Somewhere back in the introduction, I mentioned that I would be basing a great deal of the desktop on KDE version 3 (both 3.0 and 3.1). From the Linux installation perspective, this implies that you are planning to run a modern Linux distribution and not some disks you've had lying around for the last three years. An up-to-date release of your favorite distribution, whether it is Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake, or something else is essential.
A modern Linux installation is easy. I will go so far as to say that it is even easier than installing Windows. For the most part, you boot from your CD-ROM drive, click Next a few times and you are running Linux. Okay, perhaps there is a bit more to it than that, but not much. Linux will, for the most part, auto-detect nearly all devices on your machine and automatically configure things optimally.