The -- very old -- laptop of a friend of mine died the other day and I offered to give her my old laptop as a replacement. Problem was, an old version of Windows was installed on my old laptop which I had to get rid of.
Since I did not have any spare Windows product keys at the time, I decided to install Linux on the device instead. While the main reason was that I could do so without paying a dime, it would improve the overall system security as well which is always a good thing.
Since I'm not really a Linux guy, I had to do some research on how to get Linux on the device. Turns out, it is pretty simple and straightforward.
Here is what you need for that:
Start the Universal USB Installer program on your computer. It is a portable program that you can execute without installation. Once you have agreed to the License Agreement, you select a Linux Distribution (the one you downloaded), the actual ISO image on your hard drive, and the USB Flash Drive letter in the interface.
Insert the USB Flash Drive into a free USB slot on the laptop and boot it up. Depending on its configuration, it may pick up the drive automatically and boot from it, or you may need to modify the boot order in the BIOS prior to that.
I suggest you boot with the stick inserted and check if the Linux boot manager GRUB is loaded. If that is the case, you can proceed with the installation.
If not, monitor the first screen after you hit the power button. It should tell you which key to press to enter BIOS. This is usually F1, F2 or DEL.
When the boot manager is displayed, select install Ubuntu from the options. You can alternatively try it without installation first, which can be useful if you don't know if Ubuntu is the right operating system or if you want to use it without installation.
Once you have made the selection, wait until the installation dialog pops up.
You are asked to restart the PC after the installation to complete it.
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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.