I was a self employed IT trouble shooter (that sounds like an exotic way of saying it!
) working for 10 years on windows systems with the occasional Amiga & Mac thrown in for good measure, in my small (population 2,500) country town.
I retired, & after many years of occasionally looking at various (mandrake, suse, redhat) Linux systems & hoping that Linux & I could start a long term relationship, I installed Debian, & whilst researching for help on the web, I kept seeing the Ubuntu name.
Eventually I searched Ubuntu out, & got help on their forum for my Debian install. Of course due to the Ubuntu forum's quick & expert help I quickly downloaded & installed the fresh Ubuntu 5.10, learned a great deal from the forum & still spend time helping & learning from others on that forum, (though I mostly spend time in the Backyard of the forum these days, because eventually the tech' stuff gets boring).
So, Ubuntu was a VERY easy place for a newcomer to Linux to start, mainly, but not completely due to the forum. Ubuntu does work at trying to be an easy place to start per se.
After I became somewhat familiar with Linux, I have been hopping about for some time, through BSD's & multiple Linux distro's, mostly on my second machine.
Because once you get somewhat familiar with the Linux & BSD way, the differences become more superficial; desktop setups & pre-installed software are the front end, then it comes down to the range of ways to handle package management & the variables of hardware compatibility.
I know I'm short selling all of the other variables that are beyond my knowledge, & I mean no disrespect to the hardworking unsung developers in any way shape or form, they are my software & OS heroes, without them we have nothing in the computer world!
I have been using Sabayon, one version or another for about 4 months, on my main machine, on my other I currently have Gutsy Kubuntu, the second machine gets to do most of the distro' hopping.
I am about to take delivery of an iMac, which I will dual boot with a Linux distro', the first one I'll try will be Sabayon, if it fails to successfully install then I'll try Ubuntu, if that fails I'll go down the slow road of Arch... & on it goes; it is just so wonderful to have all of these fantastic choices for free!
Thanks again to all of the hardworking software developers, without you, the hardware is worth nothing at all!
Ex Arch user (4.5 years), on the run from the Systemd Virus. Feeling relatively safe here for the time being...