So you’ve decided to give Ubuntu a try. Maybe someone told you how easy it is, or the fact that it’s free coxed you into taking a look at it. Either way, you’re here and you’re ready to see what you’ve been missing out on. The great part about Ubuntu is you do even have to mess with your hard disk in order to give it a test run. Just install it right on small flash drive and boot it right from there. No harm done to your original computer. There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t test the flash drive.
Ubuntu is pretty simple to install. The very first thing you have to decide however is which method you want to use to install the operating system.
If you have a DVD burner, you can download the ISO file straight from Ubuntu and then burn it. If you don’t have one, or maybe you want to use something a little more portable for long term use, then you can go with the Ubuntu USB install.
For each of these methods, you will be asked to choose between the latest versions of Ubuntu on their website. These two versions are different as only one of them offers Long Term Support (LTS) which promises 5 years of support from Canonical. 12.04 is the most stable version of the OS available, but if you want the latest features choose 12.10. If you run in to any problems with your hardware being incompatible with 12.10, the chances are high that you will still be supported with 12.04.
Install Ubuntu from USB
All you need to install Ubuntu is a flash drive with a minimum of 2GB of memory. Not bad considering you can pick up a 2GB flash drive nowadays for around $4. If you have any data on the flash drive, make sure to transfer it somewhere else on your computer or another external hard drive and then format the flash drive.
When you’re ready install Ubuntu, go the operating system’s main website and download the version you would like to install. While this large file is downloading, grab yourself a copy of the Linux Live USB Creator from their website. Depending on your internet connection, by the time you have downloaded and installed the USB tool you will have finished downloading Ubuntu as well.
Launch the Linux Live tool program and connect your flash drive to your computer. If the Linux Live tool does not immediately select you flash drive when you plug it in, click on the Choose a USB Key and then select your drive. Go to the second step and then select the Ubuntu ISO you installed as the source you want to use for the installation. As soon as this is completed, the program should be good to go, so you can go to step 5 and click on create. The installation will take around 10 minutes to complete depending on the speed of your computer. Once it is finished you need to remove the USB drive from your computer and shut it down.
Whenever you turn your computer on again make sure your Ubuntu Live USB drive is connected to the computer. Boot from the flash drive and your computer will load Ubuntu. You can use Ubuntu from this flash drive, or you can install it onto your computer. Once you have installed it on your computer, you will need to remove the flash drive so you boot into the correct version of Ubuntu. This drive can be used over and over and over again on as many computers as you like.
here are plenty of us out there who enjoy Ubuntu, but are not completely ready to leave Windows. Setting up a dual boot configuration isn’t that much more complicated than the initial installation, but Canonical offers a tool that makes the dual boot process effortless. Instead of downloading an Ubuntu image from the website, there’s a link just below the description for Ubuntu Desktop that invites you to check out a Windows Installer. Click this link instead, and download the Windows Ubuntu Binary Installer.
Once you have the program downloaded, double click the icon to start the install process. From here you will be asked how large you want your Ubuntu partition to be, which version of Ubuntu you want to install, and your username and password to be used after the installation. Fill out the information as you best see fit and click Install. The program will now download the correct copy of Ubuntu and begin the install procedure. This can take as long as 45 minutes depending on the speed of your internet connection and how fast your computer is.
When the installation is finished, you will be able to boot into Ubuntu or Windows anytime you restart your computer!