Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Installing Ubuntu, the Easy Way

So you have decided to ditch windows, and try out a new, free, fast secure operating system...but how do you get started? It can seem pretty overwhelming at first.

Things you will need. Computer with internet connection and some free hard drive space, 4GB USB flash drive, a brain.

Consider this; it is your responsibility to make sure you have important data backed up. When messing at around with sensitive components on your computer something may go wrong....that is on you.

I will mainly show Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 users how to set up a dual boot, which I think is the best option. (Let's you boot up windows if you HAVE TO). This is not much of an option on Windows 8, but keep reading

First you will want to defrag your Hard Drive. On Windows 7, just open up your start menu and type "defrag."

Run the program, let it do its thing (may take a while, go grab a snack).

When it is done. Download Ubuntu 12.10. From here (if you have 64 bit use that...if you don't know what 64 bit is, download the 32 bit version.

Now download live USB creator. The one I use, I get from here. Its actually made for another version of Linux, called fedora, but it works great!

Now Plug in you 4GB USB flash drive, open it up and delete EVERYTHING in it, every single file. Once you have done that open the "live USB creator" we downloaded earlier. Click the "browse" button, and select the Ubuntu.iso you downloaded. It is likely in your "downloads" folder.

Now hit "Create live USB" 

The program will do it's thing, mine usually takes about 2 min.

When it is done, your ready for Ubuntu! Make sure to leave your USB flash drive in for the next few steps. 

You will need to turn off you Computer. Now when you turn it back on, you will see a splash screen you see every day, mine is black and says "Acer." Yours will more than likely show the brand of you computer, and stay lit for about 2 seconds before windows begins to boot up (if windows boots just restart and try again). When at this screen you should see a few options at the bottom. For example "press F10 for boot options, press F12 to change boot device." It may take rebooting your PC a few times, you gotta be quick!

If you have the option to simply change boot device, do that, and select "Usb drive xxx" and hit enter, that will boot up the Ubuntu installer. If your only option is "boot options" you will select that, and change your boot order around. 
Usually it goes like this by default:
-HDD 1
-HDD 2
-Network boot
You will need to move USB to the top and save changes using your on screen instructions, this part is very model specific, I have seen this hard to do on some newer Gateways, as they use a graphical BOIS.

Once in the installer you can either "Try Ubuntu" or "install Ubuntu." You are welcome to try it, but we are going to "install alongside of windows." Windows 8 users won't, at this time, be able to choose this option without issues, so for you folks you will need to completely ditch Windows, and loose everything previously on your machine. Please make sure this is actually what you want before proceeding.

Next you will pick how much space you want for Ubuntu to have, I select as much as possible. You will get to a point where you have the option to "install third party software" and "Update system when Ubuntu installs." i recommend choosing only the former, the latter takes to long. 

Now you will need a reboot, and your good to go. You're now a Ubuntu user. You if you changed your boot order you will have to go put it back now (HDD up top!). Also, look for my post on "things to do after installing Ubuntu" that's coming up!

For advanced users, you can make your own partitions using the instructions from audiomick here. Its basically a how-to guide for advanced users, the goods start at the bottom of page one, and onto page 2.

Now Check out my posts on what do do after installing Ubuntu:
So You've Installed Ubuntu, Now What?
Top Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu

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