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Distro Selection Question


Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
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)
64MB Integrated Video

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


Registered Member
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.


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