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I would suggest any Redhat would be fine. I'm saying this because i am with Redhat from a long time and everything is going fine...I find almost everything i need, be it help, packages, upgrades...u name it u have it.
I cant comment on other distros cos i dont know much about any other one.
Sorry forgot to mention the version. I was with Redhat 8 for quite some time, now i am with 9, both are fine. I suggest that if you are looking at Redhat, then you stick with 9 for some time bofore jumping to Fedora
Mandrake is more desktop oriented and is also based on RedHat. I would pick Mandrake over RedHat for a new user.
If you are willing to spend a little money, I would look at one of the easy Debian-based distributions like Libranet, Xandros, or Lindows. The advantage is that you have access to the huge databse of Debian applications that are frequently updated and easy to install.
Distribution: Blag, Fedora core 1 and 2, Clarck Connect
Fedora and redhat are pretty much the same (very few differences right now)
If you have it( fedora) installed, then I say stick with it.
What type of computer experience do you have. The reason I'm asking is that some distros are a little more complicated to install and configure. Debian is one of them. Great distro, but if you have little or know conputer experience then stick with the easier ones right now.
Mandrake is OK (I personally did care to much for it) I too am a RedHat user and love it. I'm also running a Debian based distro called Knoppix on my laptop. So far I like it too.
Also with Fedora you can use YUM to keep your system up to date. It's like using apt-get for Debian. (command line updater)
and just a thought, but why recommend redhat when redhat is more or less bascically no more? i mean the support for redhat pre-version 9 is already gone, and in april support will be completely gone ... so i would suggest since your new to the wonderful world, that if you want something really easy with all the pretty guis, then i suggest fedora or mandrake ...
if you want a slight more of a challenge, then get something like slackware ... its not as hard as people make it out to be, it actually isn't hard at all, but some things may take a little more work to get going as opposed to a distro such as mandrake for example ...
i forget who said this, but i love this quote and it goes a little something like this ...
if you wanna learn mandrake, use mandrake
if you wanna learn linux, use slackware
For a brand new Linux user I would recommend a live-cd distribution, even over my beloved Slackware. MandrakeMove and Morphix are good examples, but in the end I'd recommend good old Knoppix 3.3 as the best one to start with.
In case you are not familiar with the concept, a Linux live cd is a version of the OS that both boots and runs entirely from the cd-rom and does not make any changes to your hard drive. This allows you to see what Linux is like before commiting to an install.
Knoppix is particularly good because it has excellent hardware support, comes pre-loaded with many of the best Linux applications out there on a single CD, and when you are ready, it can be installed to the hard drive fairly easily.
Knoppix is also based on Debian, which means it can use Debians renowned apt-get system to keep your system's various software components up to date once you have done a hard disk install.
SuSE isn't your best option, I'd tend to think, unless you want to pay for it. SuSE doesn't offer their latest version for free, and the version they *do* haev is via FTP install only. You can't even make an install disk on a burned CD.
My suggestion would be to go with Slackware. I had nothing but problems when I was running Mandrake, since it does an insane amount of its own customizations to your desktop environment alone. It has a couple cool install utilities, but it's just as easy to do these things from your command line.
Note: I *don't* recommend Slackware if you have complicated hardware, such as myself (SCSI HDD, dual processors, high memory [more than 1GB], more than one NIC card, etc.). That is, unless you can find somebody to walk you through who really knows what they're doing.