Installation of GNU/Linux is generally straight
forward except when you hit some new or obscure hardware. In
comparison, MS/Windows generally comes pre-installed when a PC is
purchased, hiding the effort that went into fine tuning the
installation of the operating system for that particular hardware.
Until GNU/Linux is commonly available pre-installed we will continue
to be faced with issues relating to installation by novices (and
experts!). Nonetheless, the situation has improved significantly with
the release of Debian 3.1 with simplified install and auto-detection of
hardware. The introduction of LiveCDs running Debian GNU/Linux (see
Section 4.1.1) has also improved the ease of access to
GNU/Linux. The LiveCDs, in particular, allow a user to boot GNU/Linux
from CD and to actually run GNU/Linux without installing anything! The
user can then have the option to install if they like what they see.
See Section 3.1 for a list of LiveCDs.
For Debian GNU/Linux, installation instructions are provided by the
Guide available from
alternative guide is available from
http://www.polaris.net/~dwarf/. A collection of screenshots
that dramatically illustrate the simplified installation process is
available from http://www.brunotorres.net/en/sargeslide. Be
familiar with the installation process--try it out once or twice--it
doesn't hurt to practise!
In this chapter we review the installation process, first with a quick
start, which may be all you need, and then with a more detailed guide.
Examples of actual installations using a number of platforms are
provided in Chapter 101. These include common
desktops, laptops, and even a different type of CPU (Sun SPARC). The
aim here is to install a minimal stable5.1 release
from CD-ROM and then to upgrade to
release. If you are not connected to the Internet then you will be
installing a full system from CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. This will leave you
with a complete system ready for most tasks.
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