QUOTE(mipadi @ Oct 12 2008, 09:06 AM)
At work (I'm an assistant systems administrator) we use OpenSUSE. I can unequivocally say that it sucks, and I don't recommend using it. Configuration is a pain in the ass, and the package management is terrible and slow.
At home, I use Gentoo
. It's nice and I like the package management, plus I know what's installed and running on my machine at all times, because I put it there. The only downside is that installing something like X Windows or KDE or GNOME can take upwards of 1/2 a day.
In our apartment, we also have a couple machines running FreeBSD, which is really nice, too. Plus it doesn't have all the annoying political crap that comes with using Linux.
Actually, to be honest, most of the time at home, I use a Mac. Why? It's got all the cool Unix-y things I like about Linux, without all of the pain in the ass stuff. I maintain a Linux network all day, and I usually don't want to keep doing that when I come home at night.
I've heard really good things about Gentoo-based distributions because it allows for a more intricate customization for the subjected machine. I just don't have the time, internet connection or space in my hut for another machine to jump into it. However, I am strongly considering building and selling Linux-based machines once I return to the states.
On my old computer I had Mandriva. My new one doesn't have any form of Linux yet, but I'm planning on getting it today.
Mandriva is the most user-friendly distro I've tried.
Also, help on facepunch.
The discussion in that thread confirmed a lot of what I've been hearing about a few different distros. I'm still going to continue to do some research.
Mandriva works extremely well. It's easy to use, much like Ubuntu, and KDE 4.1 runs bug-free with Mandriva vice Kubuntu. What I personally like about Ubuntu and it's derivatives is that the community support is absolutely amazing. Time difference and all; I am able to go to the site and get answers, damn near immediately.
With Mandriva, it wasn't that simple. I just purchased an HP Pavilion dv2913cl and 1) it's a 64 bit processor and 2) the nvidia graphics card isn't recognized with Mandriva One. Luckily, I'd read about a few bugs to be fixed with Mandriva, and after some kernel manipulation, and a driver change, I was good to go. Although, I'm not sure it will be so simple for the poor chap who knows completely dick about the OS.
Whatever the case, I'd still recommend Ubuntu, especially if you lean toward the Gnome desktop environment. For KDE, Mandriva seems like the way to go.