Originally Posted by MrMan
Out of curiousity. Why linux what are the main advantages, and would it be easy getting a hold of the drivers I would need for my laptop.
1. It's free, you can download it, burn as many copies as you like, give to as many people as you like, and have it on as many machines you own as you like.
2. You own the software - you don't need a licence to run it like Microsoft or Apple (as Mr Fry explains).
3. Download a Linux iso of your choice - my current favourite is Ultimate Edition 2.7 (2.8 is out now based on Ubuntu's Maverick Meerkat - 10.10). If your laptop has a DVD writer burn it to DVD with ImgBurn.
4. If you know how to set your laptop to boot from the DVD drive first, you will need to do this to run it 'live' - i.e., memory only. If you have a separate graphics chip such as nVidia Mobile Graphics then the glitzy bits will run fine - Compiz can run on some Intel chipsets but not sure which. Basically you should not have a problem.
On boot F2 screen usually appears to allow you to change language - it is English by default. You will have to hit F3 to select keyboard language as default like most Operating Systems is English US. F4 is Graphics Mode - select Normal (default) - if you have problems select Graphics Safe Mode.
Free Full Office Suite (OpenOffice.org fully compatible with Microsoft Office).
If you want to give it a whirl before burning a DVD/CD then use MobaLiveCD (just Google for it) so you get a taste of what your potential new OS will look like (minimum memory requirements = 512 Mb for the new distros - there are very light ones like Puppy Linux that will only need 128 Mb Ram and run on old Pentiums. Disk Space 6 Gb max - remember this is not just for the OS but the raft of Applications that come pre-bundled - and all FREE!