Linux Shootout: 7 Desktop Distros Compared
We tested openSUSE, Ubuntu 8.04, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva Linux One, Fedora, SimplyMEPIS, and CentOS 5.1.
Each of these distributions was installed on five machines:
* Homebrew AMD (NYSE: AMD) Duron 1.1-GHz processor; 1-GB RAM; 80-GB hard disk; Geforce FX5200 128-MB AGP graphics.
* Lenovo Thinkpad T61 notebook computer; Intel (NSDQ: INTC) Core 2 Duo 2.2-GHz processor; 1-GB RAM; 80-GB hard disk; nVidia Quadro NFS 140M graphics.
* Sony VAIO TX series notebook; Intel Pentium R 1.3-GHz processor; 1-GB RAM; 80-GB hard disk; 1366 x 768 widescreen display; Intel 915GM integrated graphics controller.
* Dell (Dell) XPS 420; Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4-GHz processor, 3-GB RAM; 160-GB hard disk; 1680 x 1050 widescreen display; ATI Radeon 2600 HD 256-MB graphics.
* VirtualBox virtual machine with 1-GB RAM and 128-MB video running on Dell XPS 420.
Even if some of the distros shone brighter on the whole than others, most of them did fairly well -- and all of them had at least one truly outstanding feature that might be the deciding factor for you. I should also note that many of these distributions either have commercial support options (like Ubuntu) or full commercial versions (openSUSE) available, in case you want to graduate to something a little more aggressively supported.
I must say that I was deeply upset[/edit] about Fedora 8. I move between many different networks (I'm a uni student) and it wasn't able to accommodate. Ubuntu did the job out of the box, though curiously Kubuntu couldn't, nor could any other derivatives.
Looks like I'm staying with the Debian stream of distros for a while longer, the features they concentrate on are more relevant to what I need.
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