SuSE 8.2 Live CD
SuSE (see Figure 4) offers a live CD version of their popular distribution as a way to try it out before installing it on your hard drive. This approach requires more upfront configuration than for any of the other distributions covered here. During the boot process, you'll need to confirm (and possibly change) a number of hardware settings that SuSE selects. With a bit of work, I was able to get the correct video settings, but my wheel mouse never did scroll correctly. After all this is set, SuSE boots into KDE 3.1.
Figure 4 The SuSE desktop.
Visually, SuSE looks as good as any KDE-based distribution I've seen, with stunning desktop fonts and icons. The Mozilla and Konqueror web browsers are both included, with Konqueror doubling as a file manager. KOffice and OpenOffice.org are both present, and plenty of multimedia players are included.
Overall, I can only recommend SuSE's live CD for a couple of situations: if you're considering a permanent SuSE installation and want to try it out, or if you have a nonNTFS partition where SuSE can save a configuration file. Otherwise, you'll spend far too much time booting and configuring the system.