Getting Started with Linux: Part II (Installation and more)

After downloading a desired Linux distribution, you can try it out using these methods:

Install Linux virtually – If you already have a machine running Windows, Mac or another Linux distro, and you don’t want to remove or dual boot with that, install VirtualBox and run Linux on virtual system.

Trying on a USB – Most Linux distributions give you the option to try them before installing. You can access your files, surf web, install software and more without making a change in your machine. But, the changes are generally not persistent. One can also install a full fledged Linux on a USB drive by making it persistent.

Installing Linux on your hard drive – There are several benefits of this. Speed and less hassle are two of them. A Linux distribution can be the only primary OS (like mine), or it can be dual booted with other OS.

Linux installation is very easy nowadays. Most distribution automatically detect system configuration, plus they also give you the freedom to modify any setting you want. You don’t have to worry about partitions, hardware and other configuration. You can skip the manual configuration if you want, but you should understand each part of the installation process, as it will give you more insight on what actually is happening to your system. You can read more about installation process in your distribution’s wiki page. For example, read this for Ubuntu installation.

Most Linux variants ship with necessary software (Office, Music Player, Display server etc) with their installation disk. If you want more control on what to install and what not to, I recommend trying Arch Linux. It is an amazing distribution that gives the user complete control of their system (it can scare off some beginners).

Read their beginner’s guide for further info.

Post Installation:

There are few things that you should know/do to get comfortable with your newly installed Linux distro. Various distributions ship with a Software Center (or something like that) to find and install applications with a few mouse clicks. But I find installing them from terminal more clean and simple.

Following are some things to do post installing the distribution. Following commands work for Ubuntu and its derivatives but you can find similar terminal commands for your distribution depending on its package manager.

Updating your system:

System can be updated by the following command



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