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Which Linux distribution should I start with?

We're interested in getting started with Linux, but are confused as to how to begin. There are so many distributions! Which one should we start with?

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If you're brand new to Linux, you can't go wrong with one of the major distributions from Red Hat or SuSE. They have done a lot of work in making them painless to install; also, if you want to obtain commercial support, it is provided for both of them. Once you get more familiar with Linux, you can consider looking at other distributions.

The most important thing to do, however, is learn about Linux once you start. There are many excellent books that provide tutorials to help get you up to speed on Linux. There are many, many Web sites that offer information about it, as well. Finally, most areas have one or more active Linux user groups. You can find the nearest one to you here. Good luck!

This was first published in November 2004

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