Didn't mean to start a fight :) I'm experienced with several distros but I'm purely agnostic about operating systems in general. Whatever does the job.
I asked this question because the webplayer has special needs vs. a standard desktop. I spent a lot of time this week investigating "minimal" linux distros but none seem appropriate. Going back to "heavy" distros I narrowed it down to this list of choices:
1. Mandrake - I'm most familiar with this.
2. Debian - Yes, RPM dependencies piss me off (but I won't do many installs)
3. Gentoo - Relatively light but non-trivial to install for me.
4. Beehive - very tight distro (500 MB) but targeted at sysadmins.
5. Lycoris (great for small desktops but might not handle non-standard hardware. Wouldn't install on my Dell laptop at all.)
Distrowatch (.0rg?) was tremendously helpful in letting me do research.
I'm using a 3 GB Hitachi HD so I'm going to try Mandrake and see if I can't trim the system down enough that it's snappy. I guess I'll use Gnome 1.4 as the wm. Any suggestions for making it faster would be deeply appreciated.
I'm going to make my first attempt using the 3GB Mandrake drive that I made to use on my laptop while playing around with distros. Not sure what will happen when I pop it in the webplayer and reboot.
Eventually I'll attempt to put linux on DOC on my second webplayer.