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Well, enough of this background babble; it’s time to get things rolling. If you haven’t installed Linux on your machine yet and are wondering whether you can, it is relatively safe to say that Fedora Core will run on most machines out there today. Of course, this statement comes with a major caveat: You just never know till you get up and running. There are so many minor parts to your machine that it is difficult to say whether each part will cooperate with your installation. Ignoring peripheral devices for the time being, there are video cards, sound chips, LAN cards, monitors, and so on, and they all need to be considered.
If you are really worried about compatibility, you can search the Web to see if your hardware is supported by Linux. Of course, before you can do this, you need to know what model of hardware you have. You should know at least what motherboard, processor (CPU), and monitor you have if you want to be able to find out anything of value. Identifying your CPU and monitor should be easy enough, but the motherboard may require a bit more searching. If you have no documentation that clearly states what kind of motherboard you have, then just open up the case of your computer and look at your board. You needn’t worry about damaging something because you don’t need to touch anything (so don’t). You may need a flashlight to find it, but the model name and number should be stamped on there somewhere, either in the middle of the board or around the edges. Mine, for example, says quite clearly in the middle of the board, “AOpen MX46-533V.” You should be looking for similar information.
Once you have that information, you can do a variety of things to check out your motherboard’s compatibility with Fedora Core. You can simply do a Yahoo or Google search by typing in your motherboard’s make and model plus the word “Linux.” This works for other hardware devices too. You can also post a question to one of the various Linux forums or mailing lists on the Web. A listing of some of these is provided in Appendix B at the end of this book. Just write that you are a newbie and want to know if anyone has had any experience using Fedora Core or Red Hat Linux with the board (or other hardware) in question. You will probably get quite a few responses. Linux users are usually rather evangelical in terms of trying to draw in new users.
If you are going to buy a new machine to run Linux on, then it is reasonable enough to check things out first, but if you are going to install it on the machine you have, I recommend just diving in. Being the reckless character that I am, searching the Net to figure out whether things will work seems a bit of a nuisance to me. You can spend hours poking around and still end up not being sure.
You might also be misled into thinking that Fedora Core won’t work on your machine, when in fact it actually will. You can find out for sure by just trying to install it. If it works, it works; and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
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