5 Distros of Desktop Linux go head to head…

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Not all distros are created equal. This is something I’ve found out the hard way during the past 10 years I’ve experimented with Linux. Keeping this in mind, I wanted to search for the most new user friendly distribution of Linux I could possibly find on the market in order to recruit my friends and acquaintances to Linux. In order to find the best of the best, I’ve selected 5 distributions of Linux that are some of the top rated ‘Desktop’ linux distros (according to distrowatch.com and user opinion). I’m going to install each one of these distros for a week and let my wife try to do all of the stuff she normally would do (blog entries, surf web, email, burn CD’s, listen to mp3s, link her portable media device) and see how each one stacks up to each other. My wife is a new user to Linux. While she does know the basics of what Linux is…she’s never used a Linux desktop. I hope this qualifies her as a ‘new user’.

I’ve selected the criteria that all distros will be judged on which I will post after I install Knoppix to hard disk and do a quick comment under the ‘distros’ category here (sometime next week). I install these distros before hand to ensure that there are no large issues that cause problems for me so that when we go to actually rate these distros…they’re all on the same starting point. I also do a quick commentary with my take on the distro so you know my biases and opinions (which I will eliminate from the rating process as much as possible).

We’re one week away from posting the criteria of rating and 2 weeks away from getting started. It is important to note that if any hardware conflicts arise, I will not help my wife resolve them. She has told me that if something that ‘just works’ in XP doesn’t work in Linux, she’s giving up on that distro and moving on. That sounds a lot like what a new user would do so I have no problems with that. So, some reviews might be quite short. I’ll be equipping my wife with the command alsaconf and that is it :) We’ll really know what distro is great because the hardware configuration (posted earlier in another entry) is really standard and isn’t cutting edge new…if a distro can’t detect and install what I’ve got…they not really that great. If I were to add a modem to this, I’m sure that it would really throw a kink in many distros spokes…but I think I’ll save the modem/winmodem tests for a part II of this feature. I’ll publish each review by mrs.devnet in the ‘reviews’ category here with as many screenshots as possible. Countdown, 2 weeks.

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devnet has been a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, a Unix administrator, a Technical Writer, and a System Analyst during his 10 years working with Technology.

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