Tux, the Linux mascot
Image via Wikipedia

Trying Linux is simple and highly recommended! It used to be a bit more
tedious, but with official Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, things
are as easy as Windows these days. If you can install XP, you can
install Ubuntu, no problem. And even if you don’t want to install it, you can just make your disc and run Linux from your CD drive with absolutely no risk of messing up Windows.

First, download the .iso file to make your install CD.

Download Ubuntu | Ubuntu

(For instructions on how to burn an .iso image to a CD, consult the following link-I recommend infrarecorder.)

This is the most important step!!!!

Back up all your data and defragment your drive(s).

Disclaimer: Please do not attempt this if you do not feel comfortable losing all your data! It shouldn’t happen if you follow this tutorial correctly, but as always keep your system backed up on an external drive just in case! We take no responsibility for anything that happens to your computer!

Now, restart and boot to the CD you made. You may need to change your
boot order in your BIOS. Just hit the appropriate keys on startup to
enter BIOS setup and make sure that your CD?DVD drive is set to boot

When the CD boots, you can choose to boot from CD (which is great to
try out Ubuntu without making any changes to your computer). But for
this tutorial, we want to install from the disk.

You will need to choose your language and keyboard options, and then
you will get to the partitioning manager. If you already have an OS
installed (like XP), you will need to shrink that partition to make
room for the Linux partitions. Shrink the windows partition so that you
have about 4GB free (you may want more, but this can be changed later-I
choose 10GB usually, depending on free space).

This is the toughest part. You will need three partitions. Partitions
are basically separated disk areas. Ubuntu needs a partition for boot
files, a partition for system files, and a partition for “share” in
case the physical memory of the machine runs low. This is known as
“swap space” in Windows.

So, we need to set up some partitions. Create a new partition
(primary). Set one partition at 2GB as ext3 filesystem. This will be
the main drive for all your files. Set one partition at 200MB (FAT32)
and give it the “boot” option in the dropdown menu. The last partition
needs to be set as 16MB and set as “swap” in the drop down menu. That’s

Click through the “Next/Continue” until it gives the message to
restart. Remove the CD and reboot. You should boot into the great
bootloader, Grub. It will give you the option to boot to Ubuntu or
Windows. Choose Ubuntu (the top choice).

Now we need to do a few things to get Linux working as well as a PC.

Click on “System” in the top bar. Click on “Administration” and go to
Synaptic Package Manager. (I recommend dragging it to the top bar-next
to the firefox icon so it can be launched quickly in the future.)

You will want to get a few upgrades here. Type “acro-reader” into the
search bar and mark the top file for installation. Hit “apply” to
install the update.

Next, we need to make sure flash will work. Actually, we need full media support. (play DVDs, etc…)

From the Synaptic Package Manager, get the medibuntu repository. You will need a key for this, but it is easy to find. Click here for more information on Medibuntu.

At this point, you can view web pages with javascript and flash and you
can create word docs or pdfs. Photo editing is native with gimp, a program very similar to photoshop.

There’s also a lot of anti-virus software available. It’s not needed in
Linux, but it’s good to scan your email to make sure that your peers
that are still stuck on Windows don’t get contaminated.

That’s only one of the many benefits of Linux.

It’s easy! Need help? Post here. And of course, ATL Computer Repair would be happy to assist you in getting this properly set up if you do not feel comfortable doing it on your own. We also give instruction on proper use and maintenance.

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