Author Topic: Safely Testing Out Linux on Your Current System  (Read 8226 times)


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Safely Testing Out Linux on Your Current System
« on: October 15, 2003, 07:01:19 AM »
I did a major overhaul of the Linux in General section of the WordStar & GNU/Linux web site (see

It now basically focuses on helping folks new to Linux give it a try as a desktop workstation while protecting their current MS-Windows installation. This way, if someone decides that they really don't like Linux, they can easily get rid of it. The section shows how to set everything up so any MS-Windows or DOS installation already on the machine won't be affected.

There are currently ten pages in the Linux in General section.

What Do You Want from Your Operating System? (
This is basically an introduction and will probably get significantly changed in the future, both the contents and the title.

Testing Linux's Usefulness for Your Needs (
I don't like the title for this page, so that will probably change in the future. The page deals with the common misunderstanding among MS-Windows users of what the Linux community means when it says that one can install Linux on 386s and 486s.

Linux people are usually talking about setting up servers, not desktop workstations. So, this page discusses in some detail the many productive ways one can continue to use old 386s and 486s under Linux.

Best Distributions for New Linux Users (
Anyone new to Linux will need lots of help learning the operating system and how to do all the things he or she did under whatever operating system was used before. The user-friendly Linux distributions address this issue directly by installing a large number of tools with intuitive interfaces.

The page discusses two distributions for those people terrified of computers, and two distributions for those folks who aren't particularly terrified, but are like me and would just as soon not know all there is to know. All of these distributions will allow you to get up and running with Linux immediately.

Linux Workstation Requirements (
This page is correctly titled  :).

Preparing Your Computer (
If you choose to install either Mandrake or SuSE, just prepare your computer as indicated on this page. Your MS-Windows installation should not be affected at all during the installation of Linux.

Installing Linux (
This page takes one through the installation process.

It is on this page that potential partitioning problems get discussed. I use the term "potential" because most people won't try to do any of the things that could cause a problem, but a few people will. So the page presents the problem issues so the user will know to avoid doing them. These are issues to do with partitioning in general, not really specific to Linux.

Caution--Trouble Shooting (
New Linux users cause all kinds of problems for themselves by fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. The overwhelming majority of a Linux installation will satisfactorily work after installation. There is none of the business of using a manufacturer's CD to get your components or peripherals to work after installation that is common on MS-Windows systems. When a Linux installation is done, it's basically finished and ready for use.

That said, some things may require a minor adjustment to be usable the way you've grown accustomed to doing things. It is also possible that something didn't install correctly. This page makes suggestions about how to go about trouble shooting.

Using Linux--X11 Windowing (
This page goes into some of the features of desktop managers that install with a user-friendly distribution that make it so easy for people to use Linux who've never used a computer before, as well as people who have no idea about what to expect from Linux and Linux applications.

Using Linux--Command Line Language (
Since Linux is a powerful operating system and has a very rich and complex command line language, it's appropriate to discuss it briefly even though most new users will not want to learn it immediately (if ever). I made no special effort to learn it, yet I've found that I've learned how to effectively use it for most of the things I need.

Getting Help (
This page describes the various ways a new Linux user can get help when stumped about, well, anything pertaining to their system, or which application is best for their use, or whatever.

« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 04:00:00 AM by 1111651200 »
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