I’m thinking of switching my primary computer use from Windows (using XP, and I have a Vista “upgrade” disc sitting on my shelf that I have no desire to install) to Linux. Windows has always worked well enough for me, but a mixture of curiosity and annoyances over the little things it doesn’t do well (especially the bloat and memory hogging) has led me to the point that I want to part ways.
At least, most of the way. I’d keep XP to boot to it for games that don’t run out of Linux, but for the most part, I’m ready to make the switch.
I just can’t decide which distro I should try. I’ve only known Windows from 3.1 to present, but in the odd case I’ve had to use a friend’s or a lab Mac, I’ve adapted well enough, up to and including various versions of X. So while I would like one that can skin to appear like XP, I hardly need it. I’m glad to move to something entirely different.
Solid NTFS read/write support is a plus, so that I won’t have to partition a FAT32 to share between the two for file access in either system. If there’s one that you find works better than others supporting games through WINE, all the better; I’d like to eschew Windows as much as possible.
Ubuntu looks like a good first step as a popular system not far removed in style from Windows. Red Hat has age in its community. I’ve heard Gentoo has great customization, should I want to once I’ve adapted. Debian? Slackware? SUSE (though it’s not free)? Other?
Oh, relevant config usually helps here:
Intel Core2 T7200, 2.0GHz
laptop with onboard graphics (hence: the games I play are not exactly cutting edge)
Plenty of hard drive space for an extended partition to make things easy.