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Thread: I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    132

    Question I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

    Hello,

    With the demise of XP I am ready to give Ubuntu a try on one or both of my machines. Previously I have run Ubuntu from a CD but of course couldn't install any upgrades or additions to it.

    I don't know what you would like or need to know about either machine so here goes.

    Machine One is a dual boot machine with XP Pro SP3 and Win 7 64 bit on it & a conventional BIOS. I am using EasyBCD in XP to allow me to choose between the 2 OS's. The MB is an Asus Rampage Extreme with 6 GB of RAM and a 640 GB HD with 3 partitions, one for each OS and one for storage. The graphics card is GeForce 8800GTS and the sound card is an X-Fi that plugs into the MB in it's own PCIe x-1 slot. The mouse is a USB PS-2.There are dual DVD optical drives but no BluRay.I'd like to make an image of XP and install Ubuntu in it's place but am not sure if I need to add the EasyBCD to Win 7 to allow the system to 'see' Ubuntu or not?

    Machine Two is an old Dell that runs XP Pro SP3 32 bit, but no other OS.BIOS is a standard one needless to say the mouse is USB and there is only one CD drive no DVD. The HD has 3 partitions one for the OS, the other two I made for Ubuntu and for storage. The connection to the host machine one is wireless via D-Link with the current drivers for XP SP3, DD_CC_WDM Radeon ENU 29602. I don't know if all Ubuntu versions will find the wireless connection or not. The Dell has only 2GB RAM and a 80GB HD, sound card is on the MB as far as I know. As in the first instance must I use Easy BCD installed on XP to allow it to recognize Ubuntu?

    As you can tell, I have no idea where to start, but am willing to try and learn the Linux/Ubuntu commands etc. but I don't even know what version to install on either machine and even if it will boot up when done! I know there are always new version of Ubuntu, but some seem to not be updated as often, so what to choose for the long haul and the best chance of working?

    I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who can offer some guidance to a really newbie to Ubuntu. I do a lot of music editing and photo editing as a hobby so both of those are important, if not only on Win 7 but Ubuntu too if possible

    Thanks to all in advance, I have ton's more to ask but this is quite enough for now I think!

    Regards,

    J T
    Last edited by J Tinsby; April 26th, 2014 at 12:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Southern California
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    25
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

    As far as dual or triple booting and setting up the bootloader/manager, I'll let someone else address that because without doing a bunch of research, I don't know as my ubuntu 14.04 LTS install is standalone.
    I do know however, if you install from a live DVD the install is painless and it just, "works", after that you can add/remove/ play around very much like windows. As for needing a unix background to use ubuntu I would say no.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    128

    Re: I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

    For absolute starters, I'd suggest downloading and test driving several of the ubuntu variants to see which user interface is the easiest for you to use. Then, machine #2 sounds like to obvious candidate for your initial transition. Not having a DVD on it might make it hard to load some of the versions, but an external DVD RW (at around $35) would overcome that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Chicago Suburbs
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    Hidden!
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

    Your XP & Windows 7 install may have all its boot files in the XP partition. Windows boots from the drive set in BIOS as boot and then the partition with the boot flag or active partition. No matter how many installs of Windows you have all boot files will be in that one partition. You can change drive or boot flag to force boot files to be in another partition, but have to do that when installing. May be possible to repair install to add boot files, but only if second install is also on a primary partition.

    I run the 64 bit version on both my machines. My desktop is a CoreDuo with 4GB of RAM and laptop is also a older CoreDuo with only 1.5GB of RAM. Most say you need 2GB of RAM to use 64 bit, but as long as I do not load too many apps at once it works. But if I load too much then it starts using swap and is real slow.

    Good back ups are vital, especially for a new user who may accidentally make mistakes.
    Backup windows before install - post by Mark Phelps
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...0#post12611710
    http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp
    Another suggestion by srs5694
    http://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm


    Windows 7 repair USB, Also Vista if service pack installed
    http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-re...tion-dvd-disc/
    http://www.webupd8.org/2010/10/creat...usb-drive.html

    Download Ubuntu and see how it runs from a flash drive. Not as fast as hard drive but gives an idea how it works.


