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Installing Linux

I was impressed with the ease of installing Linux. The whole process took about four hours. The first two hours were spent backing up the hard disk, repartitioning it, and restoring Windows 95. I decided to do a custom install and install individual packages, which required me to read through 75 pages of short descriptions of each of the installable packages to decide which to keep and which to reject. This took the bulk of the time, but I encountered no problems in the installation itself. In fact, the installation section of the manual is incredibly well-written and easy to follow. The package list index is invaluable; the index for the rest of the book is not as well-constructed. After I had selected the packages, the actual copying to the hard drive from the CD took only twenty minutes.

A few days later, I tried to use the gunzip program to unpack a file and was told that I was out of disk space. It turned out that I had forgotten to define a /home partition, and my root partition was indeed out of space. I saved the few files I'd been working on and reinstalled Linux. I did a custom install again, but decided to select components (groups of packages) rather than working through the entire package list again. That install took less than an hour. This process left out a couple of packages that I wanted, such as the graphic version of the vi editor, so I installed them individually. Again, the manual was invaluable in this process.