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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9
Stable workhorse, broad support community
Not for the newbee
I started out three years ago with Fedora core 3, then tried Mandrake (try to find their free download page!). I found KDE too garrish and busy. Next was Sarge. A bit of a struggle to install and get everything working right, but the package selection is super and all are rock solid. The default Gnome desktop is clean looking and well organized. Later I had to see what all the chatter regarding ubuntu was about with Hoary and Breezy. Upgrades to Dapper broke on two machines. Frequent upgrades broke applications all too often to suit me so back to Debian testing (Etch) on three machines (a PII, a dual PII and an AMD64 dual core). All super clean installs and purring along. I'm still using Ubuntu Breezy on my old Dell Latitude C600 only because it works fine on the limited apps I use there.
In summary I'd recomment Ubuntu or Mint for your first distro. Then graduate to Debian once you are comfortable with Linux. You won't regret it. I tip my hat to the developement team.