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There are a lot of excellent, step-by-step installation howtos. With all of the excellent Linux distributions to choose from I am going to focus on Ubuntu Linux. It is a very good Linux, it has vendor support available, and it is showing up on a lot of OEM computers. What you learn on Ubuntu applies to many other Linux distributions as well. Here are a few Ubuntu installation howtos for your perusal:
So what if you just want to get your hands on it right now and start exploring it, and set aside learning how to install operating systems for later? There are options for that too. In part 1 we learned about running Linux from a live bootable CD. While that is a great way to test-drive Linux it has its limitations. It's slow because CD drives are slow, and if you want to save settings or data files you have to jump through some extra hoops. Again, all solved problems, but let's go ahead and look at how to get Linux pre-installed so you can dive right in and start playing with it.
Finding OEM LinuxesIn theory, the easiest and most foolproof way to get a Linux computer is to purchase one with Linux already installed. Presumably a commercial vendor provides you with a polished package where everything works, and support if anything goes wrong. Ha! You don't get that with Windows, why should Linux be any different? But you do with Apple, so let's use that as our model.
Dell, ZaReason, and System 76 are also good places to shop for Linux laptops and desktop systems.
Find Friendly Linux GeeksMost Windows and Apple users have long forgotten what they went through when they were newbies. We spent years learning how to use Windows and Apple, and we pestered more experienced users when we had problems. Linux is no different, so keep your eyes open for friendly Linux geeks and user groups.
Buy the Book!I always wonder who buys all the hundreds of thousands of computer books that are sold each year, because I have yet to meet anyone who has purchased and studied a "How to Use Linux/Mac/Windows" book. Instead they waste years of their lives doing things the hard way, and computers are always a big mystery to them. People! Wise up and buy a book! The best book for a new Linux user is Ubuntu For Non-Geeks, 3rd Edition. Assuming you're running Ubuntu Linux, of course, and I think that Ubuntu is a great Linux for a beginner.
In our next installment we'll start poking around Ubuntu Linux and make it go.
Article courtesy of Linux Planet.