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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.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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Debian, Libranet (same as Debian, but more user-friendly..) and Slackware would be really nice on it . Just forget about big desktop environments such as KDE or Gnome. It will run, but it's performance won't be the greatest. Give Fluxbox, Blackbox or XFCE a shot...
It usually comes with a lot of Window Managers to choose from the disks. You will see it when installing Fedora . I think Fluxbox and XFCE are good ones to try out, but they are very different from what you are used from Windows. If you want something more Windows like to start with, IceWM is a good choice... ugly I tell you, but fast and good enough