This chapter represents your first step in installing Linux. We describe how to obtain the Linux software, in the form of one of the various prepackaged distributions
, and how to prepare your system. We include ways to partition disks so that Linux can coexist with Windows or another operating system.
As we have mentioned, there is no single "official" distribution of the Linux software; there are, in fact, many distributions, each serving a particular purpose and set of goals. These distributions are available via anonymous FTP from the Internet and via mail on CD-ROM and DVD, as well as in retail stores.