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View Full Version : [ubuntu] Overwhelmed newb with a few questions.



magnoliasouth
February 3rd, 2009, 04:04 PM
Sorry about this, my post is a bit long but to avoid more questions like "Why don't you have an OS? Is it broken?" I thought it necessary to fully explain the situation.

I've tried reading the documentation, the Ubuntu Pocket Guide and searching for answers but the more I read, the more frightened I become. I have decided that I'd better just go ahead and post my questions before I chicken out, and give into my fearful urge to just head on over to Amazon and buy a Windows OS CD. :(

Here is my situation. My husband has bought 2 stripped down pc computers from his office. While they contain all other necessary hardware (motherboards, video cards, etc.) we have no way of knowing what they are, until after installing an OS and I'm still not sure that the OS will automatically recognize them either. In any case, the actual Windows OS has been uninstalled and all files securely removed for high security purposes.

That said, I've always been interested in a Windows/Mac alternative. For a couple of years now, I've read nothing but fantastic things about Ubuntu and I would LOVE to install it. The problem I see however is that none of the instructions for installation mention what to do if you have no OS installed whatsoever.

Also there was one page somewhere that made it sound as though I must first have Linux installed before Ubuntu.

So my questions are:
Will an Ubuntu installation CD work if the computer has absolutely NO OS installed?
Do I need to download and install Linux prior to Ubuntu?
If 1 is yes and 2 is no, then will Ubuntu recognize the computer's hardware without my direction? If not, then what can I do about that?
Are there any other problems I need to consider?
I must also quickly mention that I am not a power user, so please speak to me like a two-year-old. ;)

Thanks in advance for any answers or advice.

snowpine
February 3rd, 2009, 04:09 PM
Hi Magnolia,

Yes, you can certainly install Ubuntu onto a totally "wiped" computer. :)

What you need to do is download the .iso file from ubuntu.com and burn it onto a blank CD (using a different computer that works, obviously): https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto

This is a "live CD" so you can just pop it in the CD drive and boot up the computer. If it runs fine, you know Ubuntu will work on the computer, and you can install it. If there are problems, you can post back here. :)

ps If the computers were free, there's the possiblity they are quite old. :) Here are the recommended system specs for Ubuntu. We can suggest other alternatives if the computers aren't up to spec.

Recommended minimum requirements

Ubuntu should run reasonably well on a computer with the following minimum hardware specification. However, features such as visual effects may not run smoothly.

* 700 MHz x86 processor
* 384 MB of system memory (RAM)
* 8 GB of disk space
* Graphics card capable of 1024x768 resolution

kansasnoob
February 3rd, 2009, 04:09 PM
You'll find out a lot just booting the Live CD.

I assume you have a live CD. If so what version did you get?

spiderbatdad
February 3rd, 2009, 04:10 PM
1. yes.
2. no. Ubuntu is a linux distribution
3. probably yes. rquest help if you run into a problem.
4. no.

hrod beraht
February 3rd, 2009, 04:10 PM
The Ubuntu CD is a so-called "live" CD, which means it can function as an operating system once you boot from it/your CD drive, rather than your hard-drive. It doesn't matter if your hard-drive has anything on it or not.

Just download and burn the Ubuntu live CD and try it on one of your blank computers. You'll be able to use the system without having to install anything first. And, if you decide you want to install Ubuntu onto the hard-drive, it's as simple as double-clicking the icon on the live CD desktop.

Enjoy!

Bob

magnoliasouth
February 3rd, 2009, 04:14 PM
WOW!!! You guys are fast! Thank you so much. :D

One computer is a year old, the other 2 years... I believe. They are being shipped as we speak, but my husband has the specs. I'll check on that and post back if they don't meet the minimum.

You know, the nice quick responses means I'm going to love Ubuntu and the people associated with it. :KS ;)

snowpine
February 3rd, 2009, 04:17 PM
WOW!!! You guys are fast! Thank you so much. :D

One computer is a year old, the other 2 years... I believe. They are being shipped as we speak, but my husband has the specs. I'll check on that and post back if they don't meet the minimum.

You know, the nice quick responses means I'm going to love Ubuntu and the people associated with it. :KS ;)

If the computers are only a year or two old, they should run Ubuntu just fine. Most of the time, Ubuntu detects all of the hardware okay. If there are any problems with the network adapter, graphics card, etc. not being recognized, we can help you. Again, the best way to get started is just to boot the Live CD and see what happens. :)

Welcome to the forums. :)

Temposs
February 3rd, 2009, 04:18 PM
Hello!

To your questions:
1) Yes!

2) No. Linux is *part* of Ubuntu. It is the core, the heart beating inside. Installing Ubuntu will install Linux, necessarily.

3) It will try very hard and probably get most of it right :-)

4) We'll take it one step at a time.

Now, what you need to do first is to get an Ubuntu installation CD. You could request to have one shipped to you for free: https://shipit.ubuntu.com/

Or you could download Ubuntu and burn it to a CD yourself: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download

Once you download the .iso file, you need to properly burn it to a CD, and it's a different process from burning music or something: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto

Once you do this, you have an Ubuntu installation CD. You could try just putting it in one of your target computers and see if it boots with the CD.

If it doesn't, here's what to do. Even though the computers you want to use have no OS, they should still have a BIOS. You need to look to see what button to press to enter "Setup" or something similar. It usually shows up for a few seconds right when the computer turns on. Then, it should enter a low graphics kind of setup menu, where you can look at and change a bunch of things. You need to look for something to change the "boot order" and then make the CD-ROM boot first. Then make sure to save the changes as you exit the BIOS setup. Then the CD should boot up.

leonardo_neo
February 3rd, 2009, 04:25 PM
Given your scenario, Ubuntu is the best possible OS you have.

As you said that the comps are stripped down. You can buy an OS CD from market, but what about the driver CD for the hardware installed?

Ubuntu recognizes most of the hardwares, and it automatically installs drivers for them.


Will an Ubuntu installation CD work if the computer has absolutely NO OS installed?

Yes it should.


Do I need to download and install Linux prior to Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is OS, which is Linux based. It's a 'type' of Linux. For example, if Linux is 'ice-cream', then Ubuntu is one of it's flavor say 'Vanilla'. Ice-cream can be found in many flavors, but they all are 'ice-creams'!Same way Linux is found in many flavors (distro), but they all are Linux. You don't have to download separately some another Linux.


If 1 is yes and 2 is no, then will Ubuntu recognize the computer's hardware without my direction? If not, then what can I do about that?

Yes it can and should recognize the hardware.


Are there any other problems I need to consider?

Nothing particular.

Best of luck!

snowpine
February 3rd, 2009, 04:28 PM
Remember there are few things to do when you install Ubuntu. Ambuj Varshney has written an article "13 Things to do immediately after installing Ubuntu" at http://linuxondesktop.blogspot.com/2007/02/13-things-to-do-immediately-after.html Basically it tells is how to install some basic software and stuff before you really enjoy your new OS. Do check that out.

A good article, but please be careful, as the directions are written for an older version of Ubuntu! Better to explore the applications that come with Ubuntu before adding more stuff. If you are used to windows, you might be surprised by everything that comes pre-installed with Ubuntu: office suite, media players, games, etc.