    Also instructions for DVD or USB flash drive
    http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download
    Write image or burn image not copy ISO as one large file to flash or DVD.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/US...lation%20Media
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...n/FromUSBStick
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair - Updated Mar 2015:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Western Australia
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

    Quote Originally Posted by J Tinsby View Post
    Hello,

    With the demise of XP I am ready to give Ubuntu a try on one or both of my machines. Previously I have run Ubuntu from a CD but of course couldn't install any upgrades or additions to it.

    I don't know what you would like or need to know about either machine so here goes.

    Machine One is a dual boot machine with XP Pro SP3 and Win 7 64 bit on it & a conventional BIOS. I am using EasyBCD in XP to allow me to choose between the 2 OS's. The MB is an Asus Rampage Extreme with 6 GB of RAM and a 640 GB HD with 3 partitions, one for each OS and one for storage. The graphics card is GeForce 8800GTS and the sound card is an X-Fi that plugs into the MB in it's own PCIe x-1 slot. The mouse is a USB PS-2.There are dual DVD optical drives but no BluRay.I'd like to make an image of XP and install Ubuntu in it's place but am not sure if I need to add the EasyBCD to Win 7 to allow the system to 'see' Ubuntu or not?
    Ubuntu 14.04 (64-bit) will be fine. The 64-bit edition of Ubuntu is labelled "AMD64" but it works just fine on 64-bit Intel CPUs. Ubuntu installs its own bootloader, GRUB, that can boot into all three operating systems so you don't need to worry about EasyBCD.

    Back up all your data before proceeding with an install. Or make an image of XP. I can't recommend a program to image XP because I don't have enough Microsoft experience. Then boot up your computer from the Ubuntu DVD, the installer will ask you where you want to install Ubuntu, and you just select the "Erase Windows XP and install Ubuntu" option. Easy!

    Machine Two is an old Dell that runs XP Pro SP3 32 bit, but no other OS.BIOS is a standard one needless to say the mouse is USB and there is only one CD drive no DVD. The HD has 3 partitions one for the OS, the other two I made for Ubuntu and for storage. The connection to the host machine one is wireless via D-Link with the current drivers for XP SP3, DD_CC_WDM Radeon ENU 29602. I don't know if all Ubuntu versions will find the wireless connection or not. The Dell has only 2GB RAM and a 80GB HD, sound card is on the MB as far as I know. As in the first instance must I use Easy BCD installed on XP to allow it to recognize Ubuntu?
    My main concern with this one is that the CPU of this computer might not support PAE (Physical Address Extension) that Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu etc require. My other decent concern is that you have AMD Radeon graphics in it; the older cards that are no longer supported by AMD do not have good performance on Ubuntu. It will probably be good enough to run Ubuntu, but not to run quickly, because Ubuntu requires decent 3D graphics support. And of course, Ubuntu does not fit on a CD anymore; there are ways around it (the Mini ISO, which downloads everything from the internet) but on the whole you might be best not using Ubuntu.

    You could try Lubuntu 14.04, 32-bit. Before proceeding, make a backup of Windows XP, and run the Windows XP defragmenter utility.

    Try booting the Lubuntu disc from a USB or from CD, I'm not sure if Lubuntu fits on a CD? If Ubuntu can work with your wifi, then all other derivatives like Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu will be able to as well. The only difference between the derivatives is that they have different programs preloaded, and different GUIs. Underneath they are the same. The Lubuntu installer will also give you the option of "Install Lubuntu side-by-side with Windows XP" which will do all the partitioning for you, you just have to select how much space to allocate to each operating system. I'd recommend at least 10 gigabytes for Ubuntu, plus whatever you will want for your personal files.

    so what to choose for the long haul and the best chance of working?
    You've come in at the right time. Generally, the newest version of Ubuntu is the best place to start. However, as you've noticed, some versions are only supported for 9 months. The current version, 14.04, is one of the two-yearly releases that is supported for five years. It's both the best chance of working (as it's the newest) and the best for the long haul. Of course, it is easily upgraded to the next version of Ubuntu which will come out in October and be supported for nine months. It will also be able to be upgraded to the next long-term support version, 16.04, which will come out in April 2016.

