The latest version of Ubuntu Linux takes a good thing and makes it even better. Our 12-step visual guide shows you how to get Ubuntu 8.10 up and running smoothly.
2. Test Your Media (And Maybe Your System, Too)
When you first boot the Ubuntu installer CD, one of the options you'll get is "Check CD for defects". Run it and the installation CD will be double-checked against itself to make sure it was downloaded and burned correctly. If the disc flunks, stop everything and go get a fresh copy. Lower your CD burner speed to insure accurate results, or borrow a known-good disc from a friend or guru.
Using Wubi to install Ubuntu on an existing Windows partition.
Most of Ubuntu's installation options are pretty self-explanatory at this point; for context here, go check out our earlier installation walkthrough for 8.04. The only major decisions you'll need to make are where to put your Ubuntu installation (i.e., which drive/partition), and what (if any) settings to migrate from your existing Windows version. By default Ubuntu will copy in Internet Explorer settings, wallpapers, and the contents of the My Documents / Music / Pictures folders.
If you have a lot of material in these folders -- like me with my 150GB of music! -- you can uncheck these options and copy things in later, by hand. It's also possible to mount your existing Windows partition as a drive in Ubuntu and work with the files right where they already are.
Reboot into Ubuntu and log in. The boot screen will vary depending on whether or not you're using Wubi or the full Ubuntu installer.
4. Check Your Imported Documents And Settings
If you elected to import documents and settings from an existing Windows installation, take the time to make sure everything migrated over okay. Odds are they should be fine, but it doesn't hurt to pause here and see that they've made the transition.
5. Check Your Networks
Networking in 8.10 has been reworked to reflect the fact that connectivity is everywhere. The new network manager includes tools not only for wired and wireless networks, but also mobile broadband, DSL and VPNs. If networking isn't available, there's a chance the network hardware in your system isn't supported or hasn't been properly initialized, and you'll need to do a little troubleshooting.
6. Retrieve Any Available Updates
Ubuntu's software repositories are kept continually up-to-date. It's almost impossible not to install Ubuntu and have updated packages waiting for you once you connect to the network.
If updates are available, you'll see an orange starburst icon in the bar at the top of the display. Click on it and you'll be taken to the Update Manager.
Those running a beta of Intrepid may receive a notice that they'll need to run a "partial upgrade" to install new updates, due to changes in many critical system packages. The partial upgrade process is quite long -- it's comparable to applying a service pack in Windows -- so grab some coffee and maybe read the paper in the meantime.