Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Linux/UNIX/Open Source

This chapter is from the book

Installing from the Desktop CD

So let's assume you are playing with Ubuntu running from the desktop CD, and you decide you like it. You decide you like it so much, in fact, that you want to install it on your computer. This does not mean you need to get a separate CD and install it. Ubuntu lets you install to the hard disk by simply clicking a single icon and following the instructions.

If you don't already have the desktop CD running, pop it into your DVD/CD drive, and reboot your computer. If your computer does not boot from the CD, you should enter your computer's BIOS and change the boot order to ensure that your CD-ROM drive is tried first and the hard disk is tried next. Save your BIOS changes, and then restart again. The disk should boot now.

After a few seconds, the Ubuntu logo and boot screen appear and then you are presented with a list of languages on the left of the screen and two options on the right. Use your mouse to select your language. Then decide whether you want to Try Ubuntu 11.04, which allows you try out Ubuntu without making any changes to your computer and install it later if you decide you want to, or whether you want to Install Ubuntu 11.04, which will jump straight into the installer. Select the first option, and Ubuntu will begin to boot. After a minute or so, the Ubuntu desktop will appear, and you can use the system right away. Under this scenario, the system is running from the CD and will not touch your hard disk. Do bear in mind that because Ubuntu is running from the CD, it will run slower than if it were installed to your hard disk.

If you decide you want to install the system permanently on your computer's hard disk, you can either reboot and click on the Install Ubuntu boot menu option or you can double-click the Install icon located on the left side of the desktop. An installer application appears that walks you through the different steps to permanently install your Ubuntu system. We will run through each of these pages in turn now.


The first screen you are presented with when you boot the computer introduces you to the installation program and asks you to select your language, as shown in Figure 2-1, and whether you want to Try Ubuntu (run the operating system from the CD without changing anything on your hard drive, which we suggest for first time users before you commit to an installation) or whether you want to Install Ubuntu.

Figure 2-1 Pick your language.

Ubuntu supports a huge range of different languages. Select your language from the list, and then click Install Ubuntu to continue with the installation.

Preparing to Install Ubuntu

You will be informed of the install requirements as in Figure 2-2. We strongly suggest selecting the option to Download updates while installing as this will end your installation with a up-to-the-minute current system that includes any existing security updates or bug fixes. A nice feature is that these updates will be downloaded while installation is in process, in parallel to other operations, so this happens with great efficiency.

Figure 2-2 Preparing to install Ubuntu

You may also choose to Install third-party software to enable your computer to play certain media files immediately after installation. This will also save you time later, although some users may not want to install closed-source software and will choose not to enable this option. Click Forward after making your selection(s).

Allocate Drive Space

To prepare your hard disk to store the Ubuntu system and your files, hard disks are divided into partitions. Each partition reserves a specific portion of the hard disk for use by a particular operating system. As an example, you may use the entire hard disk for your new Ubuntu system, or you may share the disk so that both Windows and Ubuntu are installed. This shared scenario is known as dual-booting. In a dual-booting situation, your hard disk typically has Windows partitions as well as Linux partitions, and when it boots it gives you a menu so you can select whether to boot Windows or Linux.

In this part of the installer you create the partitions for your new system. This can be the trickiest part of the installation and can also be the most dangerous. If you have existing partitions (such as a Windows installation) on the disk, it is highly recommended that you back up your important files.

Deciding How You Would Like to Set Up Your Partitions Before You Create Them

If you have a clear idea of how your hard disk should be partitioned, it is easier to get everything up and running quickly.

These are the most common methods of partitioning.

  • Only Ubuntu on the disk: If you are only installing Ubuntu on the disk and are happy to wipe the entire disk, your life is simple. Ubuntu can do all the work for you.
  • Dual-booting: If you are installing to a computer that will have multiple operating system options.

Regardless of whether you will install only Ubuntu on the disk or you will dual-boot, you will need to either confirm that Ubuntu may use the entire disk or enter your desired partitioning scheme, beginning in Figure 2-3.

Figure 2-3 Allocate all drive space to Ubuntu

Ubuntu Only

If you are happy to erase your entire hard disk, select erase the entire hard drive and install Ubuntu. If you choose this option, skip ahead to the next section of the book, Installation Begins.

Manual Partitioning

If you will install only Ubuntu or will dual-boot with an existing operating system but want more control over the process, you must set the partitions manually. To do this, select Manual configuration (advanced) and click Forward to continue. You will see the screen shown in Figures 2-4, 2-5, and 2-6.

