These links are good reads : http://distrowatch.c...s.php?resource=majorhttp://itmanagement..../article.php/3701421http://wiki.linuxque..._Linux_distributionshttp://en.wikipedia...._Linux_distributionshttp://futurist.se/gldt/gldt76.pnghttp://photos1.blogg...Linuxupdatedw4.0.jpghttp://distrowatch.c...on=packagemanagement
IMHO the most famous, popular and well maintained distributions are probably :
Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Knoppix, Mandriva, Mepis, PCLinuxOS, RedHat, Slackware, Suse, Ubuntu, Xandros.
For overall EASY Desktop usage, my top 3 picks are (in that order) : Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva. They provide easy proprietary codec and driver installation and offer a polished environment.
- Ubuntu works, is polished enough, is well documented and has a huge user base. I’d first go with that. There’s a new release every six months. Enormous repositories.
- PCLinuxOS offers a nice user experience, but I’d be worried about its long term life (I also don’t like the fact that it doesn’t offer a gnome version). I also don’t like that there’s absolutely NO release plan.
- Mandriva is great, but it’s not exactly free if you want full access to support etc. Release schedule is not as strict as Ubuntu’s, but better than PCLinuxOS.
Suse is fine, but I find it bloated and I don’t like its package manager. Fedora is too unpredictable : some releases are just terrible. Debian is great but not as user friendly as Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS. Etc.
Then there are all the distros more suited for old computers. Like Vector, Slax, Damn Small Linux, Zenwalk, etc.