    I do a lot of music editing and photo editing as a hobby so both of those are important, if not only on Win 7 but Ubuntu too if possible
    Image editing on Linux is most commonly done in a program called The Gimp, which you may be familiar with already. It's not as powerful as Adobe Photoshop, but it's still pretty good and it's a lot cheaper. It does not come preinstalled on Ubuntu but it is available in Ubuntu Software Center for easy installation.

    Music editing is also a possibility on Ubuntu, but it doesn't seem as polished as on other platforms. There are people who use Linux professionally for music composition, production, recording and editing. I gave it up before I ever encountered Linux so my opinion of Linux's capabilities in this regard would be rather worthless.

    Good luck, if there's anything else you need to know or need to ask we're happy to help.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    91

    Re: I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

    ZorinOS offers new users coming over from XP/Win7 familiar desktop layout's to ease the transition, with an XP , Win 7,or Mac OS on offer. http://zorin-os.com/
    good luck
    trag

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

    Quote Originally Posted by J Tinsby View Post
    I'd like to make an image of XP and install Ubuntu in it's place but am not sure if I need to add the EasyBCD to Win 7 to allow the system to 'see' Ubuntu or not?
    Ubuntu uses it's own boot loader GRUB that can handle multiboots including windows systems and BSD systems.


    Machine Two is an old Dell
    - what old Dell?
    current drivers for XP SP3, DD_CC_WDM Radeon ENU 29602.
    - what would that be?
    use this program to give you specs. http://www.piriform.com/speccy
    or even better boot into live CD open terminal and type in lshw

    copy the output and post it here in code tags (the # icon)

    The Dell has only 2GB RAM and a 80GB HD, sound card is on the MB as far as I know. As in the first instance must I use Easy BCD installed on XP to allow it to recognize Ubuntu?
    again grub will handle it all. f you only install ubuntu it is easy to do so. everything is done for you in about 20 minutes. you can try it in live session form USB stick where you can also install it from. computer has more than enough ram but what GPU does it have?

    to create disk image (backup to external disk) i suggest ubuntu based Redobackup - it is very easy to use.
    another option is Clonezilla - it is for more advanced but does image the drive well and probabyl has more options than redo.
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup: Redobackup

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

    I would suggest first looking at Xubuntu, Ubuntu Unity tends to be too overwhelming sometimes and there is usually higher chance of you doing something with all the eye candy tweaks that might make your system little unstable and all of sudden its not a pretty sight where you get errors you've never heard of or worst: total crash. Xubuntu is like using XP with just better of everything and no Amezon adds like Unity.

    I also shifted only recently, and I agree, its a great time to do so, but don't install same OS on both machines before you've good taste of it on one. Don't get me wrong, Unity is not half bad but it can be hit or miss depending on user.

  9. #9
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    Re: I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

    GRUB is an amazing bootloader, so you won't need the Easy BCD.

    Clonezilla is definitely worth learning. I used to use it to make backups of my Arch Linux installs. It basically clones parts of your hard drive that are used, allowing you to easily wipe your harddrive and restore it to the way it was during the clone. Can have a bit of a learning curve but definitely worth using.

    Xubuntu would definitely be a good starting point into Ubuntu. It's less resource hungry than Unity Ubuntu (generic ubuntu). However, another option would be Lubuntu, which uses the super-lightweight LXDE desktop environment. Before installing, i would recommend making a USB image of each and trying them in live mode first.
    Desktop: A88X-Plus AMD Quad-Core, Nvidia GTX 460 2GB, 1.7TB of Storage, 16GB Ram - Deepin 2014.2
    Laptop: i5, Nvidia 330M Optimus, 640GB HDD, 8GB Ram 2010 Model - Deepin 2014.2

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Chicago Suburbs
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    Re: I am ready to make a serious attempt at using Ubuntu! But where do I start?

    I install Ubuntu but do not use Unity, but change to fallback/flashback which is similar to what Ubuntu was with gnome2 and menus.
    https://wiki.gnome.org/action/show/P...GnomeFlashback
    Flashback/fallback in 14.04 Kansasnoob
    Installing the package 'gnome-session-flashback' does exactly the same thing as installing the package 'gnome-panel'.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...2#post12986002
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...7#post12971487
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair - Updated Mar 2015:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







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