Preparing to Install Linux

After you have obtained a distribution of Linux, you’re ready to prepare your system for installation. This takes a certain degree of planning, especially if you’re already running other operating systems. In the following sections, we describe how to plan for the Linux installation.

Installation Overview

Although each release of Linux is different, in general the method used to install the software is as follows:

  1. Repartition your hard drive(s). If you have other operating systems already installed, you will need to repartition the drives in order to allocate space for Linux. This is discussed in "Repartitioning Concepts" later in this chapter. In some distributions (such as SUSE), this step is integrated into the installation procedure. Check the documentation of your distribution to see whether this is the case. Still, it won’t hurt you to follow the steps given here and repartition your hard drive in advance.

  2. Boot the Linux installation medium. Each distribution of Linux has some kind of installation medium—usually a boot floppy or a bootable CD-ROM--that is used to install the software. Booting this medium will either present you with some kind of installation program, which will step you through the Linux installation, or allow you to install the software by hand.

  3. Create Linux partitions. After repartitioning to allocate space for Linux, you create Linux partitions on that empty space. This is accomplished with the Linux fdisk program, covered in “Editing ...

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