Happy New Year !! 🙂
The first step to start using GNU/Linux is to find out which distribution is the right one for you. So how do you go about choosing the right distro for your computer. Let’s find out.
Firstly, ask yourself what kind of distro you want to use. Do you want an easy to use distro, one with paid support, supported by community, one which has all the codecs and other proprietary softwares preinstalled ? Is your hardware somewhat aged ? Are you experienced in operating the system ? All these things go a long way in deciding your user experience. You can try this site to help you in deciding: http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/
If you want an easy to use distro, you could try Ubuntu, openSUSE, PCLinuxOS and Mandriva One. Both have excellent community support as well. I’d started off with Ubuntu and have since moved onto openSUSE. If you have a good knowledge of Linux, you could try out Gentoo and Arch Linux. Fedora is also a good choice, but it is kind of bleeding edge rather than being leading edge. If you want distros to be run on older hardware, you could try Damn Small Linux or Puppy Linux or Xubuntu; these are quite light-weight and fast. For paid support you can try, Red Hat Enterprise Linux(RHEL 5 Desktop), SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop(SLED 10), Linspire, Xandros, Mandriva Powerpack.
Perhaps, you may need to try out a number of distros before you find out the one that suits your needs. Its always safe and good to try out a distro on a live CD(if one is available for download), before installing it on the computer. A live CD is a CD which contains the entire Linux distro. If you boot off the CD you can try out the entire system and see if it works on your hardware to your liking or not. While it is not the best way to judge the features of a distro (e.g. the system will feel slow when run from the live CD), it sure is the safest.
So, go ahead and enjoy the adventure. Stay tuned for more…..