Brand new to Linux - what's a good flavor?

I started with DOS 3.0 in a galaxy far, far away and have been a Windows guy ever since. The job market (& curiousity) points toward knowing something about Linux. But when employers ask for Linux knowledge they don't say Red Hat, or Mandrake, or Slackware...they just say Linux. If I learned, say, on a Slackware distro, could a sit down at a machine with a Red Hat distro, or a Mandrake distro and be just as proficient?
neobyteAsked:
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LuxanaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I agree with both of you guys I just add that really the main difference among all distros is Package management and that means when you switch from debian to redhat you need to know something about rpm's.

DEBIAN:
http://openskills.info/view/boxdetail.php?IDbox=1108&boxtype=distro
SLACKWARE:
http://openskills.info/view/boxdetail.php?IDbox=245&boxtype=distro
REDHAT:
http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/linux/RHL-7.2-Manual/custom-guide/ch-rpm.html
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kiranghagConnect With a Mentor Commented:
each distribution has its own advantage/disadvantage and the target user community also...
only difference is in the installation techniques, software collection and software management techniques...once its installed, rest all remains same...
so it wont hurt much...just be aware of those little differences and you will do fine with any distro
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Jase-CoderConnect With a Mentor Commented:
>> f I learned, say, on a Slackware distro, could a sit down at a machine with a Red Hat distro, or a Mandrake distro and be just as proficient?

yes unlike other distros slackware does not contain lots of wizards that setup various parts of the system, so you need to understand how the system gets configured rather than using some wizards.
Then when you switch to something like ... Suse you know how the system works, you could even configure it manually. Then to configure advanced things all you have to o is learn how to use the system wizards like yast, which are easy to use.

so, to understand how the linux works use something like slackware, debian. You'll learn about the boot precess, once learnt these basics use something like mandrake and become familiar with the wiards to get the best out of the distro.
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neobyteAuthor Commented:
Thank you all...especially helpful was Luxana with the handy links! -neobyte dave
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