How to Install Linux – Ubuntu Linux

Posted by on March-28-2009 under Free Software

ubuntu I recently got a laptop from my friend. The Windows on that laptop had crashed, and my friend did not have the backup disk (it was a pretty old system). He gave it to me that if I can make it functional, then he would donate it to local library, otherwise he would have to just throw it off.

First I tried to repair the Windows, but that did not work. The last resort was to reinstall the operating system. Buying a new copy of Windows would have set us back by more than $100. So, I decided to install Linux on it – as it is available completely free.

(This article is a part of my series of articles on FREE Software. Check out other articles in the series here)

Ubuntu_Linux_Menu I had done a Linux installation a couple of years back. At that time, I had made my laptop a dual boot system, with option to run both Windows and Linux. I did not have any need for Linux at that time, but just wanted to experiment with it. I was pretty amazed with Linux at that time, especially with its complete similarity to Windows, including menu, shortcuts etc.

At that time, I had installed Ubuntu Linux. It was the latest flavor of Linux that was available in the market, and people had given rave reviews about it. I myself was also pretty happy with Ubuntu Linux.

So, this time again, I tried to see if Ubuntu Linux is available. To my happy surprise, it had become much more user friendly, and very stable. Check out the Ubuntu feature tour here. You will be pretty impressed with it. Click here to be notified via email when a similar article is published

Normally, people have a perception that Linux is complicated to install. That was the case a few years back. However, the latest versions of Linux are very easy and intuitive to install. In fact, I found it much easier to install than Windows!

Installation of Ubuntu Linux is just a 3-step process. Here are the steps to Install Ubuntu Linux:

1) Download ISO Image or Get Free CD: First of all, you need to download Ubuntu Linux. It can be downloaded from here. The download is around 700 MB. If you have a slow internet, or dial-up, then you can also request a free Ubuntu CD. That can be done from here. However, the FREE CD can take up to 4-6 weeks to be delivered.

Once your download is complete, you will notice that only one single file has been downloaded with an extension .iso. We need to check that file was downloaded without any error. For that, I used winmd5sum . After installing winmd5sum, open it and specify the path of the .iso file that was downloaded. It will take a few minutes, and then it will give a value under “Md5 Sum” section. Copy that value, and search for that in UbuntuHashes page. If an exact match is found, that means your file is correct, otherwise you need to download the file again. You can check out details here

2) Burn Ubuntu ISO Image to CD: Once you have validated that the file is correct, we can proceed to burn it to CD. Make sure that in your CD burning software, you select the option to burn CD as ISO image. Otherwise, the CD will not work properly. Here is a Ubuntu help page that clearly explains how to burn the CD. Alternatively, you can also format a USB drive to be used for Ubuntu installation. That was actually what I did. It is more complicated than burning CD, so I would not recommend that. The tool that I used to prepare USB drive for Ubuntu Installation is UNetbootin.

3) Just pop the CD into CD Drive, and reboot the system: The hard part is already over! Now, just pop the Ubuntu Linux CD into your CD drive, and restart the system. It will boot the system from Ubuntu CD, and you will get multiple options – whether to do a complete Ubuntu Installation, or to have a dual booth system (if you already have Windows installed). Select your choice, then it will ask you some basic questions, and then it will complete all the installation by itself. It did not even reboot the system multiple times, as is the case with Windows installation. The whole installation process took me less than an hour. Click here to be notified via email when a similar article is published.

Once Ubuntu is installed, all the basics are in place so that your system will be immediately usable. Ubuntu comes pre-packaged with Open Office, Firefox, Instant messenger client to use Yahoo / Gtalk/ other IMs, a good image processing software, music/video players, some games, and all other basic stuff. It also configured my wireless card on its own, and I did not have to download or install any special hardware drivers. Everything went just like a breeze.

So, without spending even a single penny, I had a working laptop that was connected to Internet, had all the basic software, all the hardware was working perfectly, and it was rock solid with no system crashes or virus/malware installation.

One of the best things I liked about Ubuntu is that they have very easy documentation available on all the topics. Whenever I was stuck, I could just type in the topic in search box at, and the results would come up with pages that easily explained what to do.

Now, I am headed to my local library to donate it there. They are going to make good use of it.

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2 Responses so far.

  1. Hugo says:

    I just hope they dont turn around and install Windows on it.

  2. Ishan says:

    @Hugo – Thanks for dropping by. Frankly- I had the same concern. I checked up with them yesterday, and laptop seems to be going great. These new versions of Linux are amazingly similar to Windows.

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