First you need a distribution of Linux. Usually, these can be downloaded for free, or purchased in box form for a small price. New users should purchase a boxed set because they usually include installation instructions, free limited support from the company and pre-made CDs. If you download it, you will not receive support and you will have to burn the CDs yourself. Some of the more popular distributions are:

  • Red Hat - The most popular of the distributions and probably one of the easiest to install
  • Debian - Geared toward the more advanced Linux user, Debian is hailed for great security and update features.
  • Mandriva - (formerly known as Mandrake) Another distribution that is very mature and great installation tools.
  • SuSE - Linux from Novell
  • Yellow Dog - A very good distribution for Macintosh computers
  • Slackware
  • Ubuntu

If you are new to the Linux community you may wish to start with Red Hat or Mandriva, as both distributions have very good installation programs and help sites geared toward newcomers.

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Last updated: 
April 10, 2017