First of all, let me state that there is no official Mansfield LUG distro. You can use any distro that you like and we’ll gladly help out. Just because 80% of us use one distribution doesn’t mean you have to use the same distribution just to fit in.
Many of us settle on a distro for a particular reason wether it be ease of use, familiarity due to a work environment, recommendation by others or whatever.
I use ubuntu (www.ubuntu.com ) because of many reasons. A few of them are: the simple single disk installation, the simple debian (www.debian.org ) inherited package management, the very good hardware detection, the wonderfully soothing brown desktop theme… Ok I lied. I didn’t pick it for the brown theme – but thankfully that’s something we can change. Basically, the distro you use is a personal choice so don’t let someone force you down a particular route if you don’t want to go there.
Many of our new members use ubuntu too. This is probably due to several factors. Firstly, the way ubuntu is marketed is towards beginners and ease of use. Secondly, the single disk installation make it feel less daunting. Thirdly several of our members are more than competant with debian and debian based distros so there is a largr pool of knowledge to draw upon.
Essentially, once you get up and running it becomes less about changing from windows to this new operating system and more about discovery and freedom of choice. When you feel more confident with Linux you will start experimenting with different distros and more than likely settle on your own choice of distro for your own reasons.
So what this ramble boils down to is that at the moment most of the people that regularly attend a meeting tend to be using ubuntu, whilst many of the members that help out on the mailing list and are around in the background probably use something else.