Single-boot or “single boot” is when only one (1) operating system will be installed to your hard drive. A single boot machine is a simple way install Linux. The single boot scenario typically consists of either
- Completely wiping out the current Operating system and installing Linux, or
- Installing Linux on a new and blank hard drive
I’ve performed both, and as stated, the process is simple. You put in your Linux Live or Install CD and follow the prompts. Many distros offer graphical installers which take you step-by-step, and typically asking you to confirm all the choices (default or custom) before any changes are written to the hard drive. Some distros offer text-based installers which can be a bit too challenging to the new Linux user.
More on this topic later, but a word on partitions. A partition is a “chunk” or “area” of your hard drive. If you plan on trying other distros and still want a single-boot setup, you should definitely consider creating a minimum of 3 partitions where the swap area, root partition and “/home” are the 3 separate partitions. A separate /home partition allows you to keep all of your documents when installing the next distro. For more detail about partitioning follow this link.