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My friend was getting rid of his old gateway windows 98 machine, i thought id take it to try out linux for the first time. Id like to know what i need to do to get windows off the machine, or if i can just write the linux distro over it? and also id like to know what distro i should go w/... id like something somewhat easy but still somewhat advanced, because id like to learn more about linux... im looking at ubuntu, are there any you would suggest?
 

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I recommend Fedora Core 4 for a first time user, very simple (well Fedora Core 3 was)

And I would recommend removing Windows if the specs are crummy unless it is a good comp......(even though I hate to delete history like that lol)
 

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I put Simply Mepis 3.3.1 on my old GateWay 98 machine and everything was detected (sound) and installed perfectly first time out. SuSe, Ubuntu, PCBSD and Mandrake wouldn't detect and install everything...
 

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I personally prefer SUSE as it has YAST (Essentially the same as windows control panel).

Used Fedora Core 1 for my first distro and found SUSE to be alot easier than the other RPM based distros.

Havent tried Ubuntu i must say but i hear good things
 

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Ubuntu is very nice. For the most part, it JUST WORKS. I was truly amazed. Even smbclient and cups was painless to get going. Also, even though stuff like dvd support and MP3 is not provided in the default install (due to legal issues I imagine), there is a very nice step-by-step how-to for all the restricted formats on their wiki page. Other then the gaming aspect, Ubuntu provides for a remarkably painless escape from windows. It is by far, the best linux desktop distro I have tried.
 
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