Linux is not suitable for desktop use unless you have a) a very serious understanding of Unix in general and Linux in particular, b) old hardware (10+ years) to make pretty sure it will all work with Linux, AND c) no requirements to run modern highend software like most games, photoshop, etc. etc.
You don't need old hardware and you don't need a serious understanding of Unix in general or Linux in particular. But you do need (c) -- if you need a _particular_ application that does not run on Linux, then obviously Linux is not for you.
probably a live cd version. I wasted my time dual booting with mandrake and never use it. I think I might have but I can't find a driver for my wireless card.
I'm running linux on an AMD64 machine. Dont think thats 10 year old hardware, probably should check that :)
I'd recommend Fedora or Mandrake if you are new to Linux. Mandrake is known for its vast hardware drivers, and Fedora was pretty easy when i started to learn linux. I'm currently running Gentoo on that AMD64 machine and Fedora Core 4 on my laptop. Who needs Photoshop when you have gimp?
server_crash what network card did you have?
I work daily with Fedora Core 3, and am tempted to switch to SuSE to learn more about that desktop and work with it. I have not had a problem with Fedora / RedHat, and admit that I have not explored GenToo, Mandrake, etc.
I tried Debian, and quickly lost interest with the mammoth install issues. I also want the ability to install from local FTP sites... and Fedora / RedHat allowed me to do that.
I have not had a desktop issue yet... GIMP worked fine for me for photo edits, Evolution for email, kPalm works with the Palm, etc. I am not a gamer, although I have a few of them on my Mac for when time slows down a bit, and I like to get inspired.
You do not need a 10 year old computer as JWenting suggests. You can do linux today, and have a quite pleasent experience. Just be sure to think about backups, and how you are going to manage things if your hard drive goes bad. Linux supports burning of CD-ROMS, DVD's, and even the thumb drives.
You can live without Microsoft.
Redhat WorkStation (RHWS) free 30day trial when registering an account at redhat.com
includes updates. cake install.. download the ISOs and burn to cd. ensure you can
READ them on an old CDrom drive first.
Why pay when Fedora Core is free, and sponsered aka lead by the same group?
If you dont like debain install issues...dont try gentoo. Gentoo does not have a text or graphical installer. But you do get benefits from Gentoo.
you dont have to pay for redhat.. just updates.. i wouldnt cough 700+ per server lisc..
For desktop Linux, I would recommend Ubuntu. I use it as my primary operating system, and all my hardware worked first time, without me having to configure anything. For example, ATI drivers usually are a real challenge to install on most distros. With Ubuntu, you simply the 'xorg-driver-fglrx' and the 'linux-restricted-modules-386' packages, change 1 line in a config file, and it works.
In regard to applications, there are apps for most tasks. Gaim and Xchat for chatting with IRC, MSN, Yahoo, AOL, etc; OpenOffice.org for office tasks; Evolution/Thunderbird for email; Firefox for web browsing. There are also lots of games available in the package manager. You could also purchase Cedega, which allows you to run Windows games on Linux.
Just my 2 cents on this one :p
ubuntu is quite interesting, and it is more free, then other dirstributions
and what you think about kubuntu?
I also tried Kubuntu, and it is good. But I prefer Ubuntu, because I don't like the KDE Desktop that much. IMO it is too bloated. Because Kubuntu and Ubuntu share the same package repository, if you install Ubuntu, you could also install KDE later from the package manager.
I use Fedora COre 3 on my laptop as well as on my desktop. It works really well and it is pretty easy to use too .
i would like to know that are u going to using linux on ur desktop for some spl purpose. if not then i would suggest u not to go for it.
u can go for fedora core 4 its easy to install and use