I have had a number of requests for a step by step walk through of a Linux installation. I thought this would be a great way to illustrate how simple installing Linux is. I have chosen Ubuntu because it is a good example of how far the Linux installation process has come. This installation will be done using Ubuntu 8.10 Live.
You will need to download a copy of the ISO image that best suits your architecture. I you have a 64 bit machine you can install either 32 or 64 bit. My advice is to stick with 32 bit, otherwise you will have to wrestle with plugins for Firefox to the point where you will (after pulling out much hair) most like re-install with 32 bit.
The first thing you need to put the burned cd into your drive and reboot your machine (making sure it boots from the CD and not the hard drive.)
Use the up and down arrow keys to select the right language. One you have the right language chosen hit the enter key to move on.
Now it's time to choose your method. I want to boot into the LiveCD in order to show how simple this is.
Since this is a LiveCD you can run the operating system from the CD (using the PCs RAM). Once the operating system is up and running you can install it from that point.
During the boot up process you will see the process bar for a while. Depending upon how much RAM you have and how fast your CD drive is, this could take a while.
Once the LiveCD has finished booting you will be at the log in screen.
Since this is a LiveCD you will be automatically logged into the desktop. So don't enter anything into the Username area.
It's time to begin the actual installation. At this point you can either play around with the operating system or you can jump straight to the installation. Let's install, shall we?
As you can see above the GNOME desktop is up and running. But since we are installing we are going to go straight to the Install icon. Double click on that icon to being the install process.
The first step is to select the language of your distribution. Select the correct language and press Forward.
Once you have selected the correct language, select Forward to move on.
Now it is time to select your time zone.
If your exact location is not available, just choose the nearest region that shares the same time zone and click Forward.
This step requires you to select your keyboard layout. You can test the selected keyboard by typing sample text in the text area.
Once you are happy with your keyboard layout click Forward to move on.
The next step requires you to select a partition setup. If you're unsure the best bet is to select a guided setup. If this installation is going to be the only operating system you can have the partition manager use the entire disk.
Only choose the Manual option if you know what you are doing. Once you have made your selection press Forward
Now it is time to create a user. This user will be your standard user but will also have sudo rights. So choose a strong password. You can set up more users after the installation is complete.
If you do not want to have to deal with logging in select the "Log in automatically" option. Once you have finished click Forward.
You have finished entering information. Now it is time to click the Install button to continue.
Click Install and your system will begin installing. You can either sit back and watch the progress bar go by or get a bite to eat. Believe it or not the installation doesn't take long. Depending upon your machine the install can go as quickly as 10-15 minutes.
Once the installer has finished it will prompt you to either continue working with the LiveCD or to reboot your system to start working with your freshly installed Linux operating system.
And your done. As soon as your machine reboots (make sure you remove the CD from the CD drive when prompted) you will be using your brand new Linux system.
The modern Linux opeating system, as you can see, is one of the easiest to install operating systems available. I hope this walk through has made the choice to try Linux that much easier.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.