The Official Ubuntu Book: Installing Ubuntu
- Choosing Your Ubuntu Version
- Getting Ubuntu
- Installing from the Desktop CD
- Installing Using the Alternate Install CD
IF YOU ARE READING THIS, it is fairly safe to assume that you have made the decision to give Ubuntu a try. What a wise choice. Ubuntu is a cutting-edge Linux distribution with a dedication to freedom, ease of use, and flexibility. This flexibility not only manifests in creating a powerful and extensible operating system (OS) for your computer but also in how you evaluate and install it.
Trying out Ubuntu is simple. The Ubuntu desktop CD is a special live CD. You can use this disc to run Ubuntu from the CD itself, without it ever coming into contact with your hard disk. This is ideal if you are already using Windows; you can try out Ubuntu by running it from the CD, and you don't have to worry about it overwriting your Windows hard disk.
Choosing Your Ubuntu Version
The developers behind Ubuntu have worked to make the software as easy and flexible to install as possible. They understand that people will be installing Ubuntu on different types of computers (desktops, servers, laptops, etc.) and using different types of computers (PCs, 64-bit computers, Macs, etc.). To cater to everyone, there are two Ubuntu CDs that can be used. The DVD with this book includes the desktop CD and alternate install CD images.
- Desktop: The desktop CD is the one recommended for desktops and laptops. With this CD, you can boot Ubuntu from the CD and, if you like it, install it. Note this is the default option on the DVD or CD.
- Alternate Install: The alternate install CD is recommended for use when installing on a server. With this CD you boot into an installer and then run Ubuntu when the installation is complete.
When you have decided which type of CD to use, you now need to choose the correct computer architecture. Both the live and install disks support each of the following types of computer.
- PC: If you have an Intel 386, 486, Xeon, or Pentium class processor, you should choose the PC version. You can also use this for all AMD processors other than AMD64.
- AMD64: If you are using a 64-bit AMD processor, select this version.
- PowerPC: If you are using a PowerPC-based processor (common in many Apple Macs, PowerBooks, and Mac Minis), use this version.
So, as an example, if you want to install Ubuntu on your Intel Pentium IV laptop, choose the PC desktop CD. If you want to install Ubuntu on your Xeon server, choose the PC alternate install CD.
Other Ubuntu Distributions
In addition to the official Ubuntu release, there are some additional distributions that are based on Ubuntu but are slightly different, including the following:
- Kubuntu: Kubuntu is Ubuntu, but instead of using the GNOME desktop, Kubuntu uses the KDE desktop. See www.kubuntu.org/ for more information.
- Edubuntu: The Edubuntu distribution is a version of Ubuntu that has been customized for educational use. This includes, among other things, a range of educational software that looks and feels customized for kids. This distribution is particularly useful for those of you who want to run Ubuntu in a school or college environment or on a young child's computer. See www.edubuntu.org/ for more.
- Xubuntu: The Xubuntu distribution replaces the GNOME desktop environment with the Xfce 4 environment. Xubuntu is particularly useful for those of you who want to run Ubuntu on older hardware. See https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Xubuntu for more.
With a range of different distributions and options available, Ubuntu is flexible enough to be used in virtually all situations.
Is It Still Ubuntu?
Some of you may be reading about Kubuntu, Edubuntu, and Xubuntu and wondering how different they are from the regular Ubuntu release. These distributions differ mainly in which applications and desktop interface are included. As such, they differ quite a bit, but the underlying OS and software install system is the same.