Most of the different Linux operating system distributions have similar procedures for accessing and installing the operating system. This site will use Ubuntu 18.10 which is one of the more more established and well documented Linux distributions for individual users as an example. Links will be given below to some of the distribution web sites for other open source operating systems which can be installed using roughly the same procedures as described for Ubuntu.. (Note that open source operating systems are being constantly updated and assigned new version names and numbers-- this section of the web site will not be updated unless major changes are introduced in the software.) The given links will lead to the most recently available software.One of the ongoing discussions is about the Graphic User Interface. Most versions of Linux allow loading of different GUIs.
Instructions for downloading the Ubuntu software, testing it without installing it to the computer and then installing it are available at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/GraphicalInstall
Getting Ubuntu: The Ubuntu 18.10 software can be downloaded free from the above link. If local Internet access is inadequate it is possible to order a copy from Ubuntu. Since the software is open source you could also request someone with better Internet access to make up an installation CD/DVD for you.
Testing Ubuntu Ubuntu allows users to test the software without actually loading it. The Ubuntu installation software can be downloaded to DVD which allows the system to be tested from the DVD drive.without actually installing it. This load will show whether Ethernet and wifi access are working as well as allowing users to test the software such as LibreCalc which is installed on initial installation.
Installing Ubuntu: There are several options when you are installing Ubuntu 18.10. the basic installation DVD gives you the option of installing Ubuntu as the sole operating system on the computer or as a second operating system (dual boot). If you do not have a legal copy of Windows it is recommended that Ubuntu be installed as the only operating system.
Utilities Installed: When Linux operating systems are installed, a number of software applications are also installed automatically. These usually include LibreOfrice and a web browser, but the applications vary not only for different versions of Unix, but even between different versions of the same software.
Additional Utilities: There are a number of utilities which can be downloaded using the Ubuntu Software Centre which will add functions to the the operating system. These include:
Other Distributions: Other distributions are available from Ubuntu as well as other organizations such as Debian, Mint , Fedora, Manjaro, Slackware-- these all have basically the same core operating system code, but have developed different graphic user interfaces.