Chapter 1. Building The Linux Environment
Installing a Linux distribution can be both exhilarating and frustrating. My first two attempts at Linux installsthe first in 1996, the second in 1997were unsuccessful. Installation routines and hardware support in Linux at the time were much less advanced than they are today; Red Hat was still at a relatively early stage in its evolution, Mandriva had yet to be created, and SuSE was just coming out from under the shadow of Slackware. After two failures, I simply decided that I wasn't going to be beaten by a Linux distribution. I set my machine up in a dual-boot configuration (including both Linux and Windows partitions) with the commitment to use Windows as little as possible. Within a year, the only reason Windows remained on the machine was my wife's lack of familiarity with Linux. Given that her computing needs were to surf the Web and read email, she, too, eventually made a smooth transition to Linux as the full-time computing platform.
We'll talk about the dual-boot option at length in this chapter. But first, it's important to undertake some preliminary research that will help you solve the issues you might experience during installation, whether you're using a pure Linux system, or a dual-boot configuration.