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I am wondering what is a good free (downloadable) distro that meets or best meets these criteria:
First off, I know that all these criteria can usually be met fairly easy with a bit of research and work, and that's the fun part anyway, but I'm wondering if there's a distro out there that I can install quickly and have this stuff easily. It wouldn't have to be the most "powerful," "stable," or "fast" distro out there either.
Good or at least decent multimedia support. I would love to have mpeg, wmv, divx, and mp3 support, but I'm not sure about the licensing issues for these.
Auto-mounting NTFS volumes (for dual-booting) and USB drives. This is somewhat of a big deal because although it's usually not too difficult to get it working myself, I know many distros can do it automatically so since I'm just looking for a quicky distro...
Development tools included on the cd/dvd so I don't have to download a few gigs from an FTP site just to compile a little program from source. This is a BIG deal for me, since I'm on dial-up.
Easy installation of the nvidia graphics drivers. Seems with newer distros this can be more of a pain than it should be, but this isn't that big of a deal.
A good package management system would be nice, especially a command-line one like yum, apt-get, urpmi, etc. Graphical ones like Suse's YAST are tolerable as well. Something with decently sized repositories is certainly desired too.
What DOESN'T matter to me much is for it to be cutting-edge, and I don't really care whether it's got gnome, kde, or both. 2.6 kernel of course would be wanted, but beyond that as long as I would have the ability to update everything I'm not to worried about it being cutting-edge.
>Auto-mounting NTFS volumes (for dual-booting) and USB drives
You may want to avoid Fedora Core, because NTFS support must be added to the kernel.
>Good or at least decent multimedia support
You will need to download codecs as well as program version to play your dvd movies. The PLF site for Mandrake. There is a similar site that has it for SuSE. (Google is your friend here.)
>Easy installation of the 'nvidia' graphics drivers.
You will need the commercial version for accelerated graphics drivers, but downloading the installation program from the nvidia site is the best bet. The 'nv' driver installed by default is not accelerated. You need to install the kernel-source package for your kernel.
>A good package management system would be nice, especially a command-line one like yum, apt-get, urpmi
Urpmi is Mandrake, I think YUM is from Fedora Core. You may have a preference, but they all will have something similar and everyone has their personal preference.
Your sig indicates you have an AMD 64 computer. I have downloaded Mandrake (10.1) and purchased SuSE (9.1), both for the AMD64 (x86_64) and can recommend both distros. You might want to look what is not included in the SuSE download for their 9.2 DVD download.
Thanks a lot. Yeah, apt-get is debian (and mepis) and yum is fedora. I really like FC3, but the NTFS hassle and utter lack of multimedia support out of the box make installation a lot of work. I just got the 64-bit processor, and I've been meaning to try FC3 out with the 64-bit architecture. The Suse 9.2 downloadable DVD really isn't worth it in my opinion, everything's plastered with Novell logos and they've put a new slogan everywhere which makes me cringe: "Suse, a Novell business". Sick.
I belive the codecs have something to do with the licensing to distribute them not being compatable with the Open Source licensing of any Linux distribution, so you pretty much have to get them seperate from your OS. It sounds like you've had to get codecs before though, and it will pretty much be the same method for any distro, download the ones you need and plug em into your favorite media app.
I would agree with Ubuntu, but you will want to go into the /etc/apt.sources
file and uncomment the Universe repositories, this will allow you to add
MP3 to XMMS and many other programs you may be interested in. You still have to go and download the codecs for wmv.