Best Linux for my laptop

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I recently purchased a laptop: 2.8 GHz P4, 512 MB Ram, CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive. I am mainly going to be programming, surfing the web, and writting on it. I want a good Linux distribution for it. I've heard that Slackware is pretty good. On top of that, I'm going to get a Orinoco Gold A/G combo card for it, which I heard can be almost impossible to get it working with Linux. One thing is that I don't have a floppy drive for it, so the distribution must be bootable from the CD. Any suggestions?
 
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Most any distro is CD bootable nowadays. (Question: Why have you locked yourself into a wireless card, when you havent even bought it?). Any distro will do well for you now. MDK, Fedora, Debian, Slack, Gentoo all come to mind. Here is where it comes into the amount of work you want to do, and how close to the metal you want to be on your system.
 

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I am going to be getting a wireless card because I'm going to college and where I am going is almost completely wireless access. I've also got a ethernet port on it, but I am going to be using the wireless card mainly. Plus, my laptop came with a $100 rebate which is why I am going to be buyin the card later rather than with the laptop. I originally was going to buy it with the laptop, but I owed alot in taxes this year. So now I am going to wait a week for my $100 check and then buy it.
 
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I just mean, that if you are for sure going to use linux, dont go out and buy a card not known to work. There are lots of cheap wifi cards that work with linux, and if you need an eth card, then they are also cheap. I got my dlink for under 30 CND.
 
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I agree with whiteskin. Don't lock yourself into a particular brand of wireless card you know will not work with linux (although id give it some time, and im sure a good driver would come out).

Slackware is a very good distro. It is one of the longest surviving distros of linux out there. It is also somewhat hard to use...compared to other distros at least. Any distribution of linux would work nicely on the laptop you have, but just make sure all your hardware works. Download Knoppix or Topologi (topologi is slackware based). Knoppix boots off cd and is very ram intensive, but im sure you could get away with it. Topologi creates a virtual linux partition on your windows partition (its just a single file) without affecting anything. If either of those distros work, then chances are high that most linux distros will work on it.
 

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The reason why I am getting a certain card is because the card I'm getting has unlimited network profiles, and you can plug in an external antena. I've used Knoppix before, it's what made me want to get linux. Plus, I don't want to have to put in a CD everytime my computer starts to run linux. Would it be recomened to install Knoppix as a OS? Because I am having a little trouble with Linux Slackware... I've got my computer partitioned, 1/2 Windows 2000 Pro, the other Slackware. Apparently, Windows 2000 doesn't recgonize the linux partition and wants me to format it. Now the question is, if I install Knoppix, does it have LILO? That is what I am using now and seems to work fine.
 
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You can install knoppix with a knx-hdinstall command from the root prompt (try vt2). It will install a well dont debian unstable system. I think yu should try to find another card with similar features. try the HCL at linuxquestions.org.
 

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Thank you all for your help. I've got Slackware 9.1 working, but I have a problem with Windows 2000 not recgonizing Linux. Because of this, I started a new thread. Thanks again.
 
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I would like to throw mention to SUSE 9.x pro. Absolutely ZERO problems installing it beside XP on my IBM A31p notebook. Of course I have the built in wireless but it grabbed all the drivers for me and off I went. CD and DVD bootable too by the way.

Just my two cents.

GOOD LUCK
 
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