How to start playing around with Linux

If you have only heard of Linux or its’ distributions such as CentOS, RedHat, Ubuntu and many others; but you have never use one before and you wish you have a machine that you could install it and start experiencing the power of Linux yet you only have one PC running Windows; you are reading the right post right now.

Firstly, download the latest version of VirtualBox; in this tutorial, we are going to install the platform package for Windows hosts.

Installing VirtualBox is pretty straight forward so I will not cover that part much, just a reminder that installing this software may disconnect your internet connection for a second or two so if you’re doing something else that requires constant internet connection you may want to install VirtualBox later.

Next, you need to download one of Linux distribution. Since I am running a web hosting business which runs best on CentOS, we will be using that in this tutorial.

Choose whichever ISO that suits you; in case you have slower internet speed maybe the Minimal ISO suits you better since you can install everything else later once you’ve got your OS running. Once you choose your ISO, you’ll be redirected to your nearest mirror; download from any one of the given link. Once you’re done, run VirtualBox that you’ve installed earlier.

Click “New” and fill in your desired name for your new virtual machine. Choose Linux for Type and Red Hat (64-bit) for Version; you may also choose Other Linux (64-bit) or any of the listed distribution in case you downloaded a different version.

Next, you’ll be asked to assign the Memory size of your VM; since my PC has only 4GB of RAM, I’m only going to assign 1GB for my Centos 101 VM. Then you’ll be asked to create or use an existing virtual hard disk. I’m going to create a virtual hard disk of type VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) which is dynamically allocated with a size of 20GB. When you’re done, you should get the following on your screen:

Now, right click on your Centos 101 and choose Settings then go to Storage tab. Within your IDE Controller you should have an empty CD/DVD; click on it and choose the ISO you downloaded earlier.

Once you selected your ISO, you are ready to run your VM to install a Linux OS; to do so simply choose your VM name, in my case it’s the Centos 101 and then click on Start.

Since this has been a very long post, I’m going to continue this tutorial in my next blog post.

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