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Installing Ubuntu, a world without Windows

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In an earlier column, I mentioned to you that if you got a new computer for Christmas, your old PC might be a good place to install one of the many free Linux distributions out there. If you are tired of Windows and wanted to try something else, I specifically mentioned Ubuntu as a good starting point for the Linux newbie.

I wanted to install Ubuntu on my old PC and replace the Windows 2000 Professional it was currently running. I took everything I wanted to keep off my old computer and put it on my new one because part of the Ubuntu install can wipe my hard drive clean. It is just like starting over with a new computer.

I visited and clicked on desktop version. I read the "system requirements" and noted that I needed at least 256 MB of RAM and 4GB of disk space. Fine, I have that. I clicked the download link and chose Ubuntu 7.1 and "Standard Personal Computer." I picked a download location close to me. The ISO (a type of disk image) was about 713 MB.

Once the ISO was downloaded, I had to burn it to CD. Remember, ISOs are special. You must read your burner software instructions for burning an ISO.

Next, I put the freshly burned ISO CD into my old computer and booted. I choose the first option, "start or install Ubuntu."

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