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hi , I use P-3 , HP PC in my home, my son SHAN ( 6 Year ) use this pc for his games , songs and picture , But due to virus my win XP is slow and does not work properly. So i want to change my OS from Windows to Linux , I use digital camara and pendrive in it , my pc's processor is intel 733. 40 GB HDD and 256 Ram , Please suggest me the wright Linux.
Not too bad specs considering the fact that my squid server runs on the very similar spec machine and handles anywhere around 40 clients at my office and it runs rhel4 without much speed lag noticed. But you would not want to go for CentOS for it is not a very desktop OS.
But a lightweight OS like Xubuntu or DSL or Puppy or TinyMe. Even Slack with XFCE should not be that bad.
But if the primary user is your 6yr old son Xubuntu should be a good option given that it has all the everyday softwares available either on install or through synaptic.
All of the above recommendations are good; indeed, your hardware specifications are capable enough to run linux.
But..... games? pictures? (not counting the fact that you are a new linux user) So let me tell you it wouldn't be that easy. Be prepared for some homeworks: "unlearning what you learned from Xp" and "understanding & learning the linux/unix way."
One thing very important to make your migration less onerous: if your motherboard has two RAM 256 slots, go buy another 256mb Ram for it to run in 512mb (or buy a 512mb ram instead, reserving the option to upgrade to 1G RAM later,) this way you will be able to install GNU/Linux Mint 6 Xfce: the easiest to install and learn from for a new linux user.
If gaming for a 6 year old child is the purpose, then Linux is probably not ideal. PC games are even problematic under Windows (graphic cards, Windows versions, DLL's, etc), and running them under Linux via Wine can become a fun-killer for kids. Also consider that kids are more likely to run with trends, and if everyone at school is running Windows, then the kid can fall out of the center of kid-society. With 16 it's hip to be different, but with 6 this is more likely to put the kid under mental stress.
I love Linux, but in your case it would make sense to buy a virus killer, if viruses are your only problem with Windows.