Arthur Pemberton wrote:
I have a computer science class mate who is interested in switching to Linux, starting small with installing it and dual booting. He fits the type that should be able to switch easiy: non-hardcore gamer, non hardcore multimedia.
If he wants to really learn linux I'd suggest slackware. That was my first distro as a comp sci student. I'd also recomend getting a O'Reilly basic linux book to help him get around. Slackware is very standard and very unix based so it's easy to find where things are since they are ussually in the default places.
If he wants something that's still good to learn in but a bit more friendly then slackware make sure he uses Fedora. You use it, you can provide help as other's have already said.
If he just wants a working computer without wanting to fool a lot, install ubuntu for him. Ubuntu is a great distro and he won't be sad with it. I eventually moved away from it on my laptop and desktop. Fedora provides the "best of all worlds" I think (at least for me so far). After jumping between Slack, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Debian and Arch for a while I finally gave Fedora a try and love it.
Since your friend is a Comp Sci major I would basically recommend any of them. Hopefully he'll settle on Fedora at the end :)