Help PC Pro write its Linux distro Labs

26 Jul 2012

In the past couple of years, we've seen huge interest in the reviews we've published of the different versions of Ubuntu. The popular free operating system has a massive following, and rightly so. It's a fully fledged operating system, complete with office software and a host of useful tools and utilities. And Ubuntu, which has now reached version 12.04, is now a usable, mature operating system.

But what of the rest of the Linux landscape? There's a whole selection of other desktop distributions, or "distros" to give them their collective name, and the choice ranges from simple, lightweight distros designed to run on older hardware to more fully featured operating systems such as Linux Mint and openSUSE. How good are they? Can they challenge the usability of Ubuntu?

Crowd sourcing

To find out, we've decided to pitch a selection of the most popular desktop distros head-to-head in an comparative Labs, to be published in a forthcoming issue of PC Pro magazine. Normally, we'd get our heads down at this point, install all the shortlisted software on a selection of laptops and PCs, put together a feature table and proceed to put them all through their paces.

This time, though, it's different. This is such a vast and complicated field that we felt we couldn't fully do it justice unless we opened it up to you, our knowledgeable readers. So this will be our very first crowd-sourced Labs, written as a collaborative effort between the PC Pro writers and its readers.

How are we going to do it? Simple: we've set up a wiki, hosted for us by UK web host

o you can submit your own writing, edit others' contributions, discuss and build a review of each of the eight chosen distributions.

You'll find the wiki by clicking here, and all you need to do to add your contribution is follow the simple signup process – you'll need to confirm your email address in the activation email first.

We've put headings in place as a guide to the sorts of things we're looking for, but the rest is up to you. If you've always fancied yourself as a technology journalist – here's your chance.

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