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Linux.com: Linux for Beginners Part 1 : A Linux Install Made Easy

Mar 06, 2001, 22:59 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jerry Kilpatrick)

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"Linux intimidates many beginners. There's no graphical screen to hide all of the information about what the kernel is doing, many commands must be typed out instead of clicking on an icon. To not be overwhelmed when installing Linux, you must think of the process as being made from many small parts, instead of one big whole. Partitioning your drive is the first thing you have to do when installing Linux, and one of the scariest things."

"Partitioning is much like cutting up a pie. Your hard drive needs to be cut into smaller parts so it can be used for more than one thing. For example, you could partition with one piece for Windows, one piece for Linux, and another for swap. We will touch on swap in a moment. Swap is a way for the computer to use your hard drive as RAM (Random Access Memory)...."

"If you are brand new to Linux, you are definitely going to want to use a very user-friendly Linux such as RedHat or Mandrake. Distributions such as Slackware and Debian are better for advanced users who need a server that they can quickly shape to do what they want. Not to say that you cannot use those, I personally started with Slackware and I am glad I did. It forced me to learn Linux a lot faster than RedHat would have. But I was in a constant state of confusion for quite a while as I was getting adjusted to relying on man pages. (I will cover man pages in a bit.) Once you have decided which distribution to use, and, obviously, you have gotten a copy, you will be at the point of installation. I can't express enough that you should start with a more user friendly Linux. I would highly recommend RedHat or Mandrake."

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