When it comes to the choosing a Linux for beginners, Ubuntu always comes on the top. I am not going to tell you why you should use Ubuntu. I am going to show you how to install Ubuntu.
There are various ways to install Ubuntu (or other Linux):
- You can install Ubuntu inside a virtualbox in Windows
- You can use Bash on Windows feature to install it inside Windows
- You can dual boot Ubuntu with Windows (so that you can choose which OS to use at the time your system boots)
- You can replace Windows with Ubuntu by wiping it altogether from your system
The method I am going to show in this tutorial is the fourth one. You wipe out the entire system and let Ubuntu be your only operating system. In my experience, this is the easiest way to install Ubuntu.
How is this the simplest way of installing Ubuntu?
You don’t have to worry about creating partitions on your own. It automatically creates an ESP partition for UEFI.
It uses the rest of the disk space in creating a single root partition. The root partition (normally) has a 2 GB of swapfile. You don’t need to create a separate swap partition and if the need be, you can increase the size of the swapfile.
The root partition also has the boot directory for grub related files. It also contains the home directory that is used for storing user related files like documents, pictures, music, videos, downloads etc.
It’s a no-brainer. You let Ubuntu do the work for you instead of wondering about creating ESP, root, Swap and Home partitions.
Best suited for you if you just want to use a single Linux distribution and no other operating system. You don’t want to switch distributions very often or if you do, you don’t have a lot of important data on it.
The procedure shown here works for Ubuntu and all other distributions based on it such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Linux Mint, Linux Lite etc. The screenshot might look a little bit different but the steps are basically the same.
Install Ubuntu by replacing Windows and other operating systems
What do you need in order to install Ubuntu:
- A USB of at least 4 GB in size. You can also use a DVD.
- Internet connection (for downloading Ubuntu and live-USB making tool, not required for installing Ubuntu)
- Optionally, you may need an external USB disk for making a backup of your important data (if any) present on the current system
If you are going to install the default Ubuntu GNOME, the system requirements are:
- A system with 2 GHz dual core processor or better
- 4 GB of RAM or more
- At least 25 GB of hard disk space
This method removes all the other operating systems along with the data present on the disk.
You may save your personal files, documents, pictures etc on an external USB disk or cloud storage if you want to use it later.
Step 1: Download Ubuntu
Before you do anything, you have to download Ubuntu. It is available as a single ISO file of around 2 GB in size. An ISO file is basically an image of disc and you need to extract this ISO on a USB disk or DVD.
You can download Ubuntu ISO from its website.
If you have slow or inconsistent internet, you can find the torrent downloads at the alternate download page (scroll down a bit).
Step 2: Create a live USB
Once you have downloaded Ubuntu’s ISO file, the next step is to create a live USB of Ubuntu.
A live USB basically allows you to boot into Ubuntu from a USB drive. You can test Ubuntu without even installing it on your system. The same live USB also allows you to install Ubuntu.
There are various free tools available for making a live USB of Ubuntu such as Etcher, Rufus, Unetbootin, Universal USB installer.
You can follow this tutorial to learn to make live USB of Ubuntu with Universal USB Installer in Windows.
You may also watch this video to learn how to make a bootable USB of Ubuntu on Windows.
If you are already using some Linux distribution, you can use Etcher.
Step 2: Boot from the live USB
Plug in your live Ubuntu USB disk to the system.
Now, you need to make sure that your system boots from the USB disk instead of the hard disk. You can do that by moving the USB up in the boot order.
Restart your system. When you see a logo of your computer manufacturer (Dell, Acer, Lenovo etc), press F2 or F10 or F12 to access the BIOS settings.
Now, the BIOS screen could look different for your computer.
Change the boot order to boot from USB
The entire idea is that you put USB (or removable media) on the top of the boot order. Save the changes and exit.
Step 3: Install Ubuntu
Now you should boot into the live Ubuntu environment. You’ll the grub screen that gives you the option to either try Ubuntu without installing or install it right away.
You may choose the first option i.e. ‘Try Ubuntu without installing’:
Boot into live Ubuntu
In around 10-20 seconds, you should be able to log in to the live Ubuntu environment. It may take some more time if you are using the slower USB 2.
Click on the Install Ubuntu icon on the desktop.
It will ask you to choose some basic configurations like language and keyboard layout. Choose the most appropriate ones for your system.
You should go for the normal installation here because it will install some software like music player, video players and a few games.
If you are connected to internet, you’ll get the option to download updates while installing Ubuntu. You may uncheck it because it may increase the installation time if you have a slow internet. You can update Ubuntu later as well without any issues.
The most important screen comes at this time. If there are other operating systems installed, you may get the option to install Ubuntu along with them in dual boot.
But since your goal is to only have Ubuntu Linux on your entire system, you should go for Erase disk and install Ubuntu option.
When you hit the “Install Now” button, you’ll see a warning that you are about to delete the data. You already know it, don’t you?
Things are straightforward from here. You’ll be asked to choose a timezone
And then you’ll be asked to create a username, computer’s name (also known as hostname) and set a password.
Once you do that, you just have to wait and watch for like 5-10 minutes. You’ll see a slideshow of Ubuntu features in this time.
Once the process finishes, you’ll be asked to restart the system.
When you restart the system, you might encounter a shutdown screen that asks you to remove the installation media and press enter.
Remove the USB disk and press enter. Your system will reboot and this time, you’ll boot into Ubuntu.
That’s it. See, how easy it is to install Ubuntu. You can use this method to replace Windows with Ubuntu.
Now that you have successfully installed it, I strongly suggest reading this guide on things to do after installing Ubuntu to make your Ubuntu experience smoother.
I also recommend going through this list of Ubuntu tutorials and learn to do various common things with Ubuntu.
I hope you find this tutorial helpful in installing Ubuntu. If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask it in the comment section.