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Tech: Installing Ubuntu

Stanron 22 Mar 13 - 10:56 AM
Newport Boy 22 Mar 13 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Rev Bayes 22 Mar 13 - 12:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 13 - 09:29 AM
Mr Red 23 Mar 13 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Rev Bayes 23 Mar 13 - 11:15 AM
gnomad 23 Mar 13 - 11:25 AM
GUEST 19 Jul 13 - 08:21 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Jul 13 - 11:50 AM
Greg F. 19 Jul 13 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jul 13 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jul 13 - 01:02 PM
Stanron 19 Jul 13 - 01:41 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 19 Jul 13 - 02:11 PM
Stanron 19 Jul 13 - 03:22 PM
Newport Boy 19 Jul 13 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jul 13 - 05:51 PM
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Subject: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: Stanron
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 10:56 AM

My old PC, running up to date XP with 0.99 gig RAM, is getting clogged up and slow. I've got an spare 320 gig hard drive. Could I replace my current C drive with this and install Ubuntu on it, and if so how?

Or could I install it as a D drive and have a dual boot where Ubuntu is on the D drive?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: Newport Boy
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 11:40 AM

You could do either. You will need a copy of Ubuntu, either downloaded or from a Linux mag. The downloaded .iso file will need to be burned to a CD/DVD (a USB stick is an alternative, but the CD/DVD is easier). Boot with this in and follow the prompts. Should take about 20 minutes to install.

If you go for the dual boot option, Ubuntu will find the Windows partition and create a Grub bootloader - choose your OS each time you boot.

I'll have to leave it to the Ubuntu users for more details.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 12:50 PM

Yes, it should be quite easy to install it on the secondary disk.

Also, the install CDs function as "live boot" images, meaning you should be able to boot into a functioning Ubuntu system from CD. It is really useful to do this as you can check that all your hardware is supported.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 09:29 AM

Would that work OK using an external hard drive? I don't like the idea of messing with the drive on the computer itself. And then could I use it on a different computer as well, by plugging the drive into a USB?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: Mr Red
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 10:27 AM

Linux can be booted via this portable app here and it lists a lot of flavours including Unbuntu. Have a look.
It would answer your question visa vis USB.

I use Portable Firefox as my main browser and carry it with me at all times, it gets used on many different PC's and Windows versions.

Lots of other goodies here - I would trust that community to vet and monitor the apps, pretty much completely.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: GUEST,Rev Bayes
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 11:15 AM

McGrath, it depends on the age of your computer. Booting via USB is a relatively new thing (well, it's been around for a number of years, but never particularly well supported).

If it works, then obviously it works. The main issue you might have is disk speed, which in turn depends on the USB variant you're plugged into. It *may* be considerably slower than an internal hard disk. How bad that is in practice depends a lot on what apps you run and what they do.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: gnomad
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 11:25 AM

Unetbootin is a very useful thing, enabling you to make a Linux 'pen/drive' for any of many different distributions. Some it is even set up to download the iso file itself, but it will also work with plenty of others if you download the iso direct from the net. A few distro's do not work with Unetbootin, I expect there's a list somewhere but I've never looked. This is not quite the same as the portable app, but may be more useful if you are intending to actually install Linux.

In many cases you can try a distribution live from a usb stick before deciding whether you like it enough to go ahead and install. This gives a more realistic trial than using a CD or DVD, as the USB drive reacts much more quickly, and no discs to buy either. You need to check that your PC can be set to boot from a USB drive, I have one 12 year old laptop which cannot.

http://distrowatch.com/ is a good place to find more different Linux (and some other) distributions than any normal person will need. Mint is a well-liked possibility, and seems particularly beginner-friendly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 08:21 AM

Gosh it's been four months but I've finally got a working system. I bought several Linux magazines with various distributions lots of which didn't run until I got one that would boot up. It was Debian 7. It worked really well when booting up from the CD. However when I tried to install it on the hard drive all sorts of snags developed. After at last getting the thing installed It wouldn't recognise my passwords. I tried to reinstall it (the plan was to carefully write down passwords and user names and the use of plurals is not accidental) but it then refused to partition the disk. Well hard drives are not expensive so I bought a new one, carefully wrote down user names and pass words and successfully completed the fresh install. On rebooting it failed to recognise any of my passwords. The mag in question was Linux Format. They don't answer the phone and direct you to a help website which won't let you register to ask questions unless you know a lot more about linux than I do.

Looking through some old disks I found a copy of Mint 13 KDE. This was a simple and fast install and it finds my internet OK. I'm astonished at how fast it is to boot and at how fast the browser is.

