I've noticed that in this Forum, EVERYONE Is recommending Mandrake, Redhat or SuSE. I have install Redhat 6.2 Mandrake 7.2, and Mandrake 8.0. (Haven't Tried SuSE) and Didn't Like *ANY* of them when I was a newbie. in my opinion you just can't beat a Debian Based distro. With a fast internet connection i can install and configure Debian in an hour. Package management is absolutely the easiest thing ive ever seen, and the whole OS Is installed of 7 Floppies and an internet Connection. By Changing one small setting You can have it install All the latest Software instead of Whatever was included on the CD When you bought it. Debian comes with a ton of packages and no matter what package you want to install all you have to do is type 'apt-get install <packagename>' and apt will Download the packages, Decompress it, Compile and Configure it for you.
Compiling a new kernel couldn't be easier either. i did it once under Redhat, you have to type like 15 commands to compile and install it.. in debian in was 2 commands. I Found it to be By Far the Easiest, most user friendly OS ever. I call it user friendly, not for the conventional reasons, But Because you actually know whats going on, Mandrake was supposed to be extremely User Friendly but I hated it. when you tried to find some documentation on something it didn't give you any useful technical Data. it was all happy little penguin pictures and an explanation of how to use a mouse. It reminds me of the time I had to call Packard Bell to find out which Jumper Disabled onboard Video on one of their PC's because their extensive manual Didn't get any farther than showing me how to best position my Monitor, keyboard and chair and power on the system.
I was going to run Red Hat 7.2, but my laptop locks up during the install, so I switched to Mandrake 8.0. Can't figure out which way is up (even with my Linux Bible), so I'm now dual booting with win2k and Grub.
I'd probably get somewhere if I could just figure out how to use ONE of the text editors from the command line.......
Well they are all great distro's and personally i can in no way recommend redhat to a newbiew. Though mandrake i could as it is a little more user friendly.
Now the best "newbie" distro IMHO has to be SuSE! Sadly you did not try it. It has one tool that does it all. Yast can do almost everything on your distro and it is a great tool as well for an advanced user.
To be honest i have not tried the latest debian distro and thinking back the last time i tried debian was at least 2 years ago.. Anyway I will try it again soon but SuSE for now in my book cant be beat.
Why do I use LINUX ? Cause its the BEST OS
Why do I use Windows? Cause its the BEST Nintendo..