Saturday, December 4, 2010

Installing Linux Netbook

A while ago I decided to install Ubuntu Netbook Edition, just so I could see how it worked. It is not that hard to install. It is, in fact, very straight forward. Before we start, you will need either a 4GB USB or a 4.7 GB DVD-R. You will also need to download the latest Ubuntu Netbook Edition from here. The file, for me, was about 600 MB. I recommend doing this in Ubuntu Desktop Edition, as I found it the easiest way to burn the .iso file to a CD. You can also do it just as well with Windows or Mac. If you use Ubuntu Desktop, all you need to do is insert the blank DVD, then right click on the .iso and select "Burn to disc" and then let it burn. The same can be done with Windows 7, simply right click on the file and select "Burn to disk image". Follow the prompts and you will have the DVD ready. Finally, on Mac, you have to open up Disk Utility. This application can be found in your Utilities folder, or just by searching your Mac using spotlight. Once open, drag your .iso file to the left sidebar of Disk Utility. When it is there, go to the menu bar and click "Images", then "Burn", and finally go through the prompts to burn the .iso to the disk.

Next we must install Ubuntu Netbook. I am using a Mac to do this, if you are on Windows the process will be different. When the Macbook boots, hold down the Option key when you here the start up sound. Keep holding until you see a hard drive on the screen. At this point you must insert your DVD which you burned. If done correctly, your DVD will show up next to the hard drive. Select it and boot from it. When you boot from the DVD you will boot into the Live Installer. It is all straight forward from here, the only thing you must be careful of is when you are partitioning. Make sure not to wipe your hard drive when doing this, read everything very carefully. I take not responsibility for any damage done to your computer if you make a mistake. If you don't know something when installing this OS, or any OS, I suggest you go to another computer and search for what you don't understand. When you partition, I suggest about 10 GB be set aside for the OS, and maybe another 2.5-5 GB for swap space. You don't need swap space, but it acts as more ram in a sense and thus is good to have. In total you will have set aside 15 GB. Feel free to set aside more or less then that amount. Once done, click next through the installer. When you get to choosing a keyboard, Mac users should scroll down and choose the US-Macintosh keyboard. Finally, click next and let it install.

At this point you may be wondering how you will boot into Ubuntu. Well, Ubuntu comes fitted with Grub, a boot loader which allows you to select which OS you want to boot into. Once you are into Ubuntu, you will need to update somethings. If your wifi card is not yet supported, just plug into an ethernet cable and get internet that way. Once you have internet, make sure that you update your drivers first, those are the most important. Most likely, there will be a message that shows up in the right corner, if not you can find the driver program under "System" ---> "Administration"----> "Additional Drivers". Once you are all updated, you are ready to go!


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