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I have been playing around with Linux for some time now, and enjoy it a lot. Unfortunately, my experience is limited to Red Hat only. I have been used many different version of Red Hat's Linux and feel that it has come along way in the last few years.

Now I am wondering if I should start playing around with other distributions of Linux. I see that other people us Mandrake, Debain, SuSE and others. What do you all think of other Linux distributions in comparison to Red Hats version?

Do these other distro's offer different things? Is one more user friendly that another? Is one better than another? advantages/disadvantages of different distro's? Opinions welcome!

Why do you use the distro that you use?
I'm not a huge fan of Lindows. I do like Mandrake and College Linux. Mandrake is probably the easiest for install, but I find them to be relatively equal in user friendliness.
I have used linux going on 25 days now and I would say that Mandrake 9.1 is on my list as the best distro. I can't say I have much experience with other distro's as I have only used Mandrake, but it came highly recommended from a buddy and wow, it worked wonders for me. Being a Window's geek I was a little shaky going into the whole linux idea. These are my reasons for liking Mandrake.

1) Installation for me was a snap, and very user friendly in the way you are able to select things and the way it explains things during setup.

2)Lots of support for mandrake as there are many others who use it as well

3)Nice bundle of software that came with it(I don't know what software comes with other distro's). I have many usefull apps like open office,cd burners, etc. I didn't have to go find them, they were there when I first booted up. NICE. biggrin.gif

4)Makes me feel at home. I am/was a windows geek and Mandrake is easy enough that I didn't turn and run.

5)Lots of drivers built in. I didn't have to go find a bunch of drivers for my onboard sound and ethernet. I was amazed, everything was setup perfectly from the start.

So, as you can see I am impressed with mandrake 9.1. If it can do everything that windows xp could do and then more, it is way worth keeping in my books.

I've mainly used redhat, mandrake and debian over the years but I prefer redhat over the others, it gives me the least amount of problems.
I use lots of distros just to try them out ... but on every machine that really matters (servers and my main workstation) I have RedHat installed.

If you are going to use redhat, I recommend using apt-get as your update method instead of up2date from redhat network .... apt-get for redhat can be found here:

The other distro that is both fairly easy to freely obtain, install/configure, and keep up to date is Mandrake.

SUSE is easy to install the purchased version ... but the FTP install (free) is not nearly as easy. It is easy to keep updated after install.

Debian 3.0r1 is NOT overly hard to install after doing it a couple times, but it is not nearly as easy an install as RedHat 8/9 or Mandrake 9.0/9.1 ... however, the apt-get / dselect method of doing updates is by far the easiest method of maintaining your system updated. Also, SID (the unstable branch) is extremely cutting edge (mozilla 1.4 was installed only 7 days after it's official release ... redhat 9.0 is still using mozilla 1.2.1 right now....)

I have tried many others (slackware, college linux, arch linux, arklinux, Knoppix, Calderia, Gentoo, etc.) but they are either not full featured (knoppix/arklinux/arch/college) or to hard (gentoo) or not updated enough caldera/slackware) ... in my opinion...
Great Stuff!

For work and production systems I agree that Red Hat is the way to go. They have good support, if you want to pay for it. But as you know there are some systems that one can not afford to have go down!

But for a home system I was thinking about tyring some other Distro (hence the reason for the question) and from what some of you are saying, Mandrake sounds like a possible option. But dident they go out of business, or are they going out of business?

I kind of like the idea of Debain, from what I hear there is no real company behind them its all a GNU kind of thing. kind of cool, but I may be too much of a newbe for that kind of thing.
Mandrake filed chapter 11 ... but they don't seem to be going out of business. Here is a statement from their CEO:

Mandrake is also avialable from HP installed:

Debian is also very good ... I am using my debian right now! If you want to install debian, make sure to use the bf24 install option (installs a 2.4 kernel). You just type bf24 and then enter from CD1 boot. You only need CD1 to do the install.
Here is a great article on Mandrake on HP:
Check this link out:

Everything you ever wanted to know about Linux distros.
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