Baby Steps

If you’re new to Linux, before you actually install a distro (distribution – there are probably several hundred distributions – some quite specialized), you want to take baby steps.

One way is to get a live-CD.  This is a CD, which if you reboot your Windows PC with it in the CD drive, and if your BIOS is configured to boot from the cd-rom first, will start up Linux – live, no install to your hard drive; running completely from the CD.  Some are fairly complete distributions, with office software, a choice of desktops, and an option to save your configuration.  Check out Knoppix, Damn Small Linux, or Puppy Linux.

If you want to try out the Linux command-line, go to http://www.cygwin.com.  You can install a Linux emulation layer, for free(!), even the source code, if you want to take a look at it.  I found it way more powerful than the old DOS command shell.

I took both paths, and am still checking out live distros.

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