Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Fedora 7.0 is the latest community-based Linux release from Red Hat. Fedora and Novell's OpenSuse are Ubuntu Linux's two chief "competitors". All three Linux distros are free downloads; all have vibrant online communities where you can go for tips, troubleshooting and advice. And all three Linux distributions will hook you up with a modern, friendly environment that you can start exploring right away. If you don't rely much on proprietary, Windows-only applications, you may be able to get to work right away, too.
The big three free Linuxes differ mainly in their focus. Fedora and OpenSuse both serve as proving grounds for new technologies and new approaches; you see new features and capabilities in these distros long before they appear in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Suse Linux Enterprise. So Fedora and OpenSuse both do a good job of evolving - and that suits the companies that fund and steer these projects, as their commercial products directly benefit from the evolution.
To install Fedora 7.0, you have two choices. Your first option, the installation DVD, contains a whole boatload of software packages (and of course is itself a mighty big download of nearly 3GB). The DVD boots directly to the Fedora installer.