Before trying out Linux, you need to prepare few things:
1. An 8 GB or higher capacity pen drive, preferably USB 3.
2. ISO of the Linux you wish to use downloaded from internet.
3. A software called Balena Etcher (https://www.balena.io/etcher/). If you open this site on a web browser – it will automatically detect your OS and will show you the proper version to download. Download and install it.
4. Learn how to boot from a USB thumb drive – this varies from system to system – but when your system boots up – just before the Windows logo you will see a message that says which key to press to change boot order (It is normally F8/ F9 or F10).
As we have already discussed – there are a lot of distributions and desktop environments available in Linux – for this example we will consider KDE desktop on Ubuntu, called kubuntu.
You can download Kubuntu from https://kubuntu.org/getkubuntu/. You will find there two versions of Kubuntu available – One version having LTS (Long Term Support) in its name and another version with no suffixes.
It is better to go for the LTS version, if your hardware is a bit old as it gets security updates for 5 years & needs a major update every 5 years, whereas the normal version needs a major update every 9 months.
Now that you have installed Balena Etcher and downloaded the Kubuntu image, open Balena Etcher.
You will be greeted with a screen like this:
Insert the blank thumb drive in one of the USB port – preferably a USB 3 port (They are colored blue)
Click on ‘Flash From File’ and chose the ISO file you have downloaded.
Now click on Select Target and select your blank pen drive.
Click on Flash – this will ask you to confirm, confirm to continue writing the image to the USB Thumb Drive drive.
Once the flashing of the ISO drive has completed, restart your machine and boot from the USB Thumb drive.
Once you have booted from the pen drive, you will be greeted with a welcome screen like this.
DO NOT CLICK ON “Install Kubuntu”, click on “Try Kubuntu”.
Once you click on Try now – you will see that it looks a bit different, but it is nothing dificult – but it is quire similar to any operating system.
Make sure all your devices (sound, Wifi / LAN etc. are working perfectly).
Regarding software – here the software preloaded are under Applications and they are categorized for easy access. For example you will find LibreOffice suite under Office, Photo viewer under Graphics etc..
Play with it for a few hours and once you are ready to plunge full time in Linux – take backup of your data from the hard disk on an external drive.
As you can see – unlike other proprietary software vendors, the FOSS community gives you the complete experience before you actually install the software in your system. Yes Windows 10 ISO is also available for testing purpose, but try changing even the basic stuff like the wall paper before actually buying it and registering it.
Next we will see how to install Kubuntu on your system.
Just a reminder – Try the LTS version first and make sure all your devices like sound, wifi / LAN are working properly. If not then only try the non LTS version.