Installing Ubuntu Linux!


If you are like 93% of Internet surfers out there, you are reading this article from a browser installed on your Windows machine, however I’m sure you have heard of that “other operating system”. You know the one which is really difficult? Yeah, that’s right, Linux. Well, it’s almost right, except for the part about “really difficult”. You may have seen screenshots, thought about trying it, already tried it, or just thought “hey, it’s a cool idea”. If you are any of these and curiosity just has you itching to give Linux a shot, or another shot, read on!

In this article I’ll show you how to get up and running on your current system in your very own Linux environment. I will be walking you through installing the most popular, and in my opinion the best flavor of Linux called Ubuntu. So before you read any further, hop on over to the the Ubuntu Linux download page and start downloading the CD image. You may be wondering which download do you need. If you have an Intel or AMD processor, get the Intel x86 version. Avoid the 64 bit version, even if you have a 64 bit processor, it is not officially supported. Mac users will need the Power PC variation.

Don’t worry, we will be setting up a dual boot so your Windows install is safe!

UPDATE: We have posted a video of the entire process of installing Ubuntu Linux, using 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbon” as the testbed for our video. While this article will provide a lot of detail for you, be sure to check out our video to SEE it in action!

Why Bother?

Good question. Why would you want to try Linux when you are a happy Windows user? Here are just a few reasons:

  • It’s 100% free and always will be
  • Thousands of applications are immediately available and 100% free
  • No more virus, spyware, or malware hassles!
  • You want to learn something new (this was my reason)
  • It’s cool
  • Why not?
  • It’s 100% free (did I mention that yet?)

If any of those reasons are compelling, or at least good enough, Linux is worth giving a shot. Who knows, you might actually like it!

Important Stuff to Know

Before we actually start the installation, it is important to make sure your expectations of Linux are set correctly. First and foremost: Linux is not Windows! You are going to have to use the command line sometimes and most likely do a little bit of troubleshooting. Please do not let this intimidate you, after using Linux for a short while you will become proficient and, with a little patience and persistence, eventually be just as comfortable with Linux as you are with Windows. I’ll even point you to some very helpful resources to get all the answers you need. I’ve only been using it 5 months, and while I still know Windows better, I can use Linux just as easily.

As you may know, Linux is “open source” software, meaning anyone, anywhere can take the code and edit it without restriction. This sounds great, and don’t get me wrong, it is, however because there is no commercial backing, there can be certain shortcomings. Some of these include device driver support and availability of software (especially games). Do not let this discourage you though, virtually all hardware has support for Linux and you are going to have thousands of applications available to you with just a few clicks of your mouse once we get you set up on Ubuntu. Sound good? Of course it does! Check you download progress!

The machine I will be referring in this article is an Intel Pentium 3 866Mhz. The motherboard is an Asus CUV4X with 512MB of memory. Additionally, I have a DVD drive and 2 15 gigabyte hard drives, One has XP Professional already installed (primary IDE master) and the other is empty (primary IDE slave). Here is a basic rundown of what I will be covering in this article:

  • Setting up Ubuntu Linux on a separate hard drive from Windows
  • Answering a few post-new installation questions
  • Familiarizing you with your Linux environment… using Windows terminology
  • Pointing out some stuff you might want to try

Lets Install Ubuntu!

Ahh, there’s nothing more exciting than a new operating system install. Nervous? Don’t be, this is going to be easy. Is your download done yet? Well, when it is, burn it to CD immediately and pick up this article from this point. I’ll even leave you a marker so this spot is easy to find.


You have the Ubuntu install disc, so pop in your spare hard drive (if you do not know how to do this, make a quick detour to the PC Mech Forums and you will have it done in no time) and put the install disc in your CD drive and lets get started.

After your computer goes through its boot sequence you will be greeted with the Ubuntu installation welcome screen. After pressing Enter, you will be asked for your preferred language, followed by your location and keyboard layout. The install will then start detecting some of your hardware, load some basic components, and auto detect your network settings. Now you will be prompted for your “Host Name”. This is the equivalent of your Windows computer name. I am going to call this computer tux (the name of the Linux Penguin). Up next, the install will detect your hard drives and ask what you want to do. Much like Windows, Ubuntu will let you select the drive you want to install it on and with the press of your Enter key handle everything for you. The problem is, that’s no fun, plus there is a better way. So let’s do a little Linux “geeking”.

