This is a good screen shot driven article for setting up Mono on SuSE 10. I really don’t care for SuSE, I use Ubuntu. But for the intrepid, this is a good way to start.
This article was written for Visual Studio ASP.Net coders coming from that other OS. I would do as Joe suggests and go get the Mono Live CD from Joseph Hill. This way you can test out your laptop or PC and see if all your hardware is compatible with Linux.