I've been a Mandrake user, not that I use it all that much - recently installed 8.1 - even detected and offered choices on my dual monitors - the only thing not functional out of the box seemed to be supermount for the cd (auto mounting when you pop a cd in) - Mandrake seems to me to be a little quicker to add new drivers, software versions, etc. Redhad would say they test more, wait til the bugs are out. I tend to upgrade hardware frequently, so go with Mandrake.
Mandrake is super easy to install, it's been easy since 6.5.
A real life experience
Admittedly I'm an absolute beginner. Don't know the simplest things about linux commands. On my box I had freshly installed windows, stupidly letting it format the complete drive. So to begin with Mandrake needs a partition of the drive. This process kinda makes you nervous when you have set up a fully functional working windows environment with all your utilities and stuff in place.
Alas all went well with the help of fips. Problem was the Mandrake install routine didn't recognize my fresh partition, decisions were not taken away from me like I'm used to in Windows ;)
Apart from that the install routine was pretty windowish, only faster. It lets you choose between a recommeded modus and an expert modus. Recommended worked like a charm - until the X thing had to be configured. No way that my graphic card would be recognized. This results in an uncomplete installation.
So now I can start Mandrake via a nice boot manager which gives me the choice between windows and linux. But I do not get a graphic surface, KDE or Gnome, I get a command prompt. Virtually the only comand I vaguely remember having seen used is mount....
Guess I'll have to take some basic lessons in linux now...which is not a bad thing at all. Friends using linux keep telling me that sooner or later I wouldn't get around it.
I tried mandrake at one point some months back (posted here about it someplace).
the only thing that seemed a problem was the network cards...I couldn't get the 2nd one to work, so for my home office lan, I had to go back to winders 2k. However, if I had been able to find a more 'name brand' card at the store I went to, I've heard of many people having no troubles.
In case you need to know, the card I had problems with was Netgear something or other, don't recall exactly which. If you need to compile a driver for your network card, I'd recommend switching to a different one.
I've been running Mandrake 8 on a home server on a dual CPU box, which also happens to serve web pages and emails for two of my domains. It has been up for something like 140 days run-stop before it reboots because of power failure on the Christmas day :(
Most people reckon Mandrake as a "newbie Linux distribution" that's easy to install, but I found it quite friendly to the power users as well, who usually change configurations by doing "vi /etc/blah"...
Beside user-friendliness and easy-installation, the main attraction for me is its update on software packages. As a software developer, I like to have all the latest cutting-edge stuff that I can experiment with, and Mandrake usually suits my needs.
It's not only easy to install but on a shallow note, it's the best looking.
If you can get a hold of Solaris for the pc [sun.com], all you do is put in the CD and reboot. Just make sure your equipment is on their hardware compatibility list. [soldc.sun.com]. It works great...even I can install it.
>> It's not only easy to install but on a shallow note, it's the best looking. <<
Could you expand on that, In what way is it better looking.
This is my desktop, [cgi-fun.hypermart.net] it is a simpler approach. That is WebmasterWorld through lynx.