For those of you who first want to check if their hardware is supported under Linux, before trying to install a distro: Check out a ¨Live CD¨.
Live CD´s are distro´s that run completely from CD, nothing is written to harddisk, no real install, but a fully functional operating system.
You have to see it to believe it, in less then 10 minutes, you´ll have a Linux desktop.
The really BIG advantage of a Live CD is the checking of supported hardware, once you see that your internet connection, monitor, keyboard, mouse, sound etc. are functioning, you can be sure that the distro you will choose after will support those items as well.
Here is a few of the major ones:
Based on Mandrake/Mandriva: PCLinux OS
, The absolute best Live CD Homepage ( Includes Nvidia drivers, dvd codecs, browser plugins like flash, java etc. 700 MB )
Based on Debian: Good hardware support and well known is Knoppix
, Homepage, ( 700 MB )
Based on Slackware: Really nice is Slax
, Homepage ( 200 MB ) ( Read the doc´s ! )
Based on SUSE: There is SuSE
Live evaluation, Homepage, ( 700 MB )
Based on Slackware: VectorLinux
suited for ¨old¨ PC´s Homepage ( 180 MB )
Based on Debian: The smallest of them all, Damn Small Linux
Homepage ( Only 50 MB and you get a Fluxbox GUI !! )
Have fun with your Linux testflight !
NOTE: For a long list of Live CD's and their homepages see FrozenTech.com
-- May 30 2003 ( Revised Dec 9 2005 ) --