Figure 2-4 Erase disk and install Ubuntu

Figure 2-5 Allocate drive space another way

Figure 2-6 Create partitions manually

The main part of this screen displays available drives and configured partitions. Clicking on a drive or partition will change the actions available to you below the list. Select the relevant disk to add partitions to. The disks are listed by device name in the order they are connected within your computer.

Before you begin, you should prepare the disk for your partitions. If you want to completely wipe a disk, right-click on the name of the device (/dev/sda in Figure 2-6), then click New Partition Table. You'll be asked if you're sure, so click Continue. The disk is now filled with unallocated data. Now you can add your Ubuntu partitions.

To add a partition, click a free space entry in the list and then click the New button. A new window appears like that shown in Figure 2-7.

Figure 2-7 Configuring a partition

Set the values according to your requirements. The Use As combo box lets you select which one of the many filesystem types you want the partition to use. The default filesystem included with Ubuntu is ext4, and it is recommended that you use ext4 for any Ubuntu partitions. Although ext4 is a good choice for Ubuntu, you cannot read an ext4 partition in Windows. If you need to create a partition that is shared between Windows and Ubuntu, you should use either the FAT32 filesystem or NTFS.

Use the Mount Point combo box to select one of the different mount points, which tells Ubuntu where the partition should be used. You need to have a root partition, which has a mount point of /. Click OK to finish configuring this partition.

Once you've completed configuring all your partitions, click Forward to proceed with the installation. Please note that if you have read all of these comments on partitioning and feel a bit overwhelmed or confused, you don't need to worry. You may simply use the default settings given by the installer and all will work well.

Installation Begins

At this point, the installation begins. While it progresses, you will be asked some questions to customize your installation appropriately. Doing this concurrently saves time and is a new innovation for 11.04.

Tell the installer where in the world you live (Figure 2-8).

Figure 2-8 Click the map to select a location.

You can select your location in one of several ways. First, you can hover your mouse over the time zone on your part of the world map to select your location. When you are happy with the time zone selection, click it, and select the city nearest to you. Alternatively, use the Selected City drop down to find the city nearest to you.

When you are done, click Forward to continue.

Configuring Your Keyboard

The next screen (shown in Figure 2-9) configures your keyboard.

Figure 2-9 Select the correct keyboard to ensure the symbols on the keys work correctly.

The installer will suggest a keyboard option for you based on your location choice, but you may choose a different one if you desire. You can also use the box at the bottom of the window to test whether your keyboard layout works. Try typing some of the symbols on your keyboard (such as ", /, |) to make sure they work. If you press a symbol and a different one appears, you have selected the wrong keyboard layout.


The next step is to enter some details about you that can be used to create a user account on the computer (Figure 2-10).

Figure 2-10 Enter your personal details to create your user account.

In the first box, enter your full name. The information from this box is used in different parts of the system to indicate who the user is behind the account.

Enter a computer name in the last box. Also called a "hostname," this is a single word that identifies your current machine. This is used on a local network so that you can identify which machine is which.

Hostnames can be great fun. Many people pick themes for their hostnames, such as superheroes, and name each computer on their network after a superhero (Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and so on). Think of a fun hostname theme you can use. For many people, this ends up being the hardest part of the install!

In the next box, set a username for yourself (the installer will provide a suggestion based on your full name). Your username should be something easy to remember. Many people use either their first name or add an initial (such as jbacon or jonob). Each username on your computer must be unique—you cannot have two accounts with the same username. Usernames must begin with a lower case letter only lower case letters and numbers are permitted after that.

In the next two boxes, add a password and then confirm it. This password is used when logging in to your computer with the username that you just created. When choosing a password, follow these simple guidelines.

  • Make sure you can remember your password. If you need to write it down, keep it somewhere secure. Don't make the mistake of putting the password somewhere easily accessible and known to others.
  • Try not to use dictionary words such as "chicken" or "beard" when choosing a password. Try to input numbers and punctuation and to not use "real words."
  • Your password should ideally be longer than six letters and contain a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers. The longer the password and the more it mixes upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols, the more secure it is.

When you have added all the information, click Forward to continue.

To learn more about the cool things in your new operating system, view the slide show that appears as installation finishes (Figure 2-11).

Figure 2-11 Slide show users can watch as installation finishes to find out more about Ubuntu.


Ubuntu also provides a migration assistant, which aims to ease your transition to your new OS. If a supported OS is found during installation, you will be presented with a list of accounts and the features that can be migrated. If you choose to migrate anything, you will need to provide details for the new user to whom the features will be migrated.

Finishing Up

From here, as the Ubuntu software continues to be installed on your computer, you will be shown a slideshow containing useful and interesting information about the operating system. At the end of this process, you are asked to reboot your computer. You are now finished and can skip ahead to Chapter 3 to get started with using Ubuntu.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020