Maximum PC

Installing Ubuntu

JUST UTTERING the phrase “Installing Linux” will send a shiver down the spines of most humans, but it’s not as terrifying as it used to be. Don’t get overzealous, though: It’s still possible to wipe out your existing OS by pushing the wrong button, and you should spend a couple of hours trying out Ubuntu before committing to installing it.

Running the live environment or installing to a virtual machine will give you a handle on the look and feel of this pinnacle of free software. There are a couple of hoops to jump through to get there, though. You can download the Ubuntu install image from whatever and press the Download button. You can also make a donation to Canonical and choose how the company invests it, but this is optional. You should now have a 2.5GB disk image (ISO) file that you can write to a DVD using the software of your choice (for example, Toast on macOS, CDBurnerXP on Windows, Brasero on Linux). We know that many PCs and most laptops don’t have optical drives nowadays, but that’s okay—the image can be written to a USB stick, which will probably boot much faster and certainly will be much quieter than booting from DVD. There are programs like Unetbootin that can automatically download distros and set them up in all kinds of fancy ways, but here we’re recommending the cross-platform Etcher tool. Grab it from , start it up, plug in a USB drive (make sure there’s nothing precious on it because its contents will all be destroyed), and away you go.

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