FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
What is Linux?
Linux is a free, open source operating system developed by many different people around the world who freely contribute to the development of Linux software. It is very similar to the robust and rock-solid UNIX and offers a GUI (Graphical User Interface) similar to other graphics-based operating systems, such as Mac OS or Windows. The Linux GUI is completely customisable using many graphical environments (i.e. KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment and more). OpenOffice.org provides Excel and Word compatible applications, and a typical Linux installation provides a large number of programs and applications, for all types of use, including server use and applications.
One of the big advantages is that Linux can in most cases be freely copied, distributed, used and altered as required (refer to the GNU GPL - General Public License for more details). Linux is the choice of millions for running servers and networks, and is now rapidly becoming a favourite choice for home or work computers - both newer and older desktop and notebook computers. In fact, Linux can bring an older and slower computer back to life and is normally perfectly happy running on older out-of-date computers!
When I order the CDs or DVDs from you, what am I paying for?
When you order Linux, BSD or similar
from us on CD-R or DVD-R, you are in no way at all paying for the software (or the use of the software) on the discs. What you are paying for is the copying service we provide as well as the CD or DVD media, the time involved and the order processing provided. Please note that the actual software use comes with absolutely no warranties, installation or usage support from us. Support may be available from the organisation who produce the distribution, or from other Linux users on their website, mailing lists or forums.
When you order the CD-R/DVD-R distributions from us, you will receive the software on the specified number of (high quality) CD-Rs/DVD-Rs stated and these come supplied in protective CD sleeves. There are no printed installation instructions or manuals with the CD-Rs/DVD-Rs, although these may be provided somewhere on the discs. Official/Boxed distributions are normally supplied with a printed manual or instructions and limited (i.e. 30 day) support from the producers of the distribution.
Please note that the
CD-Rs/DVD-Rs that we provide are ordered directly from us and are supplied by us. At the moment, we make the official boxed sets available via links on our website, so we will not process these particular orders. We do intend to supply some of the boxed versions in the future.
Is it legal to copy and distribute software like this?
Yes, this is perfectly legal! Almost all of the software on the
CD-Rs/DVD-Rs from us is made available under the GNU Public Licence (GPL). This specifies exactly what may and may not be done with the software. Unlike most software
licences, just about the only thing you can't do with it is restrict someone else's freedom to do what they want with it. If you buy the
CD-Rs/DVD-Rs you can lend them to your friends, install them on as many computers as you like, or even duplicate and sell copies. The GPL explicitly permits you to do this. What you can't do is tell other people that they can't do the same. For further information, please refer to the GPL.
What happens if I have a problem installing or running Linux, can you help?
The CD-Rs/DVD-Rs we supply do not come with any support from us at all, so if you have any problems you will have to resolve these yourself. The organisations who produce the various distributions may not be able to provide any free support either. However, you should check their website (see our links page) since most will offer you some form of help or support in the form of downloadable instructions, how-to documents, via other users (mailing lists or web forums) or they may offer support for a fee. Also, please check the actual CD/DVDs since instructions, help files and manuals may be included somewhere on the disc. You can view a disc's contents under Linux, Mac OS, Windows, or using your favourite OS.
Most of the latest Linux distributions are now able to automatically detect and use most hardware and devices, so you may well have no problems at all, although there is always the possibility that you may need assistance (or refer to instructions or help documentation) to install or run your chosen Linux distribution on certain hardware. Please bear this in mind prior to
thing you can try if you find that you are unable to boot or
install a Linux/BSD distro is to boot or install the distro
We have found that in almost every case where a distro hasn't
worked on a certain computer that it will do on the same
computer running VirtualBox
so this is a good option you may want to try.
What do I do if I receive a faulty CD/DVD from you?
Although highly unlikely, if you do experience any disc read errors we will immediately send you a replacement. We don't use cheap or unbranded blank discs, and only use the highest quality, branded, blank CD-R and
DVD-R media. We also use the best quality CD/DVD copiers and disc verification system,
and currently have a disc error rate of less than 1%, so the chances of receiving a faulty
CD/DVD are greatly minimised. In addition, under the Sale of Goods Act, if you receive a faulty disc then you can also request a refund instead of a replacement, so the choice is yours.
What are the hardware requirements for installing Linux?
Linux can be installed on most IBM compatible PCs and there are also versions that can be installed on Apple Mac
(PPC) computers. You will need to partition your hard drive (warning: know what you are doing because you could end up wiping the entire contents of your hard drive!) to provide the space needed to install both
Linux/BSD and Windows (or Linux and Mac OS) on the same hard drive. For Mac users running Virtual PC, you also have the option of installing and running x86 versions of Linux for use under Virtual PC, although at a
much slower speed!
'Live CDs/DVDs' are a good choice if you don't want to re-partition or install Linux on your hard drive since these distributions run entirely from CD or DVD without touching your hard drive. The live
CDs/DVDs available are for x86 based PCs and some are also
available for the PPC platform. Most Linux installations only need a
minimum of about 3 GB hard drive space, depending on which applications you choose to install. For a full installation of all applications, including all server applications,
at least 5 GB hard drive space is recommended.
The discs provided are normally bootable and you will need to start your computer with the first (or single) disc in your
CD/DVD drive in order to boot from the CD/DVD. For IBM compatible PCs, you may need to access your BIOS settings (normally accessed by pressing and holding down the F2 or F4 key while the computer boots) and check that your
CD/DVD drive is set to boot from the CD/DVD drive. You should ensure that your computer is set to boot from the
CD/DVD drive BEFORE the computer attempts to boot from the hard disk. For Mac users, you should be able to boot from
CD/DVD by pressing and holding down the C key while the system boots. Please consult your computer's user manual or contact your computer manufacturer or supplier for further
Do I need a 32-bit or 64-bit version? This has been
addressed by us here.
Can I download Linux?
Although we don't provide a download facility ourselves, anyone can freely download Linux from the producers of the distribution (see our links page for website links) or from mirror sites around the world. However, bear in mind that a CD holds up to 700MB of data and often 3 or 4 CDs are needed for an installation. If you are connected to the Internet with a standard 56k modem, it will take approximately 27 hours to download a single CD worth of data! If you have a broadband connection (and the bandwidth available on your broadband package) it will take approximately
1-3 hours (depending on Internet traffic and/or server slow-down/speed) to download one single CD worth of data.
Also bear in mind that if your connection is broken during the download or the server is reset or stops responding, you may lose the part-download and have to start from the beginning
again, so we would recommend a download manger that will allow
you to resume a download (download.com). You will also need a
CD/DVD writer and know how to correctly copy the downloaded disc image files
(ISOs) to CD (or DVD if you download a DVD image file) so that you will be able to boot and install from the
I was hoping to get a certain distribution on disc, but you don't appear to have this available?
We currently offer the most popular distributions, but if you are looking for a Linux or BSD distribution that is not listed, please contact us. We might be able to obtain this
for you to order, or at least point you in the right direction.
If you have any further questions please contact us, but please remember that installation and usage support is not provided. Please refer to our links page for details on how to reach the websites of the distribution producers.