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Security for virtualized datacentres

I have been a user of Windows for ages now, literally using WinXP Pro since its first public release, and I have a fairly good understanding of how the OS works. I have been starting to venture into the Linux/Unix world, currently using the Ubuntu 8.04 on my ThinkPad X60.

But is there a distribution that would fit best my machine? I find Ubuntu bloated with useless software, and I find others distributions not so user friendly. I have tried Debian, Kubuntu, Mandravina and OpenSolaris so far.

I'm looking for a distribution that is as user-friendly as Ubuntu is as I am getting used to the Gnome desktop now, and that can run without draining my battery in an hour and a half - I can have up to six hours with Wi-Fi enabled under WinXP.

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