Installing Linux on an empty PC: Linux 101


Linux is a great free alternative to Windows or Mac OS. Installing the system may sound complicated but it is actually very easy. Continue reading and you will have Linux installed on your computer in no time.

What you’ll need

Here are the few things that you need to install Linux on your PC. If done correctly, this should not take more than an hour.

  • A functional computer with at least 15 GB of free disk space and at least 2 GB of RAM
  • An empty CD/DVD that is big enough to store the image of the system you want to install
  • The .iso image of a Linux distribution (further referred to as distro) of your choice

Saving the .iso image to your CD/DVD

To boot, your PC will use the .iso image of the system you want to install. First, download the system image from the distro website. Then use a computer to create a bootable disk – simply copy the system image to it. Remember that the image has to be the only file on your installation media (CD/DVD) for the installation to work.

Booting from the CD/DVD

Booting from the disk is very simple – just turn the computer on and insert the disk. For a few minutes the screen might be black so don’t worry if this happens. Eventually, you will see a prompt to press any key to continue. Follow the instructions until you see a GUI appearing (the mouse cursor will be the first element to show up). After some time, you will be in the system.

Checking out and installing the system

In most distros, the first thing to show up will be a window with two options – you will be able to install the system or check it out. To make sure that everything is functional, open the live demo. Again, this might take some time to load. When you’re ready to install the system, find an install icon in the application menu or in the dock. Now do some basic configuration and click the install button. A few distros will boot directly into the live demo but the install process will be similar to the rest. When installed, the system will ask you to remove the disk and reboot the computer. After this, the system will boot from the hard drive and you will be finished.

You can either try or install the system.

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Patrick is a student and tech enthusiast, mostly interested in UI design, Android modding and custom ROMs.