Note: Read below slanted or oblique text only for shortcuts.
First off, can’t say this is fun for everyone. Linux may not be easy. This posting has been updated from time to time.
Why free OS (Operating System) ?
Based on an altruistic philosophy. Free sharing of knowledge to all as a way of humanity.
The native and core principle of Linux is based on a free GPL Operating System, and many derivatives and distros of the original linux adopted the same free philosophy. Operating System or OS in short and layman’s term is the main program that tells a computer how to work and run, before all other skills or applications are added above.
Another great advantage of Linux is that its free philosophy has literally span into its applications, meaning more than 10,000+ applications are all free for usage! Moreover, because of its excellent concepts and design, it is relatively secure and virus-free!
Some of the Linux OS that was downloaded, installed, tested or configured included Ubuntu 6&7 &8, Gentoo, Zenwalk, Sidux, Arch, Puppy & Muppy & Teenpup2008 & Lighthouse, DSL, Feather, gOS, PCLinuxOS, OpenSUSE, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS & PCFluxOS & Tinyme, Foresight, LinuxMint, Fedora, Dreamlinux. More…
Distrowatch is one site that keeps an overview of latest releases and ratings ranking.
Based on personal experience, these are the recommendations, which may shave days or weeks or even months off your Linux installation time.
What to look for?
To evaluate Linux, there are 7 simple, basic considerations for a newbie
- Easy Graphical Installation
- Working Drivers
- Fast Boot time and/or uses little or moderate memory
- Stable enough & reboot back to before shutdown
- Common Apps, Firefox, utube and Synaptic ready
- Attractive or even intuitive desktop
- LiveCD for demo and installation if wish so.
- Even better, can be installed and use from a USB device
Sounds simple? Not at all! Many Hours can be spent just getting drivers to work, indefinitely. Which is also the reason the many Linux OSes are tested.
How to just install and use a Linux OS Application?
To shortcut your installation and Linux applications experience and save your time: If you are running windows and wish to run Linux & application and saves data in it as well. I consider this one of, if not the easiest way, to test or use Linux applications. You may skip below sections if that’s all you need. Now, you can choose to download and run the application (many to choose from) that come pre-configured and installed on the Linux. If you are new to the applications, well, there are many to choose from, just visit below links.
- Download one or more of the stacks or appliances that you like to explore from TurnKeyLinux or Bitnami.
- Double click to install and run, configure if necessary.
But if you wish to do the old fashion way, and play with Linux commands, read on…
The old usual way: Download an image of the Linux in a .iso format. Then burn the image on a CD-R(W) with a free software such as InfraRecord. This is know as a LiveCD. You may wish to partition your hardisks e.g free, grahical and easy Easus Personal edition, so you can have different OS in different partitions. Make the system boot from the CD in your system Bios settings, usually with pressing a DEL or some key/s after power on. Modern distros usually install a boot manager to help you boot into different OS. If you like the feel of the LiveCD, you may choose to install into your Hardisk then. Be sure to backup your data elsewhere before doing this.
Here’s the recommendations that works easily for me out of the many:-
- PCLinuxOS – Also meets most or all of above requirements! Professional outlook. Good and Simple.
- Fedora – Meets most or all the cuts. One of the Simplest that works.
If you have a fast and new computer that may boot from USB disk, and have a USB drive of about or more that 1 GB , Fedora live-usb creator is a breeze. For PCLinuxOS – head on to UNetbootin, a small windows program that helps to create a Live USB of your distro choice, more than 10 different ones! This is a fast and quick easy way to test if you like an OS without having to buy and burn CDs.
How to install and use a popular Linux from Windows?
If you just wish to install only Ubuntu (a popular Linux OS) from and as a Windows application, without CD burning or USB, Wubi, safe & simple & free, is the way to go!
If your computer is slow or old, and you are looking for just basic features to get your work done quick and easy without high expectations, you might want to burn these CDs:
- Midiflux of PCFluxboxOS – Small, fast, <350MB based on PCLinuxOS.
- Muppy Linux, a pupplet with extensive applications installer based on the small and fast Puppy Linux. But again, hardware drivers issues beware and no synaptic.
The Wubi method requires either to run Windows or Ubuntu upon bootup. What if the user wishes to run Mac/Windows and Linux together, visible from the Mac/Windows desktop?
How to run Linux inside or with Windows/Mac concurrently?
Remember the ISO files that represent the Linux distribution? Never mind if you don’t, ISOs can be easily downloaded from any of the Linux OS sites you prefer. Then download vmware or Virtualbox, and open the ISO file, configure or take default settings. And Lanuch the Linux OS!
Some and More
PCLinuxOS, who even has its own magazine site pclosmag, is also recommended here with other Linux articles here at desktoplinux.wordpress.com.
Ubuntu, a very popular distro but drivers or applications for sound or adsl may disappoint, but definitely worth a consider even solely based on its strong support and large community forum, has an increasing number new derivatives, including :
- Linux Mint – ‘light-green’ and one of the more popular
- gOS – Attractive Mac-look
Fsum Frontend is an open source, free, GUI software to verify integrity of files, support with 96 algorithms including MD5 and sha1.
Learn Linux Commands Free
Linux nowadays are graphical but chances are you may need to customize, tweak to better suit your needs.
Learn Linux course here or an entertaining version (Gd)
Hope this helps.
Last Update: 21/12/2010
Those links marked with (Gd) means that they are found to be really good for learning in terms of being fun, easy, attractive, interactive intuitive or well-prepared!
Note: This page is meant to just document some of the experiences with the downloads and does not represent others’ experience nor serve to disparage in any way. Please go ahead and test any above if you like. Some downloads are verified with MD5SUM before testing.
And thanks to all Linux developers for all your generous efforts!