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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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3.1.1 Hardware compatibility basics

Linux is compatible with most PC hardware and can be installed to almost any system. For me it was as easy as installing Windows 95/98/Me. The hardware compatibility list just seems to keep growing.

If you have a laptop PC, check Linux on Laptops for installation pointers by brand and model.

My recommendation for desktop PC hardware is "Just be conservative":

  • SCSI rather than IDE for work, IDE/ATAPI HD for private use.


  • PCI rather than ISA, especially for the network card (NIC).

  • Use a cheap NIC. Tulip for PCI, NE2000 for ISA are good.

  • Avoid PCMCIA (notebook) as your first Linux install.

  • No USB keyboard, mouse, ... unless you want a challenge.

If you have a slow machine, yanking out the hard drive and plugging it into another faster machine for installation is a good idea.

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire