IN THIS CHAPTER
Choosing a Linux distribution
Getting a Linux distribution
Understanding installation issues
If someone hasn't already installed and configured a Linux system for you, this chapter is going to help you get started so you can try out the Linux features described in the rest of the book. With live CDs and improved installers, several of which are included with this book, getting your hands on a working Linux system is quicker and more solid than ever before.
If you are a first-time Linux user, I recommend that you
Try a bootable Linux — This book's DVD includes several bootable Linux systems. The advantage of a bootable Linux is that you can try out Linux without touching the contents of your computer's hard drive. In particular, KNOPPIX is a full-featured Linux system that can give you a good feel for how Linux works. Using the DVD, you can try out several different live CDs, as described in Appendix A. Some of these live CDs also include features for installing Linux to your hard disk. Although live CDs tend to run slower than installed systems and often aren't set up to keep your changes after you reboot, they are good tools for starting out with Linux.
Install a desktop Linux system — Choose one of the Linux distributions and install it on your computer's hard disk. Permanently installing Linux to your hard disk gives you more flexibility for adding and removing software, accessing and saving data to hard disk, and more permanently customizing ...