Sunday, 14 August 2005, michuk
There are plenty of possibilities to get Linux. In case of free distros (and this is the majority) we can download the installation CD-s directly from the web (usually the distributor’s home page). We can also buy the CD-s in a local store or an Internet shop or auction. If all else fails we can finally ask a friend to burn us the CD (which is legal for free distributions). Let’s take a look at the options in detail now…
Download from the Internet
If we have direct and fast access to the Internet, the best way is to manually download the install CD or DVD from the project’s website. There is a download section for each described OS on our vortal, so it’s as easy as clickng the link and usually selecting the closest mirror so that the download time is optimal. Most systems can be also downloaded using the Peer-2-Peer networks like BitTorrent. It’s perfectly legal and the *.torrent files are usually available on the projects’ download sections. In order to download via BitTorrent we need a Torrent client installed. It’s built-in in the latest version of Opera Browser (9.0). Many stand-alone clients exist as well (the most popular seems to be Azureus). Remember that it’s usually not legal to download non-free (as in beer) Linux systems via BitTorrent (i.e. SLES, RHEL or Linspire) if it’s not directly stated on the project’s website that it is permitted to do so.
The installation CD-s are distributed as ISO images of the CD or DVD. We can burn them using a selected CD-burning tool (for example using Knoppix Live-CD and K3B app).
* Warning: We should not copy the downloaded files directly to the CD like data files or audio tracks. For the CD to be executable (so that the installer runs upon system reboot when the CD is in the drive). In order to archieve this, we need to use a burn image option on the CD-burning software. Depending on the specific burning app, the option name may vary (i.e. “burn ISO”, “burn the image”, etc).
Visit a traditional store
If you don’t have a broadband access to the Internet, it may be better to buy the installation CD-s in a traditional store. These are the same systems you can download from the Internet. You pay the money for someone to download and burn the CD for you. There are nice labels on them as well
There are plenty of magazines which include a bunch of Linux distributions. The good point of buying a magazine may be that an installation instruction is usually available as a bonus. The typical cost of such magazine is usually $5 to $10.
If we need professional support or just like to ave nice boxes on the shelves, we can buy a Mandriva Powerpack edition or a “boxed” version of other Linux distro like Linspire or Xandros. This is usually much more expensive, the prices vary from $15 to $100. Sometimes some additional apps or games are included. Think twice if you decide to buy it though, because most of the things can be achieved using the freely available distros so you need to have a good reason to go for a commercial one.
If you live in a village or somewhere in the middle of nowhere, there is an option of buying a system in the Internet. There are tons of webpages offering legal and illegal shipping of Linux distros. They can be bought on Internet auctions like e-bay as well. Just be sure to check the website/offer before actually paying your money, because sometimes people want to sell you outdated or illegal systems taking advantage of your lack of knowledge.
Order free install CD-s from Canonical Ltd
Canonical Ltd, the company behind Ubuntu Linux offers a free shipping of any number of installation CD-s of their distro. The shipping time differs from 2 to 6 weeks but you will finally get it. It’s not a hoax. Check out the Ubuntu shipping page.
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