Distro Selection Question

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
#1
I have a fairly new/old Dell laptop. It's a Inspiron 11000, and has been very reliable to me. I've recently upgraded to a desktop and I want to use the laptop for my fooling around in linux. I'd like a distro that would work easily on the laptop and then be able to, at a later date, set it up to dual-boot on my XP-Pro machine.

The only problems I see are the availability for drivers for some of the Dell hardware and my dual monitor setup on the desktop.

Laptop Specs:
2.2 P4 (Desktop processor, not slimed down for a laptop)
512MB RAM
64MB Integrated Video

Desktop:
2.4 GHz Celeron OC'd to 2.83, and can run over 3 easily
512 MB RAM
Dual (PCI/AVG) 256MB NVidia GEForce 5500?FX video cards
DVD+-RW
 

Thermal

Registered Member
#2
I'd probably recommend Ubuntu Linux. Its fairly easy to install and use, and uses the debian package management. Documentation is fairly good, and the user community is growing at a rapid pace.

Gentoo allows for better customization, optimization, and bleeding edge software. Virtually everything has to be compiled from source, which can lead to a lot of down time especially on slower processors. Also many laptops tend to suffer from heat issues. Installation can be difficult your first time through due to a more manual installation. Documentation is probably the best I've seen, and has a huge user base.

SuSe is probably one of the most user friendly, but uses RPM (yuck). SuSe also comes in a commercial flavor.
 

Doc

Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
V.I.P.
#3
I actually have a torrent going with Ubuntu right now, but I'd still like some opinion.