Quote: Originally Posted by MadMaxData
So that's a link to the console mode you were talking about? If not, shouldn't I start out with the regular Linux OS?
A Regular Linux
Now that's almost a contradiction in terms.
Linux comes in an almost infinite variety of "Distros" which at the same time is both its STRENGTH and WEAKNESS.
Strength because it's infinitely customisable and can be made to look and run (with effort of course) in anyway you choose, and weakness because there will never be a "Bog Standard" Linux - which makes it highly unsuitable for large scale desktop deployments.
For Servers it's hugely robust and if you want to mess around at home with server software this is a cheap and great introduction. Most Linux distros are totally free and there is a HUGE amount of open source software. If stuff doesn't work there are loads of decent forums -- I like this one LinuxQuestions.org
Windows works "Straight out of the box" and is easy(ish) to deploy and mainatin on workplace desktops - and if stuff doesn't work eventually MS will sort out mostr problems.
Linux is more of a "DIY" approach but the rewards are great when you get a highly customised system working just the way YOU want it to.
Open SUSE 11.2 is a good choice to start -- the main GUI is either KDE ("Windows Like") or GNOME -- but you can install BOTH.
The FEDORA project (used to be the NON commercial part of RED HAT -- also a much used distribution) is also worth a look at and some people swear by UBUNTU.
The good thing is you can try ALL of them at NO COST other than your time. They will all usually run on quite modest hardware - and you could even consider running them as Virtual Machines.