… if you are happy with your computer system, if you’re contempt with your life, if you have the feeling you’re complete, if you don’t wish for any change to the better, if you’re like a happy hippo. 🙂 Why don’t I want you to read this? Because this and upcoming articles are for a special need group of people. And only them exclusively. This and following articles are for open-minded but somehow clueless people, people who are on old computers, people who are still on Windows XP and have heard about Microsoft ceasing support for their system. People who have a hunch it might not be save to go online with XP and who are looking for an easy and cheap way out.
Well, for them I will do some articles about how to give their computers a second lease on life by using a different kind of operating system, namely Linux. I will show them that all the horror stories about Linux aren’t entirely true, that the learning curve is remarkably flat, that their old, mucḱed up over the years, computer will run like fresh outta the shop once again. Actually this is gonna be for the Linux n00bs and dummies. Presented to you by another Linux dummy, by me.
I won’t be able to cover everything in one article, so my plan is to spread it out over various posts. In order to not get tangled up in philosophical and political discussions, I’ve sent the clever kids out already (in the opening paragraph), so we dummies can concentrate on learning a thing or two about our new OS, without interference and disturbance from outsiders. Because you have read quite enough about politics and philosophies and whatnots of Linux and shit in the last couple months and years, we can concentrate exclusively on the How to do teh Linux.
Ready, kids? Ok, here we go …
Get the installation file
Since we’ve already agreed to leave the reason why and other philospical shit alone, we can just jump right into the action. Dictatorial me decided for this lesson (if you wanna call it that) to use the most famous and most talked about Linux distribution ever, Ubuntu. Even though Ubuntu is published by a commercial enterprise, Canonical Ltd., and doesn’t contribute much code to the greater Linux community, they still have a very huge and strong community that made Ubuntu one of the, if not the most famous Linux distro ever. For many people Ubuntu = Linux, as they’ve never used or even heard of any other Linux distribution. So, with your friendly permission we’re gonna use Ubuntu as our system of choice. It’s kinda legendary friendly for beginners and many educators are using it as schooling system. Another bonus for Ubuntu is the fact that your dear bloggerista has never tried it herself! So even if she knows her way around various flavours of Linux she’ll be as new to Ubuntu as you are.
Ok, let’s begin. In order to install a new Operating System (OS from now on) on your machine you need to have a physical copy of it, logo right? So let’s grab it for free from the Ubuntu website.
In the next window you’ll get at least 2 alternatives to chose from, Woah, complicated. 😮 No. No worries, you just trust me and clicker on the second choice Ubuntu 15.04, since it’s more bleeding edge but still stable for our needs. 14.04 is a Long Term Support (LTS) version, but I have decided for the whole class we don’t need that support. Once the next “normal” Ubuntu version, 15.10, comes out we’re clever enough to install it in 5 minutes and be on top of things. Cool, eh? Also Linuxed just called it »Solid, stable and could have been the LTS release as well«. So what are we waiting for?
Depending on your hardware, in the little box Choose your flavour the recommendation might be for the 32-bit version. That doesn’t bother us at all. It just confirms your PC is an older model but the way your new Linux installation will behave and work remains the same. So just accept whatever this box says is recommended for you … and then click on Download.
This next window is just a nuisance and an unnecessary step between you and your download. Of course Canonical and Linux have done shit for you until now so please, don’t feel obliged to donate any amount of money. Just scroll down in that page and chose Not now, take me to the download ›
Next you should see something like this box popping up on your screen. I’m on Linux already so it looks like this for me. I trust you’re clever enough with Windows XP or whatver Win version you wanna replace to manage your download without my help. Just make sure you get the ubuntu-15.04-desktop-amd64.iso file (respectively the 32-bit version of it). The ISO file is our installation file we need on a bootable medium. I use USB-sticks for that kinda stuff, you might prefer to burn a CD/DVD.
At this point it’s not as important as we’ve not even installed Linux on our PC and you’ve got Orcsipoopsy to take care of all your problems BUT lateron it might come in very handy to join the Ubuntu community. Like in all Linux distros you’ll find a wealth of knowledge in their particular forums and FAQs. But please, don’t click on the center button! For a private Linux home user there won’t be any problems that justify paid for help.
It’s kinda shame but explainifying to you how to create a bootable USB stick from your ISO file goes way beyond this tutorial and Orca’s abilities. She has her own way of creating installation media but then she already has a Linux distro installed and uses its own awesome media maker.
Since you are probably stil on some or the other Windows version I’ll leave that stuff to you and your community forums … Oh, there ain’t any communities in the Winworld? Too bad. I can’t help you further than telling you to sacrifice a DVD blank and burn the Ubuntu ISO onto it.
