What is everyone's opinion on Mandrake (9.1 and 9.0 specifically)? I've heard opinions on nearly every other major distro but this one. How is mandrake from a newbie perspective? Thanks for any info :)

Mandrake is the way to go if you are a newbie. I use it - its installed as the full time OS on one of my PCs. It has a great control center for configuring apps.

What specifically do you want to know?

An other one to consider is Red Hat 9.0, they have inproved the package managment alot and is very simple to configure. I still think that Debain still has the best package managment of all distros.

Debian's nice cuz they have apt-get
I posted somewhere else about how there's an apt-get that has been ported to work with .rpms instead of .debs

I disagree with CyberJ. Although I haven't used it a lot - Gentoo has a great package manager.

I love typing Emerge <whatever> and it just downloads it, and the dependencies :-).

That's the same thing apt-get does :)

I am looking to get into linux more, and am wondering about a good newbie distro. Heard RedHat 7.3 or 8.0 would be a nice choice. And when I looked around Mandrake appealed to me. I'm wanting a distro that is newbie friendly, but also has some power packed in it. Since I'm on dial up ( :( ) I have to buy all my distro's and am not looking to download 50 different distros just to find a good one.
Eventually I hope be using a distro that is good for development, how's mandrake in that aspect?
Thanks. :)

Gentoo's portage is way better than apt-get in my opinion. Alot more you can do with it than download binary packages :P

And to answer your question...it depends on what direction you want to go...id use mandrake but dont let it become a crutch for ya...move on to something like debian..and then after you are comfy there....install a real distro like gentoo :P

At the risk of sounding a bit like a broken record, have you given Knoppix a thought or try? Just as Mandrake is basically Red Hat with KDE as the default environment, so Knoppix is Debian with KDE, an easier install, and more leading-edge software (It's based on the testing/unstable branches -- but don't let that put you off). You can experiment to your heart's content in a CD-bootable full Linux evironment "sandbox" with a configuration file saved to an arbitrary hard drive, then install it if you like it. While the install is a little rough around the edges, because of auto-configuation it only takes about 20 minutes (the script is on the CD) and it's easy to smooth out those edges -- and polish the whole thing to a bright gleam -- with the information and interactive help available at Knoppix.net (see below); there's a whole forum devoted to HDD install, for example.

What it amounted to, for me, was the editing of a couple of script files (fstab and bootmisc.sh), copying some desktop icons, and downloading some non-free files -- nearly all of which was extensively documented. Being mostly out of work, the free part was very attractive, as well; if not for the fact that I teach Windows to seniors, I probably wouldn't bother to dual-boot much any more (I'm running about 80% Linux now, and I'm still learning). To say that I'm pleased with the install is putting it mildly. I'm much happier than I was with my SuSE Professional install of a year ago, though part of that is that Linux has really come a long way in that time, as well.

It comes with a full development environment, OpenOffice.org, The GIMP, Mozilla, and all the other stuff you would expect to see in a basic-plus install, even in its CD-bootable mode.

I've glanced at Knoppix, but i haven't given it a huge ammount of thought. But from what you just said, I'm deffinately going to give it a run through. It's sounding like something I should look into.

personally I am a slackware guy I run slackware 9 on my ftp+web+mysql server and love it immensely! It was originally a redhat 7.3 server *personally I cant stand 8/9* and I tried just about every distro out there before landing on slackware. It now has an app a lot like app-get in swaret and seems to run a lot faster on my machine plus on my old p2 400 machine.

That's cool - yeah 7.3 is my favorite version of RedHat although I tried 8 and am currently using 9.

Mandrake 9....load of "%!"##%"%