I've found equivalents to all the software I used on windows and there are loads of games available. Happy days. Now all I need is some cooler weather.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 11:50 AM

I'm surprised you had so many problems guest. I've intalled lots of different versions of Linux (usually by downloading the iso images from the websites and burning my own disc or by using the image directly when I've created virtual versions). I've never had any problems with the installations in recent years (I've had problems with Ubuntu upgrades and I generally do a fresh install of new versions now - it's the recommended way and unless you're adept at sorting out problems after upgrade by using a live cd to fix things, it's the sensible way to go). Although I use Ubuntu as my live system, I've installed quite a few others (I think I have a virtual Mint 14 on my machine at the moment) from small ones to the major distros and never seen anything like you describe. You must have been quite unlucky I think. Most of the problems I've had with Ubuntu were with video drivers - the live CD would run, but the install would fail to come up. It was normally because of the proprietary video drivers. I would usually have to use the live CD to go in and correct the installed system before it would boot properly. Even that seems not to happen with the latest releases (I currently use Ubuntu 12.04LTS as my live system). It is a pity though when you try to make the change to Linux and it goes wrong; it is off-putting. (My early experiences with it years ago were a bit like that, but in recent years things seem to be a lot better; the installers are much better at creating a working system at startup with no user intervention needed)

As you say there are free equivalents of virtually every program that runs under windows. (I do keep a virtual XP machine to run Finale - MuseScore is still not up to the standard of the commercial music scoring programs, but apart from that I use all free software).

After running dual boot windows/linux systems for a few years, I finally made the break from windows about two and half years ago and (Finale apart - and I do use Musescore for some things) I've never felt I was missing anything.

Once you get used to the changes from windows you should have a great experience.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: Greg F.
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 12:43 PM

Slight thread drift, with apologies-

I've been intrigued by the Ubuntu option vs. MicroSchlock, but would appreciate some basic guidance re:

1. Presumably one needs to wipe the hard drive of the existing OS (mine XP at the moment) before Ubuntu installation. Where can I find directions (simple preferred) for doing this?

2. Peripherals. How does one obtain drivers for the various printers, scanners & etc. I have currently running on XP?

Many thanks -

G.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 01:02 PM

1. If you just wanted to switch to Linux, you would wipe the disk. You could share a Windows drive with Linux. Other (dual boot) options are sharing a drive with Windows and using separate hard disks for each operation system.

The installation procedure should be able to do all of the above for you.

2. Linux comes bundled with a number of drivers and many printers and scanners with work out If the box with no extra driver installations necessary. A couple of resources that may help you are OpenPrinting.org and Sane scanners. A bit of googling may also help you find out if anyone else has your device working under Linux


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 01:02 PM

The sane site seems a bit misleading to me regarding the Epson scanners. The drivers for my own V330 (and others) are obtainable from the Epson download site and do work with the Sane backend.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: Stanron
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 01:41 PM

The first Guest today was me. I'd forgotten you can post without logging on. If you want to keep all options open then buy a new hard drive. I think I paid somewhere around £36 for a 500 gig drive. I disconnected the other drives before installation and after installation reconnected the one that had important data on.

I have a windows emulator called Wine. Anyone got any experience with this? Does wine suggest a quality product or is it just the sound people make when they try it?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 02:11 PM

Stanron - Wine works ok for many programs, but not for everything. I have run some things under it without problems. There is a status list on the Wine site with reports of what runs under various versions, but it's not always up to date. Usually it's suck it and see.

But I've now installed a virtual XP machine (ca £20 for an oem xp/pro disk off ebay or amazon, can't remember which) running under VirtualBox and I'd probably install windows programs under that now if I needed them. With integrated windows, a program running under the virtual machine can have it's windows on your desktop, looking as if they're actually running on your machine directly (ie they don't have to be inside the virtual xp window). There are other virtualization options available under Linux, but for me xp seemed to be faster running under VirtualBox than under more direct virtualizations. (VirtualBox is also probably the simplest to set up). My virtual xp runs faster than the non-virtual version on my old hardware! (You can also virtualize your live machine if you want - there are several tutorials out there if you want to transfer your entire windows machine to a virtual one. I wasn't interested in that and the oem xp/pro disk was cheap enough. I know xp's out of support now, but it's not really an issue for what I want to do)

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: Stanron
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 03:22 PM

Thanks for that Mick. I'll check out the wine website.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: Newport Boy
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 05:29 PM

VirtualBox is a good solution for running XP - you only need to allocate a small amount of memory (since I have 8GB, I give VBox 1GB and this runs Filemaker Pro very well).

I have found VBox easier to set up than Wine, and the only Windows software/hardware I've found it won't run is the library software to download ebooks for our Sony. The problem is the Adobe DRM used by our library.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Installing Ubuntu
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jul 13 - 05:51 PM

I've never had much joy with wine although I think it's been a while since I last tried it. I've very little use for Windows either. My laptop is dual boot (OpenSuse/Vista) so I have a copy of Windows somewhere as a just in case but I've no reason to want Windows available on the desktop PCs here.


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