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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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Out of Redhat, SuSe and Mandrake (that I have tried) I would recommend Mandrake for an everyday "new" user to Linux to use on their workstation PC. Suse runs a close second but I have had my problems with some elements of it which as an experienced windoze user and keen linux newbie have left me completely stumped (especially if you are running an nvidia card or want a resolution other than 1024x7680).
Mandrake is probably the easiest to make the transition from windoze as it includes a lot of windows like features ( the best linux "control panel" I've seen for example). The Default KDE desktop theme that they use is hideous though, they've obviously been to the windoze XP school of desktop layouts (lots of HUGE icons, texts and pretty colours getting in the way of everything).
I had fewer problems installing Mandrake 8.2 on my old IBM TP365XD laptop than I did with Mandrake 8.0. I really like Mandrake.
Some folks complain that MDK is too easy and does too much hand-holding. The installer is very easy, and if you use the "Expert" mode tells you exactly what it's doing. If that's not a good thing, then too bad !! The distribution also has a good assortment of software bundled with it.