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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
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Hi There, I am a complete novice on computers, I am fed-up with Windows and feel it is time to move on. I would like to try Linux but do not want to ruin Windows just yet. I have a 4GB pen drive doing nothing, can I download a version of Linux onto it and try an experimental run using the pen drive? In other words, could I just open the pen drive with a double click of the mouse and have Linux up and running off that device? If so which version of Linux? I know nothing about the BIOS so going in there and resetting the boot sequence is beyond me; and not alot about computers. I am an Amateur Radio freak and have lots of ham radio programs that I use regularly, can I still use them on Linux?
Sorry to you all for being so thick about things computer wise.
Very best regards from The Captain.
You can install linux on the pendrive, but I would suggest to burn the iso to CD, and boot from CD
Most distributions have a LIVE CD version, you can run from CD, no need to install, or you can run linux in a virtual machine in windows (vmware)
Well, hm, Linux is Operating System, just like Windows is. Running it inside Windows (double clicking on it) is not how it is used.
For starters, you should surf the internet and find more details about Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva, Knoppix, Fedora, CentOS, Debian and Slackware. There are also many other variants. Spend a week or two reading about their ease of use, advantages and problems from perspective of total beginner.
Linux can be run in many ways, From regular installation, from USB pen drive, from CD (LiveCD), or from Virtual enviroment.
LiveCD is easiest to use since most BIOS's are already set to boot from CD/DVD, and they are designed to not write on HDD by default. You ARE allowed to read and write your documents, but system itself will run in RAM without touching your files. Important note is that some Linux distributions do not have NTFS support built in by default, so in that case your documents will be out of your reach.
USB pen drives are another option, but your PC must be set to prioritize booting from them before booting form HDD. You would not have to "reset" booting order, just rearrange it, and that can be done by any PC Maintainance shop, or skilled individual.
Full Linux installation can be done so that your Window stays on the hard disk along side of Linux and that you can select which one you want to use when you start/reset your computer. That would also require a skilled individual (much better option is trained professional) to resize one of the partitions on your hard disk to leave minimum 20GB of empty space, or (this option is tricky for a beginner) you could add another hard disk so you install Linux there. There is no need for the person that will resize the partition to do anything else beside create empty space on HDD, Linux is clever enough to use any empty space without messing with your existing partitions. Of course, before any of that, it would be vise to backup all of your documents (write to DVD for instance).
Closes to what you want is running Linux in Virtual environment, and it involves installing program for virtualization like VirtualBox and then installing inside that virtual environment. You would run that program, start Linux virtual machine and use it normally but with speed penalty.
Another way is to install from inside Windows with Wubi. This will install it within the Windows partition. Then when you reboot, you will have the option to boot into Windows or Linux (Ubuntu). If you don't like it, you uninstall like any other windows application and reclaim the space. I installed this in a friend's computer and I don't see any difference in performance from my own install on a separate partition. The performance from a livecd is much slower. I've also used the usb drive and that was better than the livecd.
As for Windows programs, there is a way to use some of them. It will depend on how complicated and rooted in windows they are. There are Wine (regular Windows applications) and Mono (.Net Applications). Only way to know for sure is to try. You might need some help with Wine since some people were able to tweak Wine to run MS Office 2003, but first time user would fail in that task.
Distribution: M$ Windows / Debian / Ubuntu / DSL / many others
i recommend using a live cd to get used to linux
also i would definitely not sugjest ubuntu
unless you like constant face to do simple tasks
and lets not forget how "FUN" it is to get the internet working
The if you are a windows user just a heads up linux may be extremely difficult do to how windows spoils people. But once you start to get the feel of linux you might start liking it. Personally I uses Linux for Web Servers etc. For desktop I use windows and Ubuntu linux.
Any ways to answer your question. I first start off with DSL (Damn Small Linux) Based off of Debian. Its a live CD all you do it download it and burn it as a image with Power ISO Etc. Then be sure to set your bios to boot CD Drive then HD. Then just insert your CD and restart. It should boot your CD into linux. Use your pin drive to save stuff on.
I would suggest installing Linux on your HD with Windows and you just pick what you want to boot from Grub Boot loader. If you want windows to boot first then edit
/boot/grub/grub.conf or /boot/grub/grub.cfg or /boot/grub/menu.lst.
1 of those listed. It depends on your dist which 1 you would use.
To edit it you something like VI editor like this
# vi /boot/grub/grub.conf
but you need to understand the command of your editor. you could use nano editor as well.
Hope this helps. I know its a little off topic but just trying to give you heads up on something things you can do.
my opinion is that the fedora live usb creator is the simplest to use.
they have created a multi-platform program for downloading and installing their live iso to a external usb drive so all the leg work is basically already done for you: https://fedorahosted.org/liveusb-creator/
While the POST screen is in view, press the "pause" key and look for a notation of the key to press to enter Setup, or the key to press for a one-time boot.
Upon entering Setup, you will see a blue/green screen with instructions at the bottom for how to use the commands for that BIOS. The important thing is that one of the options will be "Exit without Saving" or something similar. You may open and look, making notes and consulting your motherboard manual or google for information. Closing the BIOS with "Exit without Saving" makes no changes in the BIOS and does no harm.
When you are familiar with the BIOS function and commands you can begin.
Look for an item "First Boot Device" and set this to CDROM, with "Second Booting Device" set as Hard Disk. Go further and choose "Save to CMOS and Exit" with a yes and enter.
Your system should proceed to boot, first looking to the CD drive for a bootable CD, and if it finds a linux live-cd, booting linux live.
If you look at the POST screen, you may see a key to press for choosing which device the BIOS should look to first for an operative system for this boot. Pressing that key will present a menu of devices where you can choose the CD drive and boot a live-cd.