In This Chapter
Taking basic pre-installation steps
Using Linux and Windows on the same computer
Customizing disk partitions before installation
Knowing (and finding) your hardware information
Preparing for DVD or CD installation
You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there.
One of the most important decisions you have to make when installing Linux is one that you make before you actually install Linux — that is, how you want to install it. That's right; it's not as easy as just tucking Linux onto your computer's hard drive and calling it a day. You can install Linux in many different ways; which one you pick depends entirely on your situation. But don't worry; with this chapter, you'll breeze through that decision.
Then, after you've made that important decision, we cover any preparation you have to do for that particular installation.
In this section, we give you a road map that tells you what's important for your particular situation. To install Linux permanently on an existing computer, you'll need to have an area of a hard drive already set up for it. There are three common ways to do this:
Replace an existing operating system on the hard drive.
Install Linux on a second hard drive.
Partition an existing hard drive to include Linux.
And there are a couple uncommon solutions to installing Linux:
Use a virtual-server software package to install ...