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Which KDE 4 Distro for my Laptop?

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The tricky thing to set-up on my Acer Laptop is the WiFi, which uses the Intel 5100 series adapter.

This is my home network, and I'm somewhat paranoid about wireless security. No, I don't have anything to hide, I just hate the thought of someone poaching my net access or spying on me. So I have set-up my router to use WPA2 PSK AES encryption with a randomly generated 60 character pre-shared key (which I keep on a flash drive attached to my key chain).

When I had earlier installed Sidux on my Acer laptop, I had a struggle to get the WiFi working. I finally used a program called Ceni and got it going.

In testing Kubuntu Jaunty (release candidate), on my desktop, the KDE4 network manager wouldn't work. Yes, I do know how to access the files in /etc to configure net access manually (I'm not a Linux newbie--I would classify myself as a Linux intermediate). But I wanted to test the GUI stuff for network configuration. I finally installed the Gnome GUI front-end network manager, and ran that under KDE4. That worked.

Mandriva often does not get enough credit for its MCC (Mandriva Control Center) which provides access to their many GUI configuration utilities. In any case, this was the tipping point for deciding to install Mandriva Spring 2009.1 RC 2 on my Acer laptop rather than Kubuntu Janunty.

Getting the Intel 5100 WiFi going on this laptop with Mandriva Spring 2009.1 RC2 was as easy as clicking a few choices, and pasting my passkey into a text box. The driver automatically downloaded, installed, and I was automatically connected wirelessly. Completely pain free and doable by a Linux newbie.

Mandriva has worked relentlessly and improved their software installer/updater (both the back-end and the GUI front end) and I think it works about as well as the Kubuntu synaptic/apt-get stuff. With easyurpmi, it is dead simple to configure a repository for package installation/update using a web browser.

So, as Mandriva Spring 2009.1 final is about to release, I give the tip my hat to them (providing no show-stoppers show up at the last minute), particularly for newbies, over Kubuntu Jaunty.

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My suggestions

1. openSUSE 11.1 with KDE 4.2.2. Very good KDE4 build and very comprehensive in utilities and applications. As a bonus, if you're adventurous, you can also upgrade to KDE 4.3 SVN!

2. Chakra (based on Arch Linux). This is currently Alpha 2 but their kdemod is very good.

Appreciate the suggestions

Appreciate the suggestions. I had read about openSUSE's KDE 4.3 SVN update access, but due to Novel's patent agreements with Microsoft, I'm not inclined to install openSUSE.

I had considered Chakra, but, in the end, my familiarity with Debian derived distros and Mandriva's distros limited my trials to those two.

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