Partitioning for Your Linux Installation

Before showing you the partitioning scheme I will be using for this setup, it is important to understand how the use of partitions differ between Windows and Linux. On a default Windows install, all your files are stored in a single block of space on your hard drive called a partition. To make things easy, Windows assigns a letter (usually C) to this partition. Linux does the exact same thing except it does not use letters. In fact, if you were to “explore” your Linux file structure, it would appear everything was stored on a single drive, even if you have several partitions or multiple hard drives “mounted” (more on this later). Enough talk, select the option to manually edit your partition table and let’s move on.

Now you will see a listing of your existing hard drive partitions. Linux refers to your IDE devices (usually your hard drives and CD drives) using the letters “hd” followed by letters a through d (representing primary IDE master through secondary IDE slave, respectively). Additionally, hard drive partitions have a number after them referring to the partition number. For example, a hard drive on your secondary IDE cable set as master, with 2 partitions would show as hdc1 and hdc2. A CD drive on your primary IDE cable set to slave would show as hdb (there is no number because CD’s do not have partitions).

You should see your primary hard drive (hda) which has your Windows installation with all of its partitions listed. We are going to leave this one alone. Additionally, you will see your empty hard drive (hdb, hdc, or hdd) with the size of the drive listed followed by “FREE SPACE”.

Highlight “FREE SPACE”, press enter and then select the option to create partition. We are going to first create the “/” partition which is equivalent to the Windows C drive. All of your programs and libraries (libraries in Linux are similar to Windows DLL’s) will be stored on this “/” partition. A size of 5-10 GB should be plenty for this. Since I only have 15 GB on my installation drive, I am going to allocate 5 GB, but if you have a bigger drive, assign more space just to be safe. On my primary machine, I have an 80 GB drive and I have 10 GB partitioned for “/”. After entering the size, select Primary as the partition type. Next you will be asked where to place the partition on the disk. Since “/” is our workhorse partition which will store all our crucial Linux operating system files, including the information we need to boot the system, it makes sense to place it at the beginning. At last you will be presented with a partition configuration screen. You will see the option to change the partition file system, but lets leave it with the Linux standard, ext3. Make sure the mount point is set to “/” and change the bootable flag to “on”… after all we do need to boot our system right? Select the option to be done with this partition and let’s move on to the next one.

You should now notice some of the free space has been allocated to your “/” partition. We still have a couple of more partitions to set up so highlight “FREE SPACE” again and create our swap partition. The swap partition is used for temporary random storage in case your computer doesn’t have enough memory to store what programs demand. Additionally, if you hibernate your computer, all the contents of your memory are stored in the swap. Windows refers to this as “virtual memory”. The recommended amount to allocate for this is one and a half times your memory, so for me, I am going to make it 768 MB. Make this a primary partition and place it at the end of your drive. At the configuration screen, change the partition to a swap area. Apply the changes.

Lets set up the final partition. Select the remaining “FREE SPACE” and assign all of your remaining space to this primary partition. When you get to the configuration screen, notice the mount point is set to “/home”. The /home directory in Linux is equivalent to “My Documents” in Windows. For example the user I am going to set up, “jason”, has its own directory (/home/jason) which stores all my personal settings and files. The reason we make this a separate partition is for abstraction. For example, we can format our “/” partition for a new install or distribution upgrade without losing any data… even better, all my settings such as bookmarks and playlists will be kept no matter what happens to the “/” partition. Pretty neat idea. Apply your changes, this is the last partition!

Well, the hard part is now over. Compare your screen to mine, they should look similar. Go ahead and select finish partitioning and confirm you selections to write the partitions to your hard drive.

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  1. New to Linux and need to use it for Nessis and security monitoring. Don’t care so much for the hot air only want instructions on how to…Instructions are correct.

  2. The AMD64 version of Ubuntu is FULLY supported.

  3. Using a download of 7.04 with cd as boot disk. Go to install do the partition as in your article, answer all questions, get to “now installing” and it stalls at 15%.
    Using Win 2000 on main drive with a new drive as slave to install Ubuntu on.

  4. Though the 64-bit ubuntu is fully supported indeed, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you know what you’re doing.

    The technical explanation is, though Linux is Open Source, for a lot of tasks one needs to use Closed Source software and while the binaries (compiled programs) for Linux are starting to catch on with commercial companies such as Adobe (Macromedia Flash and Adobe Reader): those binaries are mostly NOT available for 64-bit systems. (And to be technically correct: yes, an x86-64 (AMD64 or equivalent Intel CPU) processor can run 32-bit x86 binaries, but you will need to tell your computer to do so when installing and it can cause a lot of complications: for instance if you install Firefox on a 64-bit Linux, this Firefox will be compiled to a 64-bit binary, but the Flash plugin only exists in 32-bit, which the 64-bit Firefox can’t handle (without some tricks, which are not that easy for a beginner). Another option is to use a 32-bit Firefox, which can load the 32-bit Flash without any problem, and Ubuntu has some scripts available just for that task, but that way also leaves some loose ends).