Before we get to the next step you should backup all your important data! The Linux installation will completely wipe your hard drive and turn your computer into a factory-new like piece of clever stupidity. So save all your shit on USB sticks, DVDs or external HDD now! And hurry, the class is waiting for your lame ass. 😉
Okay, while you’re saving all your data let me quickly turn on my new Acer netbook, the computer I dedicated to Linux distro testing n shit, since I’m gonna install Ubuntu 15.04 onto it. This machine, the desktop here, is my main production computer and is needed to type this clever blogpost. So here we are, the next photos will come off the 1366×768 11.6″ screen of the minithingy.
Anyway, let’s go on with more preparations of your old machine. You gotta set your BIOS up in the correct boot order, so you need to set either the DVD drive or the USB plug as 1st boot device. Again I can’t tell you how in all details since there are many BIOSes in the computing world and I can’t know all of ’em. Heck, I’m happy if I’m able to get my BIOS to do what I want it to do. 😉 Anyway, depending on your installation media, you have to set that particular drive as 1st boot device.
Then just put the media in and switch your computer on!
WOAH! Next we see the Ubuntu logo (splashscreen), followed by a desktop. Ok, for a short while we must make do without photos now, since in this state we can’t do any screenshots. Well, we can but we can’t save them. So after switching on my netbook I get a list of 4 options on screen:
– Try Ubuntu without installing
– Install Ubuntu
– OEM install (for manufacturers)
– Check disc for defects
Since options 3 and 4 are not for us and rather boring we have 2 choices left. Since we don’t know if Ubuntu is really a great OS and the right way to go we say Try without Installing. We do that by highlighting that tab with the arrow key and then we just press return. Now you may play around and explore the possibilities that Linux can offer you. But we’re not about that, we’re too cool, we wanna install the shit! So we clicker on Install Ubuntu 15.04 … and are presented with a choice of languages. No problem, this will be just the language in which you’ll receive information during the install and can be changed anytime. But of course we gonna chose English (yes, me too for compability reasons). So we click Continue.
In the next window (Preparing to install Ubuntu) we are asked to make sure that our computer …
– has at least 6.6 GB available drive space (of course we have that much since it’s tiny compared to our old Windows version)
– is plugged into a power source (we don’t want the computer shutting down in the middle of an installation, so plug in!)
– is connected to the internet … Oy, I just see mine isn’t, so I quickly plug it into the router as you should do as well. Else you can access your wireless network with the network symbol in upper right hand corner. Once you’re connected please check the boxes for 3rd party software and updating during installation. if you’re not able to connect your compi to the internet now, it’s no problem either. All this stuff can be done later. That’s the freedom of Linux for you. 😉 Already tastes nice, doesn’t it?
All clear? Ok, Continue … this’ll take a while …
Aaaaaw, another box of options. Let’s see:
– Install Ubuntu alongside [your old system]
– Erase disk and install Ubuntu
– Encrypt the new Ubuntu installation for security
– Use LVM with the new Ubuntu installtation
– Something else
Since we’re totally clueless n00bs we ignore all but option 2. We wanna have a clean clean disk, get rid of Windows and have a shiny fresh Linux computer. All the other options we’ll keep for later installs once we’re wise and clever and know what we’re doing.
So for now click on Erase disk and install Ubuntu … and Install Now …
The next window is kinda cryptic and much too geeky for our n00b brains so we just Continue …
Next a worldmap shows up. It should show the capitol of your country if you’re connected to the internet. Else you can navigate to your location by yourself and then … Continue …
Keyboard Layout is self explanatory, isn’t it? Just scroll down the list and chose your layout. In my case it’s complicated since I’m located in South Africa but am actually on a German laptop, so I gotta search for my specific keyboard layout. I guess most of you are on English keyboards so you just gotta make sure you are on either UK or US or whatever anglisi layout (I guess there are tiny differences).
Now comes the fun part: Let’s chose a name 😉 This ain’t Windows so you can be anyone you wanna be. So I type in Orca Flotta. As my computer’s name I type MiniMe and my username shall be orca, password orca as well. I further go for Log in Automatically and decide against Encryption of my Home Folder. My Netbook doesn’t travel that often and for 99.9% of the time I’m the sole user. You can be as paranoid as you want here and Fort Knoxify your computer but let’s not forget we’re like total newbies in the Linux world so we wanna keep everything simple and easy … Continue …
Now while Ubuntu installs on your computer enjoy the slide show …
And then … finally … »Installation is complete. You need to restart the computer in order to use the new installation.«
Whoohoo! \o/ YAY! \o/ This installation took quite a while didn’t it? Most systems I tried in the past where much faster but ok, it’s done now. So we clicker on Restart Now.
Since it’s not possible to save anything while in trial mode I couldn’t do any screenshots of all the steps of installation and you gotta live with my written instructions. I hope they are sufficient and you can do without photos … a Linux install really isn’t rocket science.
Anyhoo, once your installation is done and you’ve restarted your computer you should be greeted by this desktop:
… Part Deux we shall see what we can do with our freshly reborn systems (surely a helluvalot more than with a naked Windows) and how we can mod and personalize our desktop so it meets exactly our personal workflow.