Best Distros For Beginners
1.) Ubuntu (Desktop edition) is a great choice for Linux users who are beginners. It is based on Debian. It supports a large-variety of hardware devices, has a standard release cycle (every six months). It is the antidote to a world of uncertainty. For the wide majority of installations, it will just work.
You don’t have to worry about hardware incompatibility, software installation and the configuration. Insert the disc in the drive, answer a few easy questions and you’ll find you looking at the beautiful new design, the so-called Lucid Lynx. If you don’t have a great Internet connection, you can ask Ubuntu to ship you installation DVDs for free anywhere in the world.
Ubuntu currently has the largest share of the Linux user base. Ubuntu also includes an extensive set of open-source software to cover the needs of first-time switchers, but also includes only truly free software in its default installation, winning fans on both sides of the open-source aisle. Latest version is 10.04.
2.) Linux Mint shares much of its lineage with Ubuntu, but aims for a clean, green-themed, mostly new and better look.
Its developers have a strong focus on immediate functionality, with a large driver set included at first installation. In addition it also includes Mint Tools, a set of configuration apps and wizards that strive to make configuring and managing Linux as painless as possible.
3.) Mandriva Linux is a very comprehensive Linux distribution that can use either KDE or GNOME as its GUI, though KDE 4 is its default.
4.) OpenSUSE is another easy Linux distro that uses either KDE or GNOME. It’s sponsored by Novell. It includes YAST, the easy-to-use configuration tool that lets you customized just about everything.