    As I’m using the 64-bit version of Ubuntu myself, I know what I’m speaking of. It runs, but with a lot of loose ends, if you’d ask me. I’m planning on switching back to 32-bit, as the performance gain of 64-bit is too minimal. While a 32-bit installation allows you to use most repositories available for Ubuntu, without needing to mess around with 3rd party packages and forcing them to use the 32-bit mode (which isn’t ideal, as that might conflict with some of the 64-bit packages, also some libraries will need both an 32-bit and 64-bit version to work with all programs, this causes you a lot of a mess, I can say).

    So, everybody: just follow this article, don’t even bother to try the 64 bit version. In the future the 64-bit version will become a good alternative, I can tell you, but nowadays it justs causes trouble which you won’t have with the 32-bit version. The only downside of a 32-bit Linux is that it doesn’t use your CPU fully, but hey, most Windows versions also don’t (there is actually a 64-bit Windows, but it isn’t installed by any big company (Dell, HP, …), and 64-bit Vista exists also but most companies stay far away from it, because of the same problems as with 64-bit Linux: most drivers are 32-bit, while Vista drivers are quite rare, 64-bit XP/Vista drivers are even more rare than regular Vista drivers).

    • Liar! HP is currently promoting 64 bit like crazy!!! Most systems now have the option to come with 64 bit vista! Thus, 64 bit is definately gonna be the future while 32 bit will die because of its limitations (like recognizing limited processor, recognizing only 3.2 gigs of ram, etc)

  5. Thanks for your quick work on partitioning in the kubuntu install. I’m a linux noob and have worked with partitioning in windows before but never with the terms used in kubuntu. this helped out quite a bit

  6. Siddaramaswamy says:

    i restarted my computer leaving ubuntu cd in the drive… it showed the welcome screen.. i pressed the enter key selecting the first option…. it checked something and displayed ok ok something…. after that i got a blank screen… nothing was there on that screen…. i don’t know how to proceed further with the installation… after this it is even not coming out of that state…. it is remaining in that state only and i have to restart my computer by pressing restart button…. plz help me…. how to do it……..:-(

  7. @reply #7:

    Do you know what kind of graphic card you’ve got, or has your computer any kind of specialist hardware (special SCSI/SATA/RAID controller or something similar)? If so, you should check if it is supported (most ATi/nVidia/Intel/Matrox cards should work though).

    You can always try by setting a different graphic mode: in the welcome screen you get by booting the Ubuntu CD on the bottom of the screen you can see which function key you can use to change your display mode (F3 or something), just try something as 1024 x 768 x 16 or standard VGA (something with a name, in any case).

    Another hint for windows users, this may not be entirely Linux, but it may help in getting started: Wubi which is a Windows installer for Linux (it doesn’t need any repartitioning, it uses some space from your Windows partition).

  8. I’m installing unbuntu on vmware. I installed using the liveCD option, then running the installation application on the desktop.

    When editing the partitions, it sets it up on the drive called /sda/dev, and after setting up 6gb for the root, 768 for the swap and the rest is free space, i then go to mount said partitions to root, swap and free space [/,/swap,/home respectively] except the partition drop down list is blank.
    I then go back and the 3 partitions can’t find the file system i set them up with [ext3] so I gave up.

    I’m thinking this is just an issue with vmware…but perhaps anyone has ideas?


  9. *please* when making how-to guides dont put things like:

    “No more virus, spyware, or malware hassles!”

    This is totally not the case and is misleading especially to those new to linux.

    Whilst its agreed that *nix systems are less prone to issues one might find on a windows box, they are by no means perfect and suseptable to exploits, trojans and rootkits, which will no doubt increase in number as the user base grows.

    So please don’t lull “linux noobs” into a false sense of security and “forget” to patch, and thus add another machine on the net ready for a spammer to add to his “drone collection”. Thanks.

  10. Mike Jensen says:

    Ubuntu sucks, got no sound and apparently never will. Problem with the Kernel, so it seems, but will probably never will know for sure. No wireless either and cant ever get the neat graphics of Beryl to work for that matter. Sticking with windows at least it works

    • I appreciate your frustration, but Ubuntu is good, and superior to XP, ONLY IF YOU USE FREEDOWNLOAD MANAGER ON THE ISO FILE ,WINMD5SUM THE DOWNLOAD, BURN & VERIFY WITH IMAGBURN,& INSTALL IT CAREFULLY & CORRECTLY,( SEE UBUNTU.COM ),if you don’t, you will have a disaster, and possibly loose XP.
      Do your research on computer suiteability, partitioning especially, then installing drivers, and you will have a rewarding result.
      Regards Bill.

