Which Linux?

I’m in the process of dipping my toes into "try a different distro"-land, as I have some doubts about the finishedness of Fedora Core 2 (having used RH/Fedora distros since 7.2). Some of the changes to the way Fedora behaves, particularly under Gnome 2.6 bug me.

Despite its presumably small Australian user base, I’d like to give SUSE a go as it looks pretty polished. With the release of 9.1 over the weekend, that looks like a good place to begin. However, the whole FTP install seems kind of painful, even over fast ADSL. Does anyone know somewhere the ISOs can be obtained?

Equally, I am open to suggestions of distros worth trying (and why). I’m not doing a huge amount of non-web programming (mostly Coldfusion, some PHP and trying to learn Java). I’m happy to work with "difficult" distros – the experience can only make me a better user ;)

Suggestions to the comments…

3 Replies to “Which Linux?”

  1. Mandrake is great. I recommend a go at it. From what I hear it’s a lot better than Fedora. I’ve had it running since the community beta version and it’s my favorite distro so far (although not my primary os).

  2. My personal favorite is Gentoo.

    The upside: the packages are always freshly built and configured specifically for your machine, giving you a good performance boost. The compilation process is all automated, so it doesn’t require much, if any user interaction. You can also get plenty of bleeding edge releases if you want, long before the RedHat packages or Debian packages are ready.

    The downside: Compiling takes a long time… Also, you’re expected to know a fair ammount about Linux going into things. Their online documentation is sparse, and though IRC channels offer support, it’s often of the RTFM variety.

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