So, after reading an article that I found in eWEEK about Open-Source and Mac Alternatives to Windows 7 I thought I’d try out a few “flavors” and see what’s new. One of the main reasons for this idea is that I’m tired of having my kids come and ask me why windows keep popping up and asking them to install stuff when they are browsing for things online. I even got rid of all the shortcuts to IE8 and only left a shortcut to Firefox (which has helped). I’ve been running Windows 7 since the first beta and I’ve had the RTM version since it was released, but I’m just not that impressed with it. Sure it’s a lot nicer than Windows Vista but there’s really nothing all that new and exciting for the typical end user. So, after reading some favourable reviews about some of the versions of Linux I thought I’d give a few a try. I chose Ubuntu, OpenSUSE and Mandriva for my tests. Why you ask, because they seemed the most “main stream” and the most similar to Windows when it comes to adding/removing programs and managing updates.

Now, I just have to preface this by saying that I’m in no way a Noob when it comes to Linux. I started out with FreeBSD years ago and learned how to setup and manage websites, email, DNS, etc., for hosting websites. I then moved on to Red Hat and I’ve also worked with Debian. Keep in mind that this was mostly for server and not desktop use. I did dabble now and then with the “desktop versions” but I was never really all that impressed with them: they always seemed a little too difficult to get up and running for my tastes at the time. Please don’t get me wrong, I love having a command line and the control that Linux gives me over everything, that’s one reason why I’ve liked Linux for servers so much…and then there’s the hack factor 😉

Anyway, on with my impressions of the different versions. I do have to say that this wasn’t any kind of a”lab” experiment and evaluation to see which one was better. I simply thought I’d give them all a try and this is what I ended up doing…

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