  11. Thanks for the clarity in portioning. I was trying to install Xubuntu over top Fedora Core 4 to give the machine some new life. The auto partitioning feature of the installer was not working, and it couldn’t figure out how to deal with the Red Hat auto partitions. I started from scratch using a manual partitioning and your guidance and that did it. Much appreciated.

  12. I did it! It was easy. I am now listening to my favorite internet radio station (I had to download and install Flash Player – I did that,too) Ubuntu recognized everything connected to my old Win 98 desktop (it’s a P4, with plenty of memory.) This OS is faster than Win 98 on this desktop. I still don’t know much about the file system, and strange file extensions, but no doubt will learn. New is fun. It’s so nice not to see all that blasted blue. Feisty Fawn is a keeper.

  13. Downloaded 7.04 iso, created installation disk. Rebooted with disk in drive. Got the menu and selected option 1 to install. No option was given to install, but the OS launched and I was able to run from CD (kinda slow). I have no sound right now. Haven’t tried to fix it yet. I imagine I will need to find Linux driver for sound card. I like the look and feel, but I will need sound and I can’t get the damn thing to prompt me for installation to the Hdd. Please advise!!!

  14. Hey Scott,

    The OS you are seeing after you booted from CD is only the the ‘Live’ version of Ubuntu. Its directly running from your memory and will be slow in case of older systems. If you would like to run linux only from Live CD, then Knoppix (another popular linux version) is a better solution, its less resource hungry and compatible with wide range of hardware.

    Ubuntu is faster and more stable if its installed on Hard drive. Once you see the Ubuntu desktop, click the install link on the top left corner to install on hard drive. Follow the steps in the article from here

    All the best

  15. Hello Scott,

    I found this link, this should be helpful to you.


  16. Hey everyone, just to let anyone know, Ubuntu supports the Logitech G15 keyboard. Personally, I was a little worried that it wouldn’t work, but it natively works, so anyone with a G15 musn’t worry! 🙂

  17. thanks a lot i was really stuck on the partioning thing but your guide made it work i am finishing the installation now thanks a lot

  18. I downloaded the unbuntu OS and burned it onto a CD, however, when i insert the CD in the computer, restart it, it automatically boots on Windows (i have windows XP SP2), without asking me to boot from CD. what could be causing this ?
    p.s. I am trying to install ubuntu on my old pentium III computer, could that be the problem?

    thank you.

  19. Mustafa…You need to enter your bios and tell the computer to try to boot from your cd drive before it boots from your hard drive. Most computers have a specific key (F2 or DEL) to hit during the boot process to enter the BIOS setup. Also, make sure you hit F10 after changing the boot order to SAVE and EXIT the bios.

  20. First of all thank u for that piece of info about linux and its installation.

    But i have a problem here i have Vista Ultimate installed on my system(pentium4 915gl chipset 3.06GHz motherboard, 1GB RAM)

    The hard disk is a 80GB one and has 4 partitions viz, C(20GB),D(20GB),E(20GB),F(17GB). with vista installed on C.

    Can i install ubuntu on one of the above partitions keeping vista on C and the other two partitions also???

    If yes could u help me a bit please….

  21. Thanks for the info on how to install this OS, but I’m afraid it still has a long way to go before it even gets close to being as user friendly as Windows.
    I know you have just got to be different,, but for a start why is everything on the desktop in the wrong place. Geeze,,, the first thing that users do is change it back to where it should be, just like windows. Haven’t the developers worked that one out yet?
    No one makes any decent programs for this thing which in turn makes my Linux/ubuntu computer experience rather a non event!
    Yes I know there are a heap of freeware installs out there,, but none of the real good prog’s are available or are even compatible like ConvertXtoDVD just as an example.

    Why bother with it if you can’t even use it to do the things you can normally do with Windows?
    I’m sorry but unless it becomes more main stream it is and always will be just a toy and it will always be just a thing you put on an old HDD that you where going to throw out anyway.
    Call me again when it is finally out of beta testing in about another 10 years.
    There are so many of these half baked Linux based OS’s out there now that I bet MR Linux feels that although it was a good idea in the beginning that all these crummy operating systems are coming back to bite him now. He has shot himself in the foot.

