I have only began my adventure with Linux this year, so I am a complete newbie at Linux. After a good deal of research and testing with other people I knew who had Linux, I opted to install OpenSUSE x64 KDE on my PC, dual booting with Windows 7.
I tried Ubuntu 9.10 and overall, I felt that it was not as good as SUSE, nor was Kubuntu. However, one distro that seems to have gotten more positive feedback is Linux Mint. It seems to have one thing that other distributions don’t - a lot of codecs, which I agree are a pain to install. (Out of curiosity, how good are the codecs and multimedia support in SUSE?; I do some video editing and it seems to be one of Linux’s shortcomings along with gaming).
openSUSE is a US based distro and if they packaged it with all the codecs, they would have to pay the licensing fees for every codec. This would be quite expensive for something that is given away for free. If they did it without the proper licenses, they would be sued Big Time.
At least they make it easy and great instructions are readily available.
>:( Anyway to get it to say that it is German (it technically is) or some other place where patents are a bit more lenient and the government sympathetic to FOSS stuff, without having Novell to relinquish control?
Either way, I think that Linux Mint is arguably the best Ubuntu based distro around.
We are considering/working on trying to provide codecs and working multi-media for the boxed set. But some things have to be considered. Things like pricing. If the price gets to high, then it becomes pointless. Obviously the legal matter has to be reconciled.
I’m using the Linux Mint 8 Live CD right now. Very easy to use and very pleasing to the eyes visually. I find the theme to be even better than Ubuntu’s. They did a great job of organizing the menus so that newbies can easily find what they need. Nothing in the Live CD has crashed yet, so it’s very good and stable as far as I know. Performance is pretty fast since I imagine the system is overall very light. Played a DVD and that worked perfectly…
If I didn’t know that this was Linux, I would have thought it to be a very well-skinned version of Windows at first glance. (Windows XP has all these customizable visual styles/skins) Of course, the menu is nothing like Windows (It’s much more organized!), but the Desktop is very in the Windows-style. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it will definitely draw some crowds in. The only gripe I have with organization is the control center which looks just as overwhelming as YaST. I would have expected to see something like Kubuntu’s KDE control panel thing where the first thing that the user would see is the categories.
I took some screenshots of Mint and sent them to one of my friends who are shy about switching to Linux. After seeing them, she really wants to try out Linux Mint for herself. As for myself, I think I will continue to use openSUSE since I’m more of a KDE kind of guy and Kubuntu was just… blegh. However, if I had to, I would happily use Linux Mint.