Linux for n00bs Prerequisites
I’m going to be doing a series of posts here over the next um… however long it takes, to introduce interested n00bs (newbies, neophytes) to the world of Linux. If you don’t know what Linux is, head on over to our good friend Wikipedia and have a quick read. That’ll save some time. For these posts, I’m going to be covering how to install Ubuntu Linux on a PC, since I don’t really have a Mac to speak of yet.
If you don’t want to mess up your existing Windows install, don’t worry – there are still options for dual-booting (having two operating systems installed at once and switching back and forth using a menu at boot-up).
Since we’re going to be using Ubuntu, there are two options for getting a copy: download the CD disc image and burn your own copy to CD, or order a free copy and pay a small shipping fee to Canonical, the company that maintains the Ubuntu distribution.
Installing Ubuntu isn’t a rite of passage like so many would lead you to believe. It’s really not that hard at all, as long as you’re careful and follow directions. Go to http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu and either order your copy or choose from the downloads. If you’re downloading, choose “Download Now” and then leave it on the latest version and choose a download location (I usually choose the “United States – easynews” location, but pick whatever’s closest to you) and then pick “Begin Download.” If you know you have a 64-bit computer, you can optionally choose to download the 64-bit version below the “Begin Download” button, but don’t change that from 32-bit unless you’re sure. We will not cover differences between 32-bit and 64-bit here.
Once your file is downloaded, Ubuntu has already provided a nice tutorial to show you how to burn your download to a bootable CD. Don’t just copy the file to a CD and burn, or you won’t end up with anything useful. Follow this tutorial to make a bootable CD out of your ISO file download. Once you have your CD made, or your ordered copy arrives in the mail, you’ll be ready for the next Linux for n00bs post.