Good linux distro for development

From: -DG- (
Date: 10/30/05

Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 00:47:31 -0400

I've been a Windows programmer for a long while, currently using
C#/.NET. I'd like to set up a second partition to check out Linux
with Mono or DotGnu. Since I haven't run Linux, I'm looking for
advice on which distro would be suitable. Following are some of the
features that I think are important:

  Dual-boot -- I'm hoping that WinXP's boot loader can boot Linux
  Windows-like UI -- Needed for graphics development
  Emacs -- I guess this runs everywhere
  Devel tools -- Compat w Mono, DotGnu, C# compiler
  Read/Write NTFS -- all current drives are NTFS
  Lots of stable drivers -- Need support for scanners, sound cards
  Utilities -- drive imaging, etc.

Ideally I'd like to find a distro that is used a lot by programmers.
It may make it easier to chase down programming problems.

I won't be running this as a server--at least not yet. I have 1.5 GB
to 2 GB Ram on the machines that I'm considering.

I have lots of drive space, but I like to keep operating systems on
small partitions for backup. Currently running XP on a 30GB
partition. Any idea how much I should delegate for Linux?

I'm sure there are important things that I haven't thought about yet,
but that's a start.