linux operating system

Can someone tell me, if I was going to download a linux operating system, what would be the best freeware complete linux operating system.
 I have a laptop that I would like to but linux operating system on it. I would like it to be the best freeware. And be complete.
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Joseph GanSystem AdminCommented:
Look in this line:

I recomend the top three.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Before I answer that, can you tell me the BEST flavor of ice cream... with solid facts, so I know you're right.

To be clear, there is no "best".  If there were a best, there wouldn't be any others.

The link posted by ganjos is nearly 3 years old - and linux operating systems are CONSTANTLY updated.  Further, the second listing is actually 3 different versions of linux - but grouped together because two of the three (Mint and Unbuntu) are based on Debian.

If you want to play with and learn linux GREAT - more power to you.  BUT, you're going to need to find the one you like best.  Years ago I introduced a friend to Linux and he took off, eventually settling on Gentoo, but most linux people would not have recommended it at the time.  And frankly, I don't know anyone using it today.  Ubuntu seems to be the most popular for home use... Fedora is also popular as is Suse.  Really, your best bet is to try one... don't like it, try another.
I personally recommend Suse as it has a powerfull installation, configuration and administration tool called YaST which makes it an easy start for Linux newcomers. It comes with tons of software and has a very big community and a dedicated company behind. Users coming from Windows may very well feel home pretty quickly. In addition as the first article already stated Suse comes with lots of drivers, etc. so that you're likely to find most of your laptop hardware supported.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
The most common ones I run into are Ubuntu which is Debian derived and CentOS which is a derivative of RedHat like Fedora is.
madunix IT Specialist Commented:
I do ubuntu on my laptop and netbook

Best Linux Laptop Vendor: Dell
Honorable Mention/Runner Up: Lenovo
Third Place: ASUS
Fourth Place: Acer
Fifth Place: EmperorLinux
For years, Dell (at least in the US) avoided Linux-based PCs like the plague. We kept hearing how the market wasn't ready yet. We kept saying “Sheesh, guys, build it and they will come.” Well, now they've built it, and we have come—in droves! Dell dips its influential toe in the water and suddenly gets more votes than anyone for Best Linux Laptop Vendor. We're very curious to know how many of you are buying Dell laptops preinstalled vs. self-installation. Are we right to assume you're doing more of the latter? Our own hats are tipped graciously to Lenovo, who has taken arguably more risks than any other Windows-dominant laptop maker to put out great Linux-based laptops and make them mainstream. Also, we salute the Linux PC specialists who have been configuring our machines since the Precambrian. We hope you don't forget them.

Best Linux Distribution: Ubuntu
Honorable Mention/Runner Up: PCLinuxOS
Third Place: Debian
Fourth Place: Fedora
Fifth Place: Pardus
Times they are a changin' (just a bit) in the distribution department this year. Although Ubuntu in all its tasty flavors remains the Roger Federer-esque champion of Linux distros, the dynamics of this category have changed from the past two years. In 2008, Ubuntu was dubbed the “big distro that did” for “unexpectedly leaving its myriad 'rivals' as mere dots in the rear-view mirror”. Then in 2009, Ubuntu received the “Energizer Bunny Award” for increasing its popularity and becoming untouchable (for the time being). But what a difference a year can make (just ask Tiger Woods). Ubuntu remains in the commanding lead, but it slipped a considerable 13% from of your votes last year. Meanwhile, a feisty, upwardly mobile distro, PCLinuxOS, grew from the single digits to a full 15%, meriting a worthy honorable mention recognition.
Almost all Linux systems are free (SUSE and RedHat are not).
I like OpenSUSE -> you can use it. It is vere easy and have everything what users need.
Some people say that Ubuntu is also easy and it is the most popular Linux distribution.

You can download few distributions and check what will be working the best in your computer and what you like most.
I like the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server and Desktop products provided by Novell which bought SuSE's outfit.  They charge for support but the software is opensource. I'm not connected with Novell, I've just always used SuSE.

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starviewAuthor Commented:
Straw Berry Ice Cream

Thanks to all of you
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