How to Get Linux
by Jason Spiro
An offshoot of the hal91 download page.
If you have comments on this webpage, please e-mail me at jspi@
Here are some good options for people who have high-speed Internet access and a CD burner at home, work or school:
Here are some good options for people with regular modems:
- LinuxISO.org links to CD images, also known as ISOs, of most Linux distributions. You might end up downloading a CD image from anywhere in the world, though, and the farther away you are downloading a file from, the slower it goes.
- If you want to download Linux slightly faster, go to the official website for your favorite Linux distribution. Look for a "Download" link. They'll have lists of "mirrors" all over the world with CD images available. Pick a mirror near your city or town.
- If one of your friends, colleagues, relatives, local computer whiz, or a member of your local university's computer club already has CD-ROMs of your favorite distribution, they'll be happy to burn you a copy. Just ask politely. Also offer to reimburse them for the recordable CDs they use. If you have a DVD burner and you can find someone with a Linux DVD to lend, that's even better. Linux users are usually happy to "spread the word of Linux." Perhaps one day, you'll return the favor.
- Buy a Linux book. An introductory Linux book, such as the Red Hat Linux 8 Bible pictured at right, will often include a full Linux distribution on CD-ROM attached to the back cover. Red Hat Linux 8 Bible includes the main part of Red Hat: the three installation CDs. Red Hat Linux 8: The Complete Reference, DVD Edition provides the complete release of Red Hat Linux 8, including the Red Hat manuals, guides, and tutorials in HTML and printable PDF formats. It does not seem to include the source code. I have not read either book, although I make a 15% commission when you buy one.
- You may even be able to find a Linux book with the back-cover CD still intact at your local library.
- Go to your local newsstand and see if they have any Linux magazines. The November 2002 edition of Linux Format, for example, came with a Debian DVD included.
- Go to CheapBytes and order Linux CD-ROMs from them. They sell CDs of many distributions, and their prices are excellent. They charge US$5 to ship to the USA and Canada, and slightly more to ship elsewhere. I've never bought anything from them, though. If you've tried them, please e-mail me at flatplanet2@NOSPAMmyrealbox.com and let me know how their service is. Remove the word NOSPAM from my e-mail address first, though.
- Go to your local computer store, or the official website for your favorite Linux distribution and buy Linux CD-ROMs from them. This tends to be quite expensive. You usually get a few months of free technical support after you buy the product.
- Go to a price-comparison website such as PriceGrabber or PriceSCAN. If you can't find your distribution on any other price-comparison website, search for it on Froogle (which is run by Google) to find a seemingly random list of retail Linux distributions, Linux books, and $2000 computers that come with your distribution. Use the "Narrow Results by Category" and "Narrow by price" features for slightly better results.
Page last updated: April 2003.
In association with Amazon.com.