I tried both Ubuntu 8.10 and 8.04 LTS on my Lattitude D600. 8.04 LTS seems to have better hardware detection and have less problems. Also the LTS means Long Term Support. It seemed easier to install Skype with 8.04 as well. That's what my new Mini 9 will come with. It should be here soon. All I really need is Skype and Firefox while I'm on the road. I tried Ubuntu on my D600 and it works great for web browsing and Skype, with a few tweaks. Wireless networking works good with Ubuntu 8.10. Haven't tried wireless with 8.04 yet.
I am new to Linux . I have had good success with Ubuntu 9.04 . Only real pain is if you need to set up dialup, everything else has worked well with little effort.
My favorite is Puppy Linux . It will fit easily on a 750 mb partition on a USB stick and it has a brilliant install program. If you set it to install in combo mode it will boot on most computers. So far I have not found one it won't boot on. I have it on a 2 gig stick, and a 16 gig that dual boots with Ubuntu 9.04 and I am about to add Barts Pe version of Windows XP as well. As it is now I can stick either one in any computer, tell the bios it is a hard drive, a usb hard drive, or a zip drive and check my mail etc without total privacy. The FBI recommends it for online banking because it runs in memory and is so difficult to subvert.
And it absolutely flies no matter what the host system is!, It flies on a P1! If you want to play games on an old computer you can download a distro just for games.
The genius of Puppy is it runs in memory and it is so small if you start slowing it down with to many aps you can just build another operating system and put as many as you want on a drive. try it. it is a gas! It will run off the install disk ! Puppy is fast! You will be shocked how fast!
We currently have Kubuntu/ubuntu on my wifes Dell 1420 laptop as well as my Inspiron 531. Neither system needed anything special.
Recently I burned a couple Mint Linux live cds for coworkers and was impressed how well they worked out of box. Mint Linux has the codecs set up so you can go to youtube as soon as it boots up . Mint Linux is also based on Ubuntu. On both our systems the 64 bit version worked a little better, for one thing the 64 bit version uses all the ram if you have 4 megs or more. There was another problem we had with 32 bit version, but I can't remember, it was pretty long ago. We use Virtualbox, the no cost version from Sun and it works well with XP , but I don't know about Vista. Virtualbox runs well in 64 bit Ubuntu host system, but I don't think it handles a 64 bit - but it has been a long time since I sent that up and as you may know once you are set up, linux systems keep getting updates.
There are several distributions based on ubuntu:
I added the Satanic version meta package as well, and it looks pretty good too.