How to Install Linux

Two Methods:Installing Any Linux DistributionInstalling Specific Linux Distributions

Linux is an open source operating system designed to replace Windows and Mac OS X. It is free to download and install on any computer. Because it is open source, there are a variety of different versions, or distributions, available developed by different groups. Follow this guide for basic instructions on how to install any version of Linux, as well as specific instructions for some of the most popular ones.

Method 1
Installing Any Linux Distribution

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    Download the Linux distribution of your choice. If you're new to Linux, consider trying some lightweight and easy to use distributions, such as Ubuntu, Lbuntu, etc.Linux distributions (distros) are typically available for free download in ISO format. You can find the ISO for the distribution of your choice at the distribution’s website. This format needs to be burned to a CD before you can use it to install Linux. This will create a Live CD.
    • A Live CD will allow you to boot from it, and often contains a preview version of the operating system that can be run directly from the CD.
    • Install an image burning program, or use your system’s built-in burning tool if you are using Windows 7, 8, or Mac OS X.
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    Boot from the Live CD. Most computers are set to boot from the hard drive first, which means you need to change some settings to boot from your newly-burned CD. Start by rebooting the computer.
    • Once the computer reboots, press the BIOS setup key. The key for your system will be displayed on the same screen as the manufacturer’s logo. Typical keys include F12, F2, or Del.
      • For Windows 8 users, hold the Shift key and click restart. This will load the Advanced Startup Options, where you can boot from CD.
    • Go to the Boot menu and set the computer to boot from the CD drive. Once you’ve changed the settings, save and exit the BIOS setup. Your computer will restart again.
    • Press any key when the “Boot from CD” message appears.
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    Try out the Linux distro before installing. Most Live CDs can launch the operating system running from the CD. You won’t be able to create files, but you can navigate around the interface and decide if it’s right for you.
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    Start the installation process. If you’re trying out the distro, you can launch the installation from the file on the desktop. If you decided not to try out the distro, you can start the install from the boot menu.
    • You will most likely be asked to configure some basic options, such as language, keyboard layout, and timezone.
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    Create a username and password. You will need to create login information to install Linux. You will need to enter your password to enter Linux, as well as perform administrative tasks within Linux.
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    Set the partition. Linux needs to be installed on a separate partition from any other operating systems on your computer. A partition is a portion of the hard drive that is formatted specifically for that operating system.
    • Distros such as Ubuntu will set a recommended partition automatically. You can then adjust this manually yourself. Most Linux installations require 4-5 GB, so be sure to set aside enough room for both the Linux operating system and any other programs you may install and files you may create.
    • If the installation process does not give you automatic partitions, make sure that the partition you create is formatted as Ext4. If the copy of Linux you are installing is the only operating system on the computer, you will most likely have to manually set your partition size.
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    Boot into Linux. Once the installation is finished, your computer will reboot. You will see a new screen when your computer boots up called “GNU GRUB”. This is a boot loader that handles Linux installations. Pick your new Linux distro from the list.
    • If you install multiple distros on your computer, they will all be listed here.
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    Check your hardware. Most hardware should work automatically with your Linux distro, though you may need to download some additional drivers to get everything working.
    • Some hardware requires proprietary drivers to work correctly in Linux. This is most common with graphics cards. There is typically an open source driver that will work, but to get the most out of your graphics cards you will need to download the proprietary drivers from the manufacturer.
    • In Ubuntu, you can download proprietary drivers through the System Settings menu. Select the Additional Drivers option, and then select the graphics driver from the list. Other distros have specific methods for obtaining extra drivers.
    • You can find other drivers from this list as well, such as Wi-Fi drivers.
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    Start using Linux. Once your installation is complete and you’ve verified that your hardware is working, you’re ready to start using Linux. Most distros come with several popular programs installed, and you can download many more from their respective file repositories.

Method 2
Installing Specific Linux Distributions

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    Install Ubuntu. Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distros currently available. There are two releases available: a long term release and a short term release with the latest features. The long term release has more software support.
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    Install Fedora. Fedora is another very popular distribution, second only to Ubuntu. Fedora is much more common in enterprise systems and business settings.
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    Install Debian. Debian is a popular distro for Linux enthusiasts. It is considered one of the most bug-free versions of Linux.[1] Debian also has a large number of software packages available.
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    Install Linux Mint. Linux Mint is one of the newest distros available, and is quickly growing in popularity. It is built off of the Ubuntu system, but contains many tweaks based on user feedback.


  • Have your computer physically connected to the internet while you install.
  • Have patience; some of these steps take time.


  • If you do not choose to partition your hard drive and dual-boot, all of your data will be deleted.
  • Your old operating system may be deleted! All of the data on your computer may be deleted! Be cautious.

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Categories: Linux