are my other components. I am still very new to Linux but I really wan't to use it, can somenoe please recommend me a easy to install and use distro that will easily detect my hardware (especially sound) and I won't have to spend a million hours trying to configure.
Are you looking for a more windows like experience, where everything is pretty much configured for you? or are you looking for a different, do it yourself, kinda deal?
Mandriva is a pretty good distro, I used it (when it was Mandrake) before switching to something a bit more "difficult". Fedora is also a pretty solid distro, but I would honestly recommend Ubuntu or Mepis over either, they are both based off Debain (which is a good distro), and are both pretty well supported. If you didn't like the GUI in Ubuntu, you can always change it.
That's the beauty of Linux, there are a few key differences between the distros, but it's all under-the-hood stuff. The user interface is changeable.
Originally posted by masonm
Actually, Mepis is Debian based.
I realize that, but firstly it's Knoppix-based, and Knoppix is also Debian-based. It's like saying I'm not a descendent of my mother--I'm a descendent of my grandmother. If I'm a descendent of my mother, and she's a descendent of her mother, then I'm a descendent of my grandmother as well.
The Fedora distribution that I once used was unstable and inconsistant, but that's because it was very early in the development of it, so I'm not sure how it is now.
But, I'd highly recommend SUSE. SUSE is an excellent distribution that'll most likely do what you want. It has excellent support for devices (by far some of the best support I've seen) and it is very consistent. You should be up and running within minutes of installation. Plus, there is option for great customizability; it's an operating system for those new to Linux and those who are experienced with it alike, in my opinion.
You can download a Personal Edition ISO from the internet and then use a mirror to obtain more packages through the internet (if you are willing to let your computer run for about 19 hours and have a fast internet connection, you can download every package available, which is what I did for one of my computers).
There's also a live evaluation version of SUSE if you want to try it out.
Start with Suse if your installing to hd. If you are dual booting with windows Suse shouldn't give you any problems.
If you are looking to keep using lice cd try Mepis.
Get a feel for the differences between linux and you previous OS.
Check out how the file system is setup.
Play around with different window managers.
Use the terminals.
Use an editor to read some .conf files.
Find the apps that work for you. use them.
Linux is about choices make your Desktop the way you like it. Change wallpaper-icons...etc.
Linux rocks. The best part if you don't like your current distro there are plenty to choose from. Check out www.distrowatch.com
I have tried alot of distro, and my favorite so far has been Slackware. I will be trying Debian sarge 3.1 for the first time on Mon.
You can spend weeks or months distro hopping, but in the end, you will just end up rolling up your sleaves, and fixing those problems manually. Believe me, I've made the same mistake.
Unfortunately, many linux users advise fixing every problem by "use a different distro" but the other distro will have the same problem, or a different problem.
Pick a distro, install as best you can, really work at getting it configured properly - it's a great learning experience. If there is a problem that absolutely can not be solved, then try something else. But don't try to solve all you problems by distro hopping.
People, I realize you all have your favorite distros, but please try to listen to the OP's desires. Just because a distro seems to work for you, it doesn't mean it'll work for everyone. I happen to love Ubuntu (it's my primary distro), but i didn't recommend it because the OP said Ubuntu wasn't her/his thing. I recommended Mepis because the OP seemed to like Knoppix (on which Mepis is based).
The truth is that hardware detection is comparable for all the major distros out there (depends on your hardware, really), and that just about every distro (except Linspire) makes it easy for you to customize (it's usually more of a Gnome/KDE thing than a distro thing).