Getting Started with Ubuntu for Windows Users
The New York Times has an interesting post up that caters to Windows users who have no Linux experience but would like to dip their toes in the water. It's a short "Linux on a Stick" post that discusses how to use a Flash drive to begin using Ubuntu. We've covered the topic before at length, and if you happen to be a Windows user who wants to give Ubuntu a spin, here is a complete set of resources for doing it quickly--and you don't have to ditch Windows to do it.
The New York Times suggests that Windows users begin by taking the online Ubuntu tour, available here, and launching into creating a bootable USB stick with Ubuntu. CNet has a good visual tutorial on the topic, although it's not specific to running Ubuntu. As the story notes:
"A Linux Live USB flash drive is a great way to try out Linux without making any changes to your computer. It's also handy to have around in case Windows won't boot--allowing access to your hard disks--or if you just want to run a system memory test."
Windows users who want to dabble in Linux should also visit Pendrivelinux.com, which makes it easy to put countless Linux distros on a USB drive. Pendrivelinux functions like a blog, with ongoing tutorials for the many distros that you can get going on a USB drive.
It also collects many useful posts for creating Boot CDs for Linux variants. In addition, it houses PenDriveApps, which is an awesome, categorized archive of portable applications for Windows, the Mac and Linux.WIth it, you can easily find everything from portable FTP applications, to portable media players, to portable translation applications.
For much more you can do with open source applications and a USB Flash drive, also look into PortableApps and MacLibre. These sites let you put a bushel of open source applications on a USB Flash drive, after which you can run them from any computer.
And finally, users who are new to Linux may want to look into our collection of free books and resources that are available.