What do you need?

You will require a computer and a medium containing a Linux distribution. Most of this guide applies to all Linux distributions - and UNIX in general. Apart from time, there are no further specific requirements.

The Installation HOWTO contains helpful information on how to obtain Linux software and install it on your computer. Hardware requirements and coexistence with other operating systems are also discussed.

CD images can be downloaded from many locations, see Appendix A, Where to go from here?.

An interesting alternative for those who don't dare to take the step of an actual Linux installation on their machine are the Linux distributions that you can run from a CD, such as the Knoppix distribution. Many other distributions, such as Ubuntu, have a trial version that you can burn on a CD, or you can obtain a CD or a USB stick image at a conference, exhibition or other professional, semi-professional or informal gathering. If you wish to install the distribution after trying it out, there is often an installation option that makes it easy to copy data from the CD or USB stick to your actual disk.