Trying to assist a colleague with the hot topic "which distro should I try now?". He got Ubuntu 14.04 and quickly moved to KDE after I showed it to him. After a couple of months he want a change.
My first choice would certainly be #Fedora
but unfortunately it still has some stopper, especially for new people. Namely Fedora misses bumblebee to enable nvidia optimus and it misses bbswitch to turn the discrete nvidia card off (he has a dell inspiron laptop with optimus technology). Yes there is a third part repo for it... sorry I don't recommend such stuff to new people to Linux, it just looks bad. It is ok for dropbox and flash, I can blame Adobe for doing crappy software, but not for the basic hardware support. Also I suspect some of the problems he got on Ubuntu were due to third party repos for weird stuff like oracle java 8 and similar.
So I'm tempted to say #Debian
. We got a VM on his laptop to let him try it. We gone for Debian testing, being less out of date
(despite 8 just got a release... that's a rare event). Could have ended better. Got quite a few bugs, the worst of them was the "Additional software sources" program not working. Checking the contrib and non-free repos (which are a must imho, and new people expects them) was simply not working they got unchecked a fraction of seconds later.
ç_ç what an unfortunate event. I really wish Debian testing to be more and more usable for daily usage (and possibly with a little more sprint on security updates as well), it would be such a good distro for starters.
And of course I wish Fedora would get the very few things that is currently missing to be a super good choice for starters in Linux. It has up to date packages getting also new versions as part of normal updates (something I love TBO) a very solid base, a quasi-official repo (rpmfusion) with the extra stuff like VLC, h.264 support and the like.... but still misses some very common hardware support like nvidia optimus. I actually don't care about fglrx TBO.... it is an AMD fault not supporting up to date Linux kernel graphic stack. Changing Fedora to accommodate AMD's limitations would harm its very basic foundations.
Another missing thing is chromium, but that's less critical, google has an rpm repo for chrome. And will possibly be solved soon.
Should I suggest him opensuse? I was disappointed last times I used it and gave up immediately so I'm even sure about its status these days, for the starters.