"If I had a nickel for every time I was asked "Which is
the best Linux distribution?," I'm sure I'd be just as wealthy as
our friend Bill Gates. It's not that I don't like helping a
prospective Linux user, but there are difficulties to answering a
question like that, which almost seems to be rhetoric these days.
No single distribution is right for everyone, and that might just
be one of the things that makes Linux so great.
Quite possibly, this is both good and bad for Linux users,
depending which end of the spectrum you're on. Take a look around
and you'll see Red Hat, SuSE, Slackware, Mandrake, Storm, IcePack,
Dragon, Trustix, Gentus, Progeny, Debian, Kondara, Libranet,
Conectiva, WinLinux, SOT (Best Linux), Caldera, and the list can go
on and on and on.
I hope it's now clear that if you want to try Linux, odds are
there is a distribution out there for you. Lucky for us, newbies
have selections, intermediate users have them, and so do advanced
users. What I'm going to attempt to do today isn't answer the
eternal question of which distribution is the best, but give you
the tools to make that decision for yourself.
Keep in mind my recommendations are not absolute. For example,
you don't need to be a beginner to appreciate Mandrake, but many of
its features are oriented toward the beginner. Also, in most cases,
because this is Linux, if you dig deep enough, you'll find more
than enough console-oriented hacking on your Linux box."