  22. You pretty well missed the point.

    1. Linux ain’t supposed to be like Windows.
    2. User friendly depends on the user.
    3. Desktop modification beyond the norm happens in Windows too. I have no icons on my desktop, and I never use my hidden taskbar.
    4. Define decent program. I have a full recording rig for free, and it does everything it needs to do. A decent program to me is one that can do the job, not one that I’m used to using.
    5. I bought a new HDD to put Ubuntu Studio on.
    6. Lots of crummy OSes? See Vista. At least most of these distros actually have features.

    I’m not flaming you, it just sounds like you are too used to Windows or other to actually get out there and learn something new. The functionality of Linux in many respects lies in the parts that are not like Windows. As a result of learning tricks from Linux, my operations in Windows are much quicker (dual boot, of course) and more efficient. I have had people come over and say “What OS is that?” simply because I am getting things done faster and don’t use many conventional Windows tools.

    I’ve used nothing but Windows up until very recently. Trust me, when you start to learn even a little bit about what makes Linux tick, you’ll appreciate a lot of what it brings to the table.

  23. In Response to No. 22:

    I’m sorry, a toy? It’s probably not hugely relevant to a discussion about Linux on the desktop, but it’s worth mentioning that Linux/Unix kind of runs the internet… (The good parts of it at least).

    If you are desperate for certain Windows programs, virtualisation has come a long way and you can run most programs using VMware etc. Obviously applications like games won’t work, but each to their own. That’s what I have consoles for.

  24. I am a linux noob, and i am running into problems right from the start. I have the cd made, and the boot order of my system a compaq P4 1.66 512MB that normally runs on windows xp. Now, it won’t boot at all, how long do i have to wait? Also, i would like to erase that hard drive completely, and start a new. How should i Do this?

  25. I’m running into the same problem as #7. I boot up and after the system checks the screen goes blank. The CD still keeps running but nothing happens. I’ll check my video settings but would it be better to dump windows and start clean. I bought a used IBM T23 with XP Pro and don’t need it. If I format the drive how do I boot up and install Linux CLEAN.I don’t want windows on this laptop.

  26. I can think of way too many reasons to dump windows…. perhaps our next server build will be Linux based…

  27. I have been trying to install Ubuntu for two days with no success. The process gets to the menu and then starts to unstall and during the time that the rectangle is going back and forth on the screen it stops and that is the end. I have on more than one ocasion let it run but it won’t go any farther. I am running an HP Pavillion with 256 meg. of RAM, 15 gb HD, and 633 mhz cpu with XP Pro. Any help please???
    Thanks very much.

    • I have put Ubuntu on a number of different systems, including 3 different Pentium 3 laptops. Linux is an excellent way to revive performance in older systems that are sluggish with windows XP and later. However the two most popular Ubuntu GUI desktops are somewhat resource hungry. Ubuntu with Gnome or KDE starts to have problems if you only have 256 meg of RAM. If your machine can take more memory then add some. I have been successful with 384 meg of ram.

      Also you can try the lightweight Ubuntu version Xubuntu or another linux flavor such as Puppy (

      On the whole I have found that the Ubuntu family seems to have the best success with getting you online with a laptop. The biggest problem I have had is getting the video drivers configured so that these older laptops are able to use their full screen resolution ability.

      Old, cheap (under $150 in 2008) Pentium III Laptops I have installed it on:

      Gateway Solo 6200 (put in 512 meg ram) – this was the easiest install

      Sony Vio PCG FX300
      Ended up I had to set video=vesa in the GRUB bootloader line to get the full 1024 x 768 screen resolution (did I mention these are old cheap laptops)

      Compaq Presario 1800T. Still solving the video thing (Ubuntu/Xubuntu does 800 x 600 while Puppy does the 1024 x 768).

      The ability of Linux to restore useful abilities to these older machines makes them available to people who cannot afford newer systems. Sort of a $150 laptop because of recycling project.

      An additional feature of Ubuntu not mentioned in the article above is that it has a pretty stable automatic notification of upgrades for the programs you have installed. That is within the release version. Upgrading to a newer release can be more difficult and should be approached carefully.

      When you go to install Ubuntu it is actually a good idea to have a smaller root (/) partition and a separate larger home (/home) partition. Release upgrades then only modify the root partition. There are lots of articles on the internet about this.

      There are some excellent open source tools that allow you to run many Windows apps. WINE ( is one for many windows programs and FreeDos ( installs on a linux system as dosemu and allows you to run all your old DOS programs that stopped working after Windows 2000.

      So far the only programs I felt I really needed that do not seem to do well on my system under WINE or its commercial cousin Crossover are Quickbooks and Quicken. This is not to say that there are other Windows programs I have tried which have not run, it is rather to say that I was able to find Linux specific programs to do the same things.

      In some cases I have found better Linux programs.

