If you look at this link: http://www.debian.org/CD/live/
you can download a so-called 'Live CD'-file of Debian Linux. This file is burned to a CD or DVD and once completed makes it possible to run Linux from the CD
Ok we need to be pro-active in trying things, and playing with debian prior to getting a Pi sounds logical. So I followed the yellow brick road ...
But what to do when I get to the debian web site? First of all, as a complete beginner, I'm invited to use Bit Torrent which has a ngative image (Piracy, virus laden S/W etc.).And then i need to know that i386 is the generic architecture of processors that run 32 bit versions of Windows. (I'm bound to be a windows user if I'm after a live CD for LINUX aren't I).
One new thing at a time I think,so I ignore this Torrent request. Being uncertain what to do next I click on one of the i386 links which takes me to a list of files headed: Index of /debian-cd/current-live/i386/iso-hybrid. There I see a list of 29 files but no indication of what to do next. So, back whence I came and I see the magic words FAQ.
This leads me to a list of information, in no particular order, that includes the following: Which of the numerous images should I download? Do I need all of them?. Just what I need, thinks I. This is what it said:
No. First, of course you only need to download either CD or DVD images - the two types of images contain the same packages.
Also, you only need the CD/DVD images for your computer's architecture. The architecture is the type of hardware your computer uses. By far the most popular one is the Intel/AMD architecture, so most people will only want to get the images for i386. If your PC has a 64-bit AMD or Intel processor, you will most likely need the amd64 images (though i386 is also fine), the ia64 images will not work.
Furthermore, in most cases it is not necessary to download all of the images for your architecture. The packages are sorted by popularity: The first CD/DVD contains the installation system and the most popular packages. The second one contains slightly less popular ones, the third one even less popular ones, etc. You will probably only need the first DVD (or the first two CDs) unless you have very special requirements. (And in case you happen to need a package later on which is not on one of the CDs/DVDs you downloaded, you can always install that package directly from the Internet.)
Please also read the next paragraphs to determine whether you want/need to download network install CDs, update CDs or source CDs.
Now this may help someone somewhere, but I remain totally confused. I did read on but most of the other FAs have equally vague answers. This may help experts but not Nursery School users like me. So can anyone answer:
What do I download? (filename, path, and website)
How do I download it?
How do I put it on a SD card or USB stick?
How do I start it up?
Then how do I use it?
Roll on the Nursery Manual, written in standard english, with good logical organisation and realistic practical examples.