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  1. What distribution do you recommend for me ? I've got 1GB of ram 2.4 GHZ P4 and GF7300. I need it for programming applications in java and C++. And watching movies.
  2. Does linux support .rar? And if not what application should I install.
  3. Do you know any codec packs for linux (rmvb, MPEG, ...) and player which can work with them ?

Thanks in advance.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted
  1. For my own development reasons I've just stuck with windows and run any old Ubuntu through Virtual Box.

  2. The ability to open a specific file formats are not supported by ANY opperating system, including windows or mac, this is something that applications take care of. And yes, linux has them.

  3. Just install VLC

Side note: It sounds like you just want to play with linux and don't know anything about it. I recommend you get a boot disk of slax linux.

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Why do you use both linux and windows? – oneat Jul 2 '10 at 13:35
Sometimes certain apps (like some FOSS) only work on *nix OSes. – Hello71 Jul 2 '10 at 14:59
For playing around with Linux, why recommend Slax Linux? Isn't it better to play around with something safe like Ubuntu? – Isxek Jul 2 '10 at 16:26
@lsxek slax and slackware are two differnt distros. @oneat Why wouldn't I? You don't need to polarize yourself in some nerd-war to use a computer to write software. – Incognito Jul 5 '10 at 13:10

Ubuntu (or Kubuntu) is probably the most beginner-friendly distribution, at least out of the major ones that most people know about. But it's not the only one.

An article like (randomly the first Google result for Linux distribution comparison 2010) provides a lot more information than I could give you myself.

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It's worth noting that the ubuntu-restricted-extras package is required to enable use of most proprietary codecs under Ubuntu. vlc, as noted above, provides its own set of codecs, so installing that will work too, but may leave the user confused as to why totem et al are unable to view some files. – intuited Jul 2 '10 at 21:27

Yes Linux supports rar. Look for the 'unrar' command.
If you prefer a GUI the ark command wraps around unrar and gives it a nice look.

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