      It is also my experience that Linux does a good job of teaching you about how OS’s work so that the computer is not just a mysterious black box. After all, knowledge gives us more control over our lives.

    • you should upgrade your computer

  28. I am trying to install UBUNTU 7.1 on an acer travelmate 330t which has an external floppy/cd combo drive connected to the laptop by a scsi-like connector. Currently I am running windows XP. I went into the bios and changed the boot sequenct to cdrom, floppy and hard drive. However I can not boot from the UBUNTU CD. I can see all the directories on the CD while in XP. When I reboot the floppy drive in the combo drive seems to be looking for a disk but the CD drive never comes on. Then it just boots up XP. If I put in an XP cd it will boot from that so I know the CD drive is working. Any thoughts?

  29. Hi Friends,
    i had install ubuntu 7.1 in my pc,while start up it make a usual welcome startup sound but when i am trying to play any mp3 songs or video,it says that codec is not found. what to do for this?
    please help me

  30. new version of ubuntu is out, installation information for Hard Heron is here:

  31. Jim Lynch says:

    I have downloaded ubuntu and burned a CD. I have placed in my laptop an old Sony viao. The hardrive has been wiped of the Windows os,
    When I insert the ubuntu Cd into the CD drive and boot the laptop it picks up the CD but displays the comment ‘no operating system present’.
    Can anyone help me to load ubuntu?
    Thank you

  32. abhishek says:

    hey guys i recently installed ubuntu following all the norms i emptied one disk and put it there with all precautions now when it starts booting it directly goes to linux and the option on my comp which shows vista long horn loader cant be selected itself i have no idea wat to do to get to get back to vista .please help me

  33. Ubuntu V8.04 Hardy heron, re installation partitioning

    Minimum root directory,(where operating system goes),for a good performance,is 8GB, use 10GB, and you’ll be fine, unless you intend to install lots of extra programms, then add on extra space for these. Info from

    Regards Bill

  34. Using vista on a acer notebook

    CD reader/writer stopped working

    Can i change the OS off of a usb removable drive?

  35. D. Williams says:

    I am attempting to put Ubuntu 8.04 x86 bit LTS 2011 version on a computer which i stripped the OS. I took a DVD/CD and burned the .ISO file to the CD. Then when i turned on the PC it started to boot from the disk. For whatever reason, my motherboard is automatically looking for Windows. It does not recognize Ubuntu, Do i need to change BIOS? I knew when they said it was “so easy” it was too good to be true.

  36. I have a question.
    I went through the installation process with no problems, but when I booted it up from hard drive, it ran XP instead.
    any explanation as to why this happened?

  37. i am a instructor at a school where we do Linux (Ubuntu) as one of our subjects – what about the 50 mb /boot partition (directory) that is suggested in linux books , will the installation work without it? my installation bombs out at 94% if i do not create a boot partition , we have just started and i have not yet got Linux / server 2003 / xp to work together , but i think i am about 2.5h away from success, i will let you know

    • my linux installation works perfectly on one ha with 3 partitions
      partition 1 = xp
      partition 2 = server 2003
      partition 3 = linux
      the linux partition must be broken into the following partitions
      +/- 50mb /boot
      +/- 1.5x ram size as a swap area (no need to format it)
      +/- 10004mb /
      +/- 20003 /home
      if you partition Linux Ubuntu open space like this Ubuntu will ask you if you want to import ntloader (the window boot file) to your GRUB (Linux boot file) if it does not ask you this you have made a mistake somewhere, if it does ask you if you would like to import ntloader (users) and you reply YES you would be able to boot up with any of these operating systems
      therefor you could theoretically have a pc with the following boot up options
      win 2000
      win xp
      win server
      win vista
      you do however have to install the OS’s in the right order
      hope it helps

  38. John Beasley says:

    Imppossible to install. Tried three diferent versions on three different machines with two diferent operating systems w2k and xp. Will not partion drive and am not going to format slave drive. Over 200Gb empty space. Wasted all day and highly frustrated. Don’t waste time. I believe its some kind of Con game selling Pro advice.

    • john
      u r simply not giving enough info for any1 2 try an help u, my linux r running smoothly with a xp an a server 2003 on the same harddrive

  39. Cannot install Ubuntu Linux 8.1 for desktop — receive “Oversize – Recommand Mode 1280×1024 message”.

    Running XP (SP2), ATI (Raedon 9000 series) 4xAGP video card w/64MB memory.

    XP runs in 1280×1024 mode.

    Booting Linux from CD, begins loading, get the initial Ubuntu ‘splash screen’, orange bar moving back and forth across the screen, then it changes to a loading status bar.

