Previous Next Contents

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose of this document

Linux is a freely-distributable implementation of Unix for inexpensive personal machines (it was developed on 386s, and now supports 486, 586, Pentium, PowerPC, Sun Sparc and DEC Alpha hardware). It supports a wide range of software, including X Windows, Emacs, TCP/IP networking (including SLIP), and many applications.

This document assumes that you have heard of and know about Linux, and now want to sit down and install it. It focuses on the Intel base version, which is the most popular, but much of the advice applies on Power PCs, Sparcs and Alphas as well.

1.2 Other sources of information

If you are new to Linux, there are several sources of basic information about the system. The best place to find these is at the Linux Documentation Project home page at You can find the latest, up-to-date version of this document there, as

You should probably start by browsing the resources under General Linux Information; the Linux INFO-SHEET and the Linux META-FAQ. The `Linux Frequently Asked Questions' document contains many common questions (and answers!) about Linux---it is a ``must read'' for new users.

You can find help for common problems on the USENET newsgroups and comp.os.linux.announce.

The Linux Documentation Project is writing a set of manuals and books about Linux, all of which are freely distributable on the net and available from the LDP home page.

The book ``Linux Installation and Getting Started'' is a complete guide to getting and installing Linux, as well as how to use the system once you've installed it. It contains a complete tutorial to using and running the system, and much more information than is contained here. You can browse it, or download a copy, from the LDP home page.

1.3 New versions of this document

New versions of the Linux Installation HOWTO will be periodically posted to and news:comp.os.linux.announce and news.answers. They will also be uploaded to various Linux WWW and FTP sites, including the LDP home page.

You can also view the latest version of this on the World Wide Web via the URL

1.4 Feedback and Corrections

If you have questions or comments about this document, please feel free to mail Eric S. Raymond, at I welcome any suggestions or criticisms. If you find a mistake with this document, please let me know so I can correct it in the next version. Thanks.

Please do not mail me questions about how to solve hardware problems encountered during installation. Consult ``Linux Installation and Getting Started'', bug your vendor, or consult the Linux newsgroup comp.os.linux.setup. This HOWTO is intended to be rapid, painless guide to normal installation -- a separate HOWTO on hardware problems and diagnosis is in preparation.

Previous Next Contents