"This article will walk you through some pre-installation
procedures to help make sure your system is ready for Linux, and
set the stage for a happy transition. I won't discuss any specific
distribution of Linux, but rather give generic advice appropriate
for preparing any PC system for any Linux installation. Of course,
the particular Linux vendor you select will probably offer
documentation on installation as well, which should be studied
carefully before you begin."
"You'll need to determine a couple of things before you
install Linux on your system. For example, you should know which
particular distribution of Linux you'll be using (there are many),
whether you are going to have Linux coexist with Windows on your
system, and if your hardware is compatible with Linux."
"Performing a system inventory will help you determine if your
hardware is going to work with Linux. It may also come in handy
during the installation if you are queried about specific
components of your system. Many of the modern distributions can
autodetect common hardware configurations, but it's always a good
idea to have the details printed out just in case."