You can knit socks on one very long circular (called magic loop knitting), two shorter circulars, four DPN, or five DPN. Most pattern instructions are written for four DPN, but once you're familiar with any of the other methods, it's not hard to adjust any pattern to suit.
If you're unsure about yardage, you might consider making your first pair of socks from the toe up. With a toe up pattern, you've already knit the foot, so you can stop knitting the cuff when you like the length or have run out of yarn. With a cuff down, you have no idea how long the cuff can be and still leave enough yarn to make it to the toe cast off.
Here are toe-up and two-circular tutorials and
the famous Silver's Sock Class for cuff down 4 DPN and an explanation of magic loop with socks.