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if your partial to your windows but still want to give a try at linux cygwin is a linux distro that can run on top of windows in a window... http://kde-cygwin.sourceforge.net/ so you wont lose any windows files
There are lots of Live CDs that you could run on your computer without having to install on the harddrive.
Go to this site and choose from all the distros available which could be of interest, because the version
you mentionned is very out-of-date. Remember, pick a Live cd, the one from Ubuntu is okay but Knoppix
is also one of the best out there.
Of course, once you have downloaded one Live cd, you have to burn it as an ISO image, in Nero, for
instance, otherwise you won't be able to boot from it. To run Linux from this kind of Cd, you have to set
your boot sequence to cd-rom first.
Don't format anything. Just do as I said in my previous post. Burn it as an ISO image in a burning
software like Nero so that it can be bootable. A Live cd basically detects your hardware and see
if it is linux-compatible and lets you use linux just like windows, but once you quit, your settings
are not automatically saved, for lack of hard drive install. If you want to install Knoppix, there is
this : http://www.knoppix.net/wiki/Knoppix_Installer
so, i purchased a red hat linux version 6.0 and i want to install it...
Well, Red Hat 6.0 i toooo old i guess , and as far as i remember it was not as friendly as the RH 8/9
so i think u should buy some thing more easier like mandrake , its really easy to install.
Live CDs are distros that u don't have to install them on your hard drive.
Just boot them from your CD rom and ur on the fly , i woun;t even harm your Windows. I hope u can easily du that being a developer.
If you're interested in continuing your work as a developer but under Linux this time, the best way is to actually install a distribution on your computer. Of course, spending some time with a LiveCD is more than welcome to accommodate yourself with what Linux means. And indeed, Knoppix is one of the greatest out there.
Anyway, once you decide to install a distribution on harddisk, you will have to partition and format the harddisk (which doesn't mean that you will loose any data), which can be accomplished mainly in two ways: defragment the drive first, then either use a tool like Partition Magic for slicing the disk and then format with the distribution's installer, or let the installer do both jobs. It's not hard, you'll find plenty of posts here on LQ dealing with this matter and, of course, you can always post your problems (you could save some time by searching the forums).
So you can go download the images for the distribution you decide for, burn them, boot off the CD and that should get you started.
As for programming, which language(s) are you used to? There are a few projects that port even the .Net technology to Linux.