Dont know what version of GNU~Linux you are looking for but my self for desktop use it tend to like this one.cinnamon ~ linux mint
And a link to some pdfs to help you on your way.introduction-to-hacking
Mint is nice too, their close to what windows xp is like GUI wise and that's probably why i like em.
Their all so live boot so their useful for fixing broken computers as long as you still have a working DVD-rom drive on the computer in question everything works including but not limited to high speed internet with a web browser.
The default firewall still blows though imho.
Rescue cds are a pile of suck.
Nothing fixes problems faster then a format the pile with "kill-disk" or something like it.
Ps password part sucks in cinnamon ~ linux mint,i know its good for security and all but it still blows.
If and when the os is installed if password popup crap is pissing you off too just replace your user name when logging in with "root" + your admin password for your old admin account and problem solved.
That will give you super user privileges "just like windows" but you know it weakens the Os defenses as well.
Theirs got to be a better way to go about that,cus they way its setup on the Pw topic id have to enter in the PW like 200 times a day the way i use a computer.
Remember knowledge isn't Evil but how you chose to use it can be.....beware of the dark-side