Help required for Linux newbie :)

I have posted a question on which Linux to install and I have few more questions about Linux, I thought it wouldn't be fair to add it on to that. Anyway, I suppose I dont have to tell anyone that I'm newbie as regards Linux OS it goes without saying. Its just such a big variety of its releases and for a newbie like me is very hard to know which will suit me best. So could anyone list, say 5-6 most popular and most supported, brief description, advantages disadvantages, differences between them, level of difficulty etc. Would be greatfull if you experts could guide me through and provide whatever information you think I should know. I'm focused on graphic designs and website development. Thank you experts hoping for your help as I always wanted to get my hands on Linux.
hitcher_ltAsked:
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rindiCommented:
I think for newbie's the ubuntu versions are easiest to use and have the most functions. It is based on LiveCD's, so you would download ubuntu, kubuntu or ultimate ubuntu, start the PC from the CD and then you can do some testing. If you have decided on which to install, there is an installation icon.

Ubuntu is based on debian, which is very widely spread and has a lot of support in forums etc. A really big advantage of Debian is it's very good package manager, which makes installing new apps easy. Debian itself is difficult to install, but ubuntu makes it easy. Ubuntu, since it is based on a LiveCD also has very good hardware and plug'n'play support out of the box. The different versions above use different GUI's, ubuntu -> Gnome, kubuntu -> KDE (which I prefer) and ultimate ubuntu has more multimedia functions.

Another good and easy to install and use distro is opensuse, but in my point of view it doesn't seem to get as much support as ubuntu.
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hitcher_ltAuthor Commented:
Thank you for a rapid response. What about Mandriva 2007?
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mjutrasCommented:
Mandriva is Free but maintaining packages updates and support are not free, If you dont update manually all your packages you will need more knowledge about Unix.

I personnaly use Kubuntu for graphic design and website development like you. It's based on debian (Wich is my server OS for web hosting) and updates are easily installed and you get greatfull support with the huge debian / ubuntu community! (and experts from experts-exchange for sure!)
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hitcher_ltAuthor Commented:
Nice one, thanks for your help! I'm just after downloading an image file for Kubuntu 7.04 beta version. Its almost 700Mb. Is that it? Or is there anything else i need to download?
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mjutrasCommented:
If your downloading kubuntu-7.04-beta-desktop-i386.iso  you're on the right way!

To install just boot on the system and when you will be logged on a X Window session you will have a "Install" shortcut.

Installs steps are well explained and easy to use!
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rindiCommented:
Ubuntu allways comes on one CD, or ultimate ubuntu I think on a DVD, but because it is originaly a liveCD it comes on one media.

After having installed it you can use it's package manager to add further apps.
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Cyclops3590Commented:
mjutras,
>>Mandriva is Free but maintaining packages updates and support are not free
are you sure, been a while since I setup a "free" version of Mandrake/Mandriva (i do powerpacks now), but I always remembered them giving updates for free as well.  That's why I switched from Red Hat to them a long time ago.  
http://polishlinux.org/linux/mandriva/xglcompiz-in-mandriva-2007-free/
Support is extra though.

However I do hate what they did in Mandriva 2007.  Applying updates is a major pain via the GUI.  Just do it via the commandline with:
urpmi --auto-select
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mjutrasCommented:
Since Mandrake changed name for Mandriva I did not really followed this distrib evolution since when I searched for more informations about current Mandriva 2007 I always hit "Purchase and download" and shows pricing informations... I did not found any completely "free" version.

But you may right that somewhere it exist any "free" version. I cant deny it.
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Cyclops3590Commented:
i know there is a free version of mandriva.  Its basically the first 3 cds of the set.  cds 1-5 (or 6) are the powerpack, then I believe theirs one more that completes the powerpack+ and contains the corporate proprietary stuff like ATI and Nvidia drivers, acrobat, java, flash.  stuff which is freely downloadable anyway.

Reason I like Mandriva is that it keeps fairly uptodate, and it has pretty much anything you'll want built-in.  The only complaint I have is the package managers (gui and command line).  Honestly I like the ones in 10.x better than 2007.  The urpmi is nice, but not as good as yum or apt-get in other distros.  To be honest though.  On my servers I will be dumping Mandriva for CentOS (yum).  On my client I'm still researching it, but am thinking about moving to Ubuntu.
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hitcher_ltAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all comments. One last thing :) i have dedicated a separate hard drive for Linux. Last night downloaded "debian-31r5-i386-binary-1" ISO image file and of course could not wait till i find out more about Linux, installed it into that HD. I have created through the Linux formatting tool Root, Swap and 3rd partition for storage or whatever. Anyway, for my huge dissapointment after all the manual reading and installation process all I got was comand line Debian :))) So, do I uninstall this version or do I load Kubuntu 7.04 CD and reformat  HD again using its formatting tool or since Kubuntu is Debian based can it be installed over?
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Cyclops3590Commented:
while two or more distros can be based on the same "branch" of linux, they are usually pretty exclusive of one another.  I'd just re-format and start over with Kubuntu
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mjutrasCommented:
You can also format those partitions / drives with kubuntu installer
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hitcher_ltAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much for your help! Would like to chat with you a little longer but my PC cant wait for a Linuxation, so got to go :)
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