Friday, June 23, 2006

How to Test the Waters Without Destroying Your Only PC

Let's suppose you've read the contents of this blog and other websites on Linux, and you want to test it, but one of the following circumstances apply to you:
  1. I don't have a spare machine to destroy to my heart's content.
  2. I like the idea, but I get cold feet thinking that all my hard work on my hard disk may get wiped out.
If you happen to have a PC equipped with a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, you're in luck. You can download a "live CD" version of a Linux distro. Once downloaded and burned to a CD, you boot your machine from the CD. The distro will autosense as much hardware as possible and allow you to run Linux without touching your hard disk!

Two of the most popular distros capable of doing this are Ubuntu and Knoppix. There are many more listed on Linux Online to suit your particular situation. If you like what you see in Ubuntu, you can also install it on your hard disk once you feel comfortable and have a PC on which to install it on a "permanent" basis.

Visit one of the links below to check out the distros. Enjoy!
  • Knoppix 5.0.1 (multilingual site, select flag representing language you wish to see)
  • Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (select Desktop CD)
  • Linux Online (for other distros; select Live CD from the "Category" pull-down; "Language" and "Platform" selections optional, preferable if no check mark placed next to Include unmaintained?)


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