How to Install Ubuntu 11.10 (11.04, 10.10) alongside Windows 7 and XP without losing data (dual boot).
This detailed tutorial explains how to install Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) 11.04, 10.10 or older operating systems on your computer/laptop alongside Windows 7 or XP without losing data.
Ubuntu is a cool and widely used Linux operating system. Its is very good for new Linux users because its very easy to use and its installation and other software installation in it is very user-friendly. The best thing is that you can use it freely and also obtain, distribute and modify it freely as its a open-source software. If you want to explore Linux and have no idea about it, its undoubtedly the best choice. This guide will explain how to install Ubuntu alongside Windows on your computer. Just follow the instructions and screenshots and it wont take more than 30 minutes to install it on your system. Once you use it, I guarantee, you will fall in love with it.
If you don’t know what Linux is and why is it better than Windows, consider looking at this post for your answers. Also have a look at Ubuntu 11.10’s cool features and review here.
Unlike Windows, Ubuntu’s new version is released every 6 months so that you can have state of art software always with you. The version number of the software depends on the year it is released along with the month it is released. The latest release at the time of writing this post is on October 2011, hence the name is Ubuntu 11.10.
Okay enough of explanations, now straight to work.
To install Ubuntu on your computer or laptop, you need three things.
Ubuntu installation image.
A USB Flash drive/Pendrive or a CD.
Step One : Download the Ubuntu Disk Image
Go to Ubuntu download page and download the CD image (.iso) file from there. If you are an Indian user, you can download it from Indian mirror for better speed. The name of the file will be something like ubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso. Also if you have more than 2 GB of RAM, you can also obtain the 64 bit versions from there. If you already have a Ubuntu CD along with you, you can skip to step 4.
Step Two : Download PenDriveLinux Software
Once you have the image, go to PenDriveLinux and download the software. Its a just 1 MB software that helps you to install Linux from your pen drive. Unlike Windows, you can also use your USB/flash drive to install Linux. Or if you don’t have a USB port, and would like to install Linux from CD/DVD, just write the .iso file to a CD using Nero.
Step Three : Extract the bootable image on your pendrive.
Open the PenDriveLinux software that you just downloaded and accept the license agreement. In the select Linux distributions, select Ubuntu 11.10 or the version/OS you would like to install.
Step 4: Tweaking the BIOS to boot from Removable Device/Pendrive
Insert the pendrive or the CD in your drive and restart your PC. If your BIOS setting permits external booting, you will find Ubuntu booting on your PC (a glowing brownish screen). If it doesn’t you need to tweak your BIOS. Restart you PC again and while it is booting, press the Del key (or the corresponding key as mentioned in your motherboard manual). A blue or black screen will appear. Using arrow keys, go to the boot options menu. From there, select the first boot priority to removable device or CD drive. The picture below will help you.
Step 5: Booting Up and Installing Ubuntu
You can try Ubuntu to give a test-drive without making changes in your hard-disk. However, for this tutorial purpose, we will show you how to install Ubuntu. Click on install Ubuntu, and the setup will check if your PC has enough requirements for its installation. You will need at least 4.4 GB disk-space for a successful installation.
Explore a little of your new OS. Be sure to check out next tutorial on first steps after Ubuntu installation. Play, enjoy, its fully yours.
When done, go to top-most right corner of your screen and click on the ring icon. From here, you can restart or shutdown your computer.