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Getting Linux


So, where can you get Linux?  The most popular way is to download it from the internet.  If for whatever reason you can't download it then another way to get it is to purchase a linux magazine that is supplied with a cover dvd and there will often be several makes of linux for you to install.   A popular magazine in the UK and Ireland is Linux Format and they offer worldwide subscriptions.

'Distros' - different 'makes' of linux.
You may have noticed that I used the term above,  'different make's of linux'  I understand if you are getting now getting confused....you thought there was just Windows, Apples Macs and Linux and now we are talking about different makes of linux?

Keeping it simple, anyone can get linux, modify it it, distribute it , call it whatever type of linux type name they like and this is exactley what happens.   The creator of Linux, Linux Torvalds, allows anyone to download the central core of linux, bolt bits on and re distribute it.  These mixes or flavours of linux are commonly known as 'distros' which is short for distributions.

Popular linux distros for beginners...
So, I'm assuming you are just starting out with Linux so you ideally want something nice and user friendly to get started with.   I've chosen a GNOME distro and a KDE distro to get started with.

Ubuntu
Ubuntu is a good first Linux
Ubuntu is a great choice for a starter Linux distribution.  It uses the GNOME desktop environment and has an excellent user community and how-to websites, so if you need help all you have to do is ask a question and someone will give you an answer.  You literally insert the cd/dvd, click a few things on screen and before you know it you have a complete operating system on your PC.  But more of the installation later.

PCLinuxOS
PC Linux
PCLinuxOS is based on the KDE front end.  I've used it myself and would recommend it for a first time linux user.  Again, you simply insert the cd/dvd, click on a few things on screen and before you know it you are booting into a full operating system. As with Ubuntu, there is an excellent user community for support.