My current Home PC (PIII/192MB) is installed with Debian sid. I have this setup for last one month and found stable. Actually I installed Debian Sarge through DVD. It was just base install. After first phase of installation, the installation wizard prompted for which tree of debian I wish to install. It offered Stable (Sarge), Testing (Etch) and Unstable (Sid). I selected Testing. I have heard that it is good enough stable for a Home PC. I did base installation only. After that X windows, XFCE 4.4 (beta) and all other applications were installed through apt-get and synaptic. Here is the list of applications I use:
1. Thunar file manager
2. Firefox browser
3. Thunderbird for GMail
4. Scribus for brochures and artwork
5. GIMP for image editing
6. Anjuta/Glade for learning development
7. xfce4-terminal for console
8. xmms and mplayer for audio/video
9. Bluefish for web development (Home site)
10. Gnumeric for home finance maintenance
11. OpenOffice.org (mostly for documents received through email)
12. gThumb for photos
13. Audacity for small voice recording (fun to record my child Udhaya’s voice)
14. gnome-volume-manager to auto run gThumb once camera plugged in, vcd/dvd auto play, cd-recording application auto play
15. Mousepad for simple text edit
16. xfce4 plugins – screenshot, volume manager, notes, screen lock. Though I don’t like tray running plugins much, I found these useful and light weight.
17. Orage – Calendar application which is simple and light weight with Event reminder and clock applet.
18. gTodo – Simple to-do manager
Here are the screenshots…
I found this setup more than enough for any one’s day to day work. A week back I upgraded this setup to Unstable tree of Debian. It is rock stable. AFAIK Debian-Unstable is more stable than many other distributions. Apart from stability, the choice of application is important. I had that freedom to choose the above application list.
If you have atleast 2 years of experience in Linux and legacy PC, Debian is the best distro to manage your PC with less resource utilization and flexible configuration of system and application. When you have brand a new PC, go for the great Ubuntu, which is nicely integrated and stable.