    After the progress bar reaches the right end I get a blank screen and can hear 3-4 seconds on ‘music’, then get above message and in a few seconds my monitor goes off.

    Have looked thru Ubuntu website, forums, etc and really can’t find a place to begin overcoming this.

    Anyone with an idea?


    • hey Jim
      i dont know that error but will try and help you anyway
      are you installing ubuntu from within xp??
      if so that could be your first mistake, try loading “booting with your cd”
      are you installing on a seperate HD or on a partition “after” XP, did you run the cd’s diagnostic feature to see if your machine is compatable and that your memory is working fine?
      ubuntu does sometimes go “out of sink” on the monitor but it fixes itself after a couple of seconds
      try to list exactly how you install ubuntu on what HD how your partitions is made up, are u looking for dual boot ect
      the more info you give the better the the oppotunity that me or someone can help you

    • Jim you need to install a program called EnvyNG on your pc for the ATI driver problem. I’m using 8.04 so I’ve never installed or used EnvyNG with 8.10.


      Jim said:
      11/2/2008 10:52 pm

      Cannot install Ubuntu Linux 8.1 for desktop — receive “Oversize – Recommand Mode 1280×1024 message”.

      Running XP (SP2), ATI (Raedon 9000 series) 4xAGP video card w/64MB memory.

      XP runs in 1280×1024 mode.

      Booting Linux from CD, begins loading, get the initial Ubuntu ’splash screen’, orange bar moving back and forth across the screen, then it changes to a loading status bar.

      After the progress bar
      reaches the right end I get a blank screen and can hear 3-4 seconds on ‘music’, then get above message and in a few seconds my monitor goes off.

      Have looked thru Ubuntu website, forums, etc and really can’t find a place to begin overcoming this.

      Anyone with an idea?

  40. To all those having blank screens during installation!!!
    Before choosing the option “Install Ubuntu” press F4 and choose “safe video driver” option

  41. anyone help me out for installing the drivers from the motherboard cd in the ubuntu8.10

    • to install most supported drivers you have to go to System>Administration>Hardware Drivers
      There you will be asked to activate which drivers. Make sure to update the system first though, as I had some problems activating my video card drivers before updating system (to update system goto System>Administration>Update Manager).

  42. I have a problem with the very beginning with the installation. I burn ubuntu on a cd and boot it. Then it asks me what do I choose: Windows vista or ubuntu, and I choose ubuntu. Then It start loading and shows the screen where ubuntu is loading. But then it shows a screen that wants me to type some kind of command and on the top of the screen says that is loading but it is not. It says the version of ubuntu and under that says to type help for build commands.

  43. i know how to install and create partitions with XP and LINUX together ^^

  44. I have just loaded Ubuntu on my laptop as Windows Vista far too slow. Am new to Linux and need advice on partitioning and formatting the space where vista loaded (do not want it). please direct me to the best lcations to learn how to recapture my hard drive space (seems I only have 41MB use of 120GB… or am I wrong? My laptop now automatically boots up on ubuntu.

  45. Had the same hanging problems as several others.
    It seems to be a common issue with ACPI or APIC or whatever the acronym is.

    On Ubuntu 8.10 the keys to choose boot options are F6, and turn off the api and lapic options.

    This worked for me.

  46. Installed 2nd hard drive(supposedly bad)40gb.Quick format threw windows 2000.Installed xubuntu (I have 384mb of ram)Now I have a choice of 2 different os systems.sweet.

  47. Jose Perpetua says:

    Mr. Jason Faulkner

    You’re tips on how to partition single drive for dual-booting helps me make my way to hassle free installation and a better computing machine.

    Many thanks!


  48. if i install linux, will my windows xp remove ????

    • Miles M says:

      It will not remove your currently installed Operating System. However, as the article states (its 3 years old, btw) you would need to partition your hard drive.

      Think about having only one large container; how do you put two different types of fluid in there without having them mix? For the purpose of the illustration, you put a divider in the container, so whatever you put in the sectioned off part of the container, wont mix with the rest of the containers’ contents.

      Thats what partitioning a hard drive means. You section off part of your hard drive so you can do whatever you want with it, and it wont mess up (or mix) with the rest of the hard drives contents.

  49. No, Linux will not remove XP. It will create a dual-boot setup. Just be careful when installing because it will ask if you want to remove the other partitions. Don’t–or do–if that’s what you’re going for.

