Now imagine you are driving a opensource car. The Engine is totaly accessable. So
you can poke around in it, and you might even make it to the next gas stations.
If you are well versed in engines, you can even fix it yourself. Or have a neighboor
help you. You can also go to the authorized dealer, or actually any other mechanic
who is willing to look at that thing. Furthermore, you can change your service
center if you are not happy with their service. If you feel the need you can
look at each part of your engine, and be sure that your safety is not compromissed.
You just have so many options ...
Choose the one that makes you happy :) I have been using Red Hat Linux since 97 or
so, and I'm mostly happy. I also became a RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) so,
to keep up-to-date I prefer to stick with RedHat.
Red Hat choose to give its end-user distro to the community and continue on
on the Advanced server series itself. The new distribution is called Fedora, and
I have been using it since it first came out, and have no major complaints ...
I'm actually quite happy with Fedora Core 3
That does not mean that you should necesarily choose RedHat. I always recommend
that you should use the Distribution which has the greatest user base in your
area, so that you can get help from people.
Lots of people in Europe use SuSE, I personally are not too happy about SuSE decision
not to ship YAST (their administration utility) with a GPL license. This is also why
it is not possible to download SuSE from the internet.
SuSE has been bought by Novell which will make the distribution a good competitor
for Red Hat.
Debian has also a great following. Their heart is in the rightplace, and after you
are able to install it, its quite easy to maintain. However, I still find it not
as userfriendly as possible. Also the 'stable' distribution of Debian always lags
behind other distros. I applaud the big community effort, but I'll usually stay away
from it :)
Slackware is the first distribution I have used, however, it did not really change
with the times. I don't find it to be a real option.
Mandrake is/was a RedHat clone. Its very end-user friendly, however, you have to
constantly upgrade to the latest version, since Mandrake finds it un-important to
keep older versions online or maintained. Also with its financial problems it is not
clear if it will exist for a long time.
Mostly intel based PC's ... The first linux machine I installed was a 486. The more
interesting hardwares are as follows: