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I use debian for everything, including my laptop. I had to spend some time configuring the suspend and power-saving functionality but everything else worked more or less straight out of the box.

The big advantage of debian over some other linux distros (like RedHat and SuSe) is its huge library of packages and all the infrastructure you need to deal with them, and its general focus on giving you everything you need to hack and configure the system. IMO it's one of the best linux systems for technically minded people who want to have it all their own way.

There's also Ubuntu which is a debian spin-off aimed more at providing an easy to use and install desktop. Some people seem to like it a lot. I've never tried it.

Coming from solaris, you may find one the free BSDs a little more familiar, but from what I hear hardware support isn't as complete as linux.

And then there's OSX, which is just fine if you like the desktop it gives you, but won't give you an alternative if you don't. On the plus side, it's a real Unix and it does support things like MS Office, the Adobe software suites and lots of other "big and important" commercial software that isn't available for any other unix.

In reply to Re: What *nix do you recommend for a laptop? by Joost
in thread What *nix do you recommend for a laptop? by apl

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