Linux Distribution Chart
“In the lightweight division, we have used Puppy Linux a lot of the time, installing it to HDD on a half-dozen of the same GoBook P3 laptops and giving them to kids as gifts. At around $50 each (well used), this was affordable.”
“Don't forget SliTaz though. I have it on my old 433MHz Celeron machine, and it is fantastic. If you need a lightweight Linux distro for old hardware, I would take this over Puppy Linux any day.”
“I prefer Slackware because it's very simple and stable. It gives me the power I need to get things done very efficiently.”
“I think most distros are a lot more polished and user-friendly than they were a few years ago, but I'm going to go with Ubuntu. I used to use Kubuntu from 6.06 to 8.04, but the transition from KDE 3 to KDE 4 hasn't been the smoothest. I gave regular Ubuntu 9.10 a spin and have been really impressed, since it's probably the first GNOME-based distro I've actually enjoyed. There are practical reasons for going with Ubuntu as well. Canonical has done a great job getting it out there and making it known, as well as presenting it as an OS for everyday users and not just networks and servers. And, the fact that it's such a popular distro means there are lots of users posting how-tos and solving common problems.”
“I wouldn't say that 'Ubuntu is the most easy Linux for everyone'. I definitely would agree that it is the one with the catchy-hard-to-forget name, in the HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray vein. When you put that aspect with the fact that it is free, then you get the 'World's Most Popular Linux Distro', whether it's the easiest one or not. Lots of people who don't particularly care about 'free' don't care about Ubuntu—especially the learning curve required to 'fix it'. These people, willing to pay for quality software and OS, are an admitted minority in the Linux camp, but they do exist. I don't, however, think that these people give a fig about Linux 'touching the masses' and all the underlying tones of cloying that phrase implies. They just want an easy-to-use and efficient/intuitive OS that works without hassle. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux one, but not the easiest Linux one.”
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.
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