  50. Can I install ubuntu without using CD?

  51. Ananth Kumar says:

    Hello, Thank you for provideing the Tutorial on How to install Ubuntu & the Video. Downloaded Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop and Server Editions. Purpose is to make the best of my PC and i read in various Blogs of the Linux O.S in Particular Ubuntu & its Support. I upgraded my PC to 4Gb ddr2 Ram, CPU 2.8Ghz dual core & HDD SATA 500Gb Seagate 16mb cache. All this for Dynamips, a CISCO IOS emulator. Thank you and Regards.

  52. Akash Deep Singh says:

    No but if you install your windows over Linux then your grub(partition manger) of ubuntu will be overwritten by windows . A very good article is available at

  53. if you want to make it easy for yourself just install xp first then vista and or windows 7 and then linux ..linux will then give you the option for the rest and the rest for the earliest

  54. I successfully installed ubuntu 8.10 in windows vista ultimate . But when i do a reboot, the OS selection screen was missing. My system booted automatically to windows vista so what you suggest and what is wrong ? PLZ email me ASAP as i get frustrated from repeated instalations in different ways ! the difficult part all the time was in partitioning step !!

  55. MS
    if you have your windows vista installed…install your linux fresh.. reboot pc with linux cd in cd player and install from there , not from inside windows
    make sure you have 7 partitions (haha)
    install 98 from cd on bootup
    then install 2000 from cd on bootup
    then install xp from cd on bootup
    then install server 2003 from cd on bootup
    then instal vista from cd on bootup
    then install windows 7 cd on bootup
    then install ubuntu from cd on bootup and import all off above (it will ask you)
    then when you bootup you will have the choice of ubuntu or longhorn
    if you choose ubuntu it will boot to ubuntu, if you choose longhorn it will take you to a screen where you have to choose vista, win 7 or older …if you choose older you have the choice of 2000 xp and 98
    best of luck

  56. Thankx but you know my ubuntu now is not able to get my wireless internet and i dont think it reconizes the built-in wifi adaptor of my dell inspiron 6400
    !! i tried to do whatever but it seems little bit non friendly ..i cant manage till now you suggestions

  57. Thankx but you know my ubuntu now is not able to get my wireless internet and i dont think it reconizes the built-in wifi adaptor of my dell inspiron 6400
    !! i tried to do whatever but it seems little bit non friendly ..i cant manage till now you have suggestions ?

  58. So easy to partition when following the instructions above. Thanx Jason 🙂

  59. Hello,
    I have installed windows xp service pack-2 in C drive and now i want to install ubuntu 9.04 in partition G [total memory space is 20 GB] now problem is i have important data in remaining partition D, E and F. If i install ubuntu in partition G…will my data be lost? I want to dual boot my system.
    Please help me.

  60. “I have installed windows xp service pack-2 in C drive and now i want to install ubuntu 9.04 in partition G [total memory space is 20 GB] now problem is i have important data in remaining partition D, E and F. If i install ubuntu in partition G…will my data be lost? I want to dual boot my system.” if you dont format it and just install on drive g nothing can go wrong

  61. “You have the Ubuntu install disc, so pop in your spare hard drive (if you do not know how to do this, make a quick detour to the PC Mech Forums”

    I go to there and i hav no idea how to ‘pop in my spare hd’… Exactly, wat u mean by that?? Make it bootable??

    One more thing, my comp now has partition C and D. I install xp in C but most of the files r in D. Lets say i install ubuntu in D, will it erase my other files?? *my D partition has 70GB*

    • >‘pop in my spare hd’… Exactly, wat u mean by that?? Make it bootable??

      That means you should have an external HD which you plug into your USB port. When computer recognizes this you can make this bootable in Ubuntu.

      >One more thing, my comp now has partition C and D. I install xp in C but most of the files r in D. Lets say i install ubuntu in D, will it erase my other files?? *my D partition has 70GB*

      Ubuntu will make another partition if you wish.

  62. hey, if i have two hard drives will i have to partion both of them? or can i just use one of them for linux and one for xp?

  63. what do you type into cmd if so

  64. How could i download and use confiz fission.

  65. I had a virus on my old computer so i formated the harddrive and now im trying to install ubuntu 9.10 but i cant figure out how to install it. can someone help me?

  66. I successfully installed ubuntu 8.10 in windows vista ultimate

  67. If you really want to make it easy for yourself just install xp first then vista and or windows 7 and then linux .

  68. Thankx but you know my ubuntu now is not able to get my wireless internet and i dont think it reconizes the built-in wifi adaptor of my dell inspiron 6400

  69. Distaples82 says:

    Im in the process of installing ubuntu, like right now, and im not sure how to partition my disk space(?) for some reason it couldn’t install sid-by-side with windows, and i dont want to uninstall it just yet either. can n e one tell me what to do?

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