Now that you have chosen the right linux distro, its time to get hold of it. Here are the many ways to get the linux distro up & ready to install or try on your machine.
- Direct HTTP or FTP : Most of the linux distros can be downloaded from their official website or from websites which mirror them. This(HTTP or FTP) is the most popular way of downloading. However the main drawback of this method is that if the server doesn’t supports to resume download then you have no luck but to download all again. Also if you have a fairly slow Internet connection then downloading big DVD sized distro make take days.
- Torrent : After Direct download, Torrent download is another good way to download linux distributions. Not only you can resume paused or broken downloads but torrent also provide faster downloads especially if the peers ratio is higher. Torrent download is my personal favourite since one can download a full CD or DVD sized distro on mobile phones which saves a lot of power than keeping a computer powered on for several hours.
- Media Distribution Programmes : If you have no Internet connection at your disposal or have a capped Internet plan (Plan having data download restrictions) then distribution programmes are your best bet. You can find a form which you simply need to fill with your details on the distro’s website & then you will receive your distro via courier free of charge. However it takes time to make the distro’s CD/DVD at your doorstep since it needs to be posted & needs time in transportation. If you are impatient to try out the distro as soon as it releases this method is not suitable for you. Also sometimes your request may be rejected if the organisation feels you are misusing them. I request you to order only the amount of media’s you need since ordering any surplus & not using them is not right as there are cost involved. The suppliers need to bear the cost of the media & shipping charges. Though you get the media for free but the suppliers spend a huge amount for your convenience. So please do not misuse this service.
- Magazines : If you are a subscriber of any Computer or Linux oriented magazine then you can get the most of linux distros bundled along with. Some magazines provide the CD/DVD image of the distro while some provide you with a bootable disc. Here again you need to keep patience as the magazines due to their monthly nature provide the distro almost a month late. Due to this if the distro release date doesn’t fall within the first 15 days of a month it is skipped in the next month’s issue.
Burning the downloaded Image to Media:
Now that you have the distro ready on your hard drive, its time to burn it onto a CD or DVD. You should get a .iso file. Simply double click on this file & your default CD burner program will launch prompting you to insert a blank CD/DVD. Load the media in the drive & wait till the burning process completes. Congrats. You have successfully burnt the media which can be used to install your chosen linux distribution.