Favorite Linux distros?

OK guys- time for your inner Linux zealot to come out!

My PC now has two hard disks. One has working installations of XP x64 (with all my games) and Ubuntu 8.04 (with all my media stuff) which I want to leave alone. The other is a blank canvas now I've taken all my files off it, and given I have one disk with my primary OSs on it I'm thinking of chopping the empty one into a number of smaller partitions so I can have a multitude of OSs to choose from.

I already know XP (32 bit) and Puppy Linux are going on to it, but I probably don't need another Ubuntu so the rest are up for grabs. Which other distros do people recommend?

Criteria: they must:
- be free (as in beer, not overly bothered about as in speech)
- fit into a roughly 20GB partition (with an external /share for big files)
- not mess with my GRUB.

I'm primarily thinking of the non-Debian family major distros, but relative unknowns are welcome.



Related question- I've got used to installing dual boot XP/Linux, you just install Linux second and GRUB plays nicely with XP, but does anyone have experience dual-booting the Windows 7 Beta? Does its fancy-pants new bootloader have issues that preclude easy dual-boot installs?

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I like slax myself.
PKM (author)  Lithium Rain8 years ago
Ah, thanks for reminding me- that's one of the ones I meant to check out.

Addendum to the OP- a bit about why you like it would be good. "It's pretty" isn't likely to influence me much but "fast and efficient", "great package manager" or "works well with wireless network cards" might.
fwjs28 PKM8 years ago
extremely good packages...there all on the site and sperated by category....
You're welcome. Ah, sure. I like it because it's teensy, yet easily extendable (there are tons of modules on the official site you can add, and of course you can make your own) and reasonably fast when booted from usb and copyed to RAM (I haven't tried it installed on a hdd yet). It did seem to work well with wireless, it automatically detected my wireless card and home network and played nice. I didn't have to do anything at all to connect, it was all done for me. :-D
Labot20018 years ago
Other than Ubuntu, my favorite distro is Fedora with KDE. When I'm playing with Linux distros, I'm more likely to go with GNOME, but for some reason I really like Fedora with KDE.
teheheh....KFED :P
Oh, why do I like Fedora with KDE... Ease of use, "easy" interface etc. Good compatibility with drivers (so far, not a single problem), great selection of free software. The only complaint I have (and it's not a big one), I love Ubuntu's package manager and the program installation process. Nothing compares. But Fedora is still a fine OS.
fwjs288 years ago
ubuntu puppy slax BSD xubuntu fedora gOS ive tried the whole lot of 'em....my fav has to be Ubuntu slax and gOS
gmjhowe8 years ago
sigh, pkm, we talked about this already, UNIX is the way to go, but you know there is a better place..
I take it you have never tried UNIX-like operating systems like Linux or FreeBSD.
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