“The proof of the pudding, is the eating”, say the English. Well, maybe not all of them, but some surely say this. Although probably not many, it sounds a bit old-fashioned, yet still true. Anyway, the best way to figure out if your computer system works with Linux is to try.
Quite fortunately, the concept of “Live CDs” is rather common in the Linux world, which means that you can download a CD image, burn it to a disk, or even a USB, boot it, and use it without installation. It’s a neat idea, and very useful for system evaluation. You get to try before you buy (just to hoard phrases here), and you can even find systems that are exclusively developed to be used in this way, for providing a safe, disposable environment, one use without leaving a trace.
Hackers, activists, journalists, and people who live in dangerous areas, might find the most use of this, but for us, mere mortals (I love me a good cliché too), the use of live systems is more straightforward: You can boot into one, and check if it works without having to Google every other driver manufacturer in existence.
One possible downside of a Live CD is that it might not have every necessary driver installed for your computer, meaning that you could probably see worse performance than a properly installed and configured system would provide. Still, most live environments should run without any issues, and if they do, it means that you are probably good to go on with the installation.
(Instructions on how to burn and use a live Debian environment will be provided as you follow along with the instructions in later articles.)