Sunday, 14 August 2005, michuk

This chapter is all about getting Linux and installing it on your computer. It’s quite easy and can take usually from 20 to 40 minutes to get it running. Of course before installing Linux you first have to download it from the Internet or buy it in a store. Multiple ways of getting Linux will be explained here as well.

Three important facts about using Linux on desktop first:

  • GNU/Linux can be installed on the same hard drive together with other operating systems like MS Windows. Of course it can be also installed on a separate drive, as well as on other devices, even a USB stick!
  • In order to use Linux you can either install it on disk or use a Live-CD to try it live without the need for installation
  • You can download most of the Linux distributions for free from the Internet. However, there are some Linux-based systems that are not free of charge. You should first check this before installing it on your HD

You should not be afraid of installing Linux since the installation process of the most user-friendly distibutions is fairly easy even for a complete beginner. And it’s certainly easier to set up a working Linux workstation than a Windows one. In Windows you need to install multiple applications after the system itself is installed. Linux comes with most of the apps you will need for your every-day activities pre-installed and ready to use.

Still, you have to watch out when you install Linux on a hard drive with other operating system installed. Read all the installer’s instructions carefully. This way you won’t hurt yourself and your important data (which should be backed up anyway, just for caution).

And last but not least, be prepared for a long learning-curve. Linux is easy to set up but some things, like getting your WiFi adapter to work or getting some Windows-only applications to work under Linux, may be tricky and time-consuming. If you’re happy with Windows, don’t go for Linux, unless you just like troubles :)

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