Originally Posted by Djembe
In my limited experience, I think LiveCDs are pretty worthless for actually seeing how an OS can work on your computer, since anything that requires a restart or change in format can't be done.
Very little in linux REQUIRES a restart, though often times it is the easiest way a person not familiar with Linux can get their computer to go through the necessary steps.
For instance, if a module is not compiled on a live cd, and you compile it, you can modprobe it right then and there. If you make a change to your xorg.conf, you don't need to restart your computer, just X11. The list goes on.
As ABF mentioned, if it works in one distro, it will work in any, it is just a matter of how MUCH work(As BMWRob found out), and what type of work, it takes to get it working.
And on the distro choices, I will say this and then drop it. The reason of us dislike Suse as a distro dates from well before said deals, said deals just did not help their position much obviously
I won't go into the reasons behind it, suffice to say a quick search should turn up several threads in which these are discussed and a new flamepit can always be started.
In as far as 'for pay'...
BMWRob in those cases quite often, if not always, you are not paying for the distro itself. That is completely free(Though Suse in the past did not follow up on this very well, recently with OpenSuse they are doing better). What you are paying for in general is support, meaning you can call them up if you have a problem and they will attempt to walk you through its fix. I have had mixed results with Suse's support when I was(is?
) a noob. One example I can think of is a modem I had, that worked in one verison, but in the next did not work. After a couple hours on the phone with them, they determined it could not work with the new version.
Yea they were wrong.(And I got it working)
Other times i have gotten good information from them however. It really can vary like most places. It is of the most benefit to business/enterprise users though, and that is who they aim for. That is also why Lenovo went with Suse instead of something like Ubuntu for their laptops. They are aiming squarely at the enterprise, where distros like Suse, RHEL, etc. reign supreme. They want to market that image in what they do as well. Dell on the other hand recognized that the majority of the Linux requests came from individuals, not from the enterprise, and they recognized that on the individual desktop, Ubuntu currently reigns. Thus their choice was to go with Ubuntu to market to those that requested it.
Hope that explains some.