In this guide I will cover the installation of Ubuntu Linux 11.10, 32-bit version from a LiveCD. The installation of other 'buntu versions including 64-bit will be very similar to this guide. I will try to explain certain options and provide helpful hints along the way, so rather than just following the guide, you can understand the reasoning behind the decisions. This guide is drawn from my experience. As some of you are aware, I'm passionate about open-source software and OS', in particular Linux. I'm no professional though, just a person that enjoys spending his spare time using Linux and open-source software in-between dissecting others' computers, and somehow managing to turn my own systems into fireballs of destruction! If there are any mistakes please draw my attention to them and I will correct as needed. I have tried to make this as simple as possible, whilst covering the vast majority of scenarios users will come across whilst installing this operating system. Step 1: The first thing you should do is head to http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download and download Ubuntu 11.10 LiveCD. Just click the big orange Start download box. Step 2: Using your disc burning software, burn the .iso you downloaded to a CD. Step 3: Before you go any further, ensure all important data is backed up in case of data loss on your drives. This guide assumes you have media backups of your Windows partitioned hard drive and you are safe to proceed. ***Warning: Installing another operating system without first ensuring you have backups of your current files and operating system is a big risk. If you have no data to lose or you’ve backed up important data, you’re ready to proceed. YOU are responsible if you lose data.For those of you using Windows, and installing Linux for the first time I recommend you either use a separate hard disk that does not contain the Windows OS, or create a partition big enough for Linux within Windows using Disk Management in the Administrative Tools menu of the control panel. 30GB of hard disk space is absolutely plenty of space for you to begin exploring Ubuntu whilst at the same time having room to grow. Step 4: Ensure you have a network cable connected, restart your computer, and boot from the CD drive. Step 5: The LiveCD will load up, and you'll be presented by the following box: For the purposes of this guide, we will assume you've already tried Ubuntu and want to proceed with an installation, so click "Install Ubuntu." Step 6: You'll be greeted by the "Preparing to install Ubuntu" screen, exactly as below: I recommend you select "Install third-party software" as I have done in the screenshot above. I prefer to do system updates once up and running, but if you have the extra time you can also select "download updates while installing" as well. Then click continue. Step 7: The next screen you will see is "installation type," what you see will be dependent on whether you have an existing Windows installation or not. I'm going to split this into three different sub-steps, to make it as simple as possible. Step 7-A: For those installing in a virtual machine or to hard disks without an OS you will see the following screen: You have two choices: 1. Erase the entire disk and use all of it for installation -- Ubuntu will automatically partition your disk and proceed with installation. 2. Select "something else" and manually create your partitions (which is covered in detail in step 7-C). If you are choosing the first option, select the radio button and then click continue, proceeding to step 8. Step 7-B: Those of you that have current Windows installations or are going to dual-boot with another existing OS will be presented with a screen similar to below: You have three options available: 1. You can choose the first option and install Ubuntu alongside your existing OS. 2. You can opt to replace your Windows installation with Ubuntu, allowing the installer to format your current partitions and automatically create new ones for Linux. 3. You can choose "something else" and create your own partition scheme and sizing (covered in detail in step 7-C). Once you have selected which route you wish to proceed with click continue and proceed to step 8. Step 7-C: Having selected the "something else" option you will be presented with the following window: Linux recognizes and assigns IDs to drive in a different manner to Windows. In the above image, you can clearly see my hard disk in the list. It is identified by "/dev/sda." Linux recognizes drives in the following way: • Sda = 1st drive • Sdb = 2nd drive • Sdc = 3rd drive and so on Partitions are also shown after the drive letters. So if I had 2 partitions on my first disk, they would be identified as: • Sda1 – 1st drive, 1st partition • Sda2 – 1st drive, 2nd partition You will not see the common Windows C: label in the disk menu in the above list. You do, however, have key things to help you recognize your Windows C: drive. Both of these can be used to identify which is your Windows disk. • The size of the disk is shown • The name of the drive is shown This is your current partition layout for your hard disks. If you have more than one disk, they will show up as /dev/sda, /dev/sdb etc. Firstly, identify your Windows installation. In my case, it's sda1 (which is my first hard disk, first partition). What you see depends on how you created the extra space. I just resized the Windows partition from within Windows, and left the free space ready to install Linux. I recommend using Windows or a free utility from within Windows to resize your partition as most beginners will understand it more. Therefore, we now need create a minimum of two partitions: Click "Add" and the following box will appear: You will notice I have already filled out the example above to create a 10GB root partition. You can have a maximum of 4 primary partitions, or 3 primary partitions and 1 logical (which allows for another 64 partitions) The size above is 10.00GB. e.g 1,000 = 1GB 10,000 = 10GB (Remember to leave enough free remaining space to create your SWAP partition!) Location for new partition: e.g. do you want it at the start or end of the free space. Select beginning. Use as: Ext4 is the recommended file system for Ubuntu, much the same as NTFS is Windows. SWAP is for SWAP space. Mount point: This is where you want the partition to mount. E.g. we need a root partition, which in Linux is denoted by a "/". Click OK once you have finished setting the partition information and you will return to your partition screen, now showing the root partition you just created. Using the same methods as before, create a SWAP partition. I recommend you set the size of your SWAP partition to at least the size of your available RAM. If you have plenty of hard disk capacity I would suggest you use double the size. So if you have 2GB of RAM, set it to either 2GB or 4GB. For best performance it is recommended you have your SWAP partition at the beginning or end of your drive.