I’ve been using Ubuntu 6.06 for a little over a month now, and I have to say, “Wow!” I love it.
What is it? According to Ubuntu: Ubuntu offers you a complete Linux-based operating system, including all the major applications you need to play and work. With a strong focus on a desktop that Just Works, Ubuntu is a great choice for home or the office. The base system and all included software is free, and support is available from the community or by professional support providers.
By free, they mean free forever. It comes with OpenOffice and Firefox preinstalled. It was so easy to install. Easier then any version of Microsoft Windows. You can try it without even installing it, just boot from the CD and it runs a “live” version of Ubuntu.
Installing additional (free) software is very easy, Ubuntu comes with “Add/Remove Applications” where you can just put a checkbox next to the programs you want (divided up into categories like “Games,” “Graphics, “Educational,” etc), and they are downloaded and installed automatically. Nice.
The whole Ubuntu user “experience” is smooth and logical.
Once you have it installed, check out this page for additional software Essentials.