"me mine" wrote in message news:...
> I am currently seeking a distro that I can install on pc's for newbies to
> use.

My suggestion would be either Red Hat 8.0 or Knoppix Linux, depending
on your system that you want to install them on.

> Here are some assumptions to help with getting ideas from people.
> Firstly, it must be easy to install. so that anyone familiar with windows
> installation can do this.

Red Hat 8.0 has a graphical wizard that walks a person through the
entire installation process.

Knoppix is burned as a CD-ROM and just booted directly from the CD
drive and it configures itself to the hardware.

> Secondly, it should for preference, be a single cd in size.

Red Hat 8.0 without all of the sources is only 3 CDs in size, but that
is taking into account all of the 'extra' programs that come with it.

Knoppix is only one CD in size.

> Thirdly, it must be GUI in operation with as little commandline
> configuration as possible.

Red Hat 8.0 comes with several window managers, with either Gnome or
KDE being set as the default. It can be set up from the installation
to boot directly into a window manager and have the command line
interface completely hidden from the rest of the system (except for
people who know how to use virtual termainals ).

Knoppix boots directly into KDE, again hiding the linux command line
under the window manager.

> Fourthly, it should be easilly viewable over a lan from a windows pc. so it
> can if possible be used as a gateway or server for a windows network.

Both Red Hat 8.0 and Knoppix come with the SAMBA program that pretty
much configures itself. The only configuration that you will have to
do is to the windows macine.

> Fifthly, it MUST be available free of charge in some form or other.

Both Red Hat 8.0 and Knoppix are free downloads from

> Sixthly, configuration and optimisation should be as easy as they would be
> in Windows98se or XP.

These have already been addressed above.

> Also, it cant be slow to use. therefore KDE 3 upwards as the kde 2 versions
> ive tried were slow and counter-productive.
> The reason for the above criteria is as follows.
> I do charity work supporting a network for a community organisation.
> The volunteers and clients are not very knowlegable regarding computers and
> resist what looks hard.
> They want things to just work for them. not to have to configure.
> They will accept a linux server if it can be easilly maintained and
> networked.
> Also, I am hoping to set up extra client pc's.
> Anyone with any distro suggestions would be helpful.