Check out Knoppix Debian Linux
If you have been wondering about checking out Linux but don't want to deal with the whole partitioning your harddrive thing, you can play around with a real working Linux that runs from your cd rom. You can download a free version, 3.4, from Knoppix. It's a no risk way to see what the whole Linux thing is about.
Obviously, it's best if you download a single version, then burn copies for your friends, that saves the Knoppix people a lot of bandwidth. And since it's open source, you aren't violating any licensing things, it's completely legal to copy and distribute, in fact it's encouraged.
I'v played around with a few Linux installations before, Redhat 7, that one failed completely when I added a harddrive, Mandrake 8 was pretty good, ok anyway, but had a lot of weird things, like you had to learn how to mount the cd rom before you could access it. But it never quite did it for me.
Redhat 8 was OK, it was useable, but very slow, especially when you used the GNOME desktop, and that version of the KDE desktop was not very good.
Knoppix comes with Debian linux, KDE 3.2 desktop, and Konqueror browser, the new version that incorporates many of the latest Safari upgrades that were contributed back to the KHTML project by the Apple engineers.
Debian has a distinct advantage in that its main os/software upgrading tool is the apt-get method, which is much better than Redhat's RPM manager, which I've never gotten to work. On redhat 8, for example, I tried installing the rpm for the new mozilla browser, and it simply failed.
This is the first Linux distribution I find myself actually wanting to use, which is the whole point of having it to check out I guess, see if you like it.
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