Thursday, 2 December 2004

Linux to go, please! Yes, fries and cola too.

Linux is an alternative operating system for your PC. Operating system is essentially the main software that makes your computer run. Linux is open-source, available for free and said to be a serious competitor for Microsoft Windows.

However, I have always been reluctant to install Linux on my PC for a few reasons:
  1. I have limited hard disk space (I'm still studying and I can't afford to buy a new one at the moment)

  2. I don't my PC to get confused due to having 2 operating systems (Linux and Windows, although Windows XP Pro is said to be able to juggle this problem)

  3. Linux is too unfamiliar and too technical for me (I wish to avoid unnessary problems that might cause me to reformat my hard disk)

I want to learn to use Linux, but without having to sacrifice hard disk space or risking my PC's health or getting lost in all the technical confusion. Can all this be overcomed or am I just being unreasonable? The answer is yes, and yes. My silent wish has come true, and that I can be unreasonable when there's a lot on my mind.

Say hello to 'Linux live CD'. With this lovely baby you can use Linux without installing it. Yes, you heard me right. No installation, just boot with the CD and you can Linux right away! Bring the CD with you and run Linux on any PC. All you need to begin is to burn the CD image file ,downloadable from the website, to a blank CD-ROM and set your PC to boot from CD first (read the guide for more detailed information and 'how-to's). Best of all, it can even run on a slow machine but make sure that you have enough RAM (although 30MB is the minimal requirement, 128MB is recommended for optimum performance).

SLAX Linux Live and KNOPPIX are just two of the many variants (or flavors, as Linux users like to call it) available. Other than the Linux OS, the CDs also contain loads of useful application software like browsers, media players, security tools and even CD burning tools.

While all this sound like lots of fun, please take the time read some of the articles on Linux. It's a known fact that most of the time, Linux is still too clunky and inconsistent for an average PC user. Try installing and unstalling program in Linux and you'll see why. Linux is promising, but it's definitely not for everyone especially those who are not used to OS other than Windows. It has a long way to go before it can really go head to head with Windows, but the future does look interesting.


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