I have been reading up on Linux and it sounds like Mandrake is one of the most user friendly for newbie versions out there. I was downloading the iso files to burn discs with, but I am confused by the Mandrake website. I have to join the user club? Does this mean Mandrake is not free, actually? Or is the user club free? I mean it takes a while to download these files even with broadband and I don't want to do it if it means paying a company and being stuck with them. I am looking for Open Source Free Software here, not another Microsoft. Is Mandrake free? If it is, am I totally wrong about it being most newbie friendly?
Thanks in advance for entertaining this newbie question with replies.
It's OSS free - that's part of the license deal when you distribute the Linux and GNU software. The user club is a source of revenue for a financially troubled company.
You're not locked in at all. Almost all of the software is based on the RedHat distro, which is in turn mostly based on free "community" software.
I think you're right about it being friendly. I understand that Mandrake is good for newbies (and advanced users too), but then I havn't been one for a while... Try it and see.
As I posted a couple of days ago, OSS is free as in speech, not necessarily free as in beer. Software costs dollars and/or time to maintain, so companies need to find a source of revenue to provide their distros. You can still get zero dollar code from the main sites, but often the paying customers get priority access for updates and so on - if you can, use a mirror. It spreads the bandwidth costs and load.
<i>How the heck does Tom know I'm addicted??? Not that I'm paranoid...</i>