Your Linux Data Center Experts

Today I had a request from someone who is frustrated with Windows and wants to get started with Linux. I thought I'd share my answer so that others can benefit from it as well.

>   hola my name is nathan and i am about to cry
>      over my stupid windows system dosent let my
>      PC work at its optimum level of performance.
>      I saw what a virus could do with my pc it

I've got some good news and some bad news and some good news for you. ;-) The good news is that for users who are familiar with Linux systems, the sorts of problems you are talking about happen rarely if ever. The bad news is that until you get familiar with Linux systems, it is quite probably going to cause you some frustration. The other piece of good news is that there is a great group of volunteers all over the world that are happy to help you though these problems.

The Linux community has in the past won awards for the support it gives, it's that good. Search on-line for a Linux Users Group close to you for hands-on help. If you're in an area that doesn't have a local LUG (and you aren't up to starting one ;-), you can join another LUG mailing list or IRC channel and ask for help there.

If you just want to get a feel for Linux, you should try one of the “Live” distributions. These are Linux distributions that run entirely from a CD, and require no installation on your system. Some of them mount your Windows partition for convenience, some of them don't touch your hard drive at all. A few of the popular ones are the Ubuntu Live CD, and Knoppix.

You can download the CD image and burn it to a CD, then just boot it to get it up. I will warn you that the performance when running from CD isn't great, because the optical drive is so much slower than a hard drive. It will give you a good taste for what you can do with a Linux system.

Enjoy,

Sean

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