Most desktop and laptop PCs come installed with some version of Microsoft windows, but now, more than ever, people are starting to realize the benefits of running Linux on their machines. Some years ago, when Linux was still new to the pc market, installing and using this operating system was left for nerds with loads of free time. Back then, getting Linux up and running required the right mix of supported hardware, then several hours installing the OS. These days, installing Linux on any PC is a piece of cake.
Depending on whether you are already running windows on your pc or not, there are several ways of installing Linux on your pc. You can either make a full fresh installation by completely removing any other OS or you can install it alongside windows. Alternatively, you can run Linux inside windows using virtual box.
The first two options offer superior performance since Linux will be able to access all your system's resources. Let us take a look at some of the easy ways of installing Linux.
Running Linux from a CD or a USB drive
This is the most widely used option of setting up Linux on your computer. First, download the latest release of your preferred Linux distro on your computer. For most distributions, this ISO file will be 650mb to 1GB. If you wish to put it onto a disk, simply burn the file onto a blank DVD. However, for a USB installer, you will need to use a small utility to turn it into a bootable disk. For this, you can use either UNetbootin or LinuxLive USBcreator. Both programs are free and easy to use.
Insert the USB drive into your pc and boot it. You will be presented with an option to either try Linux without making any changes to the computer or install it right away. It is recommended that you try it first before installing the OS.
Install it like windows software
Don't you think it would be nice if Linux could be installed like any other windows application? Like another application, you would be able to uninstall it later on without making changes to other windows applications. This is possible thanks to wubi (windows based ubuntu installer) a small utility that you can use to install ubuntu alongside other windows software. Other Linux distros like Linux mint have their own version of wubi that work in much the same way.
The application will automatically download the required Linux ISO image from Linux serves and install it onto your computer. Alternatively, you can download the Linux ISO, and place it into the same directory as the wubi installer and it will be automatically picked up. When you reboot the computer, you will be able to boot into the Linux distribution you installed or into windows. In case you ever feel like uninstalling the OS, simply boot into windows, then go to add or remove programs and remove wubi.
If you encounter any problems, the first place to turn to is Google. There is a vibrant support community for all Linux flavors. By simply posting your problem, you will receive tons of helpful responses that will help improve your understanding of how Linux works in addition to solving your problem.