View Full Version : How to get start Ubuntu?

October 6th, 2012, 07:53 PM
How to get start Ubuntu?

I am looking for something new to play with and have no idea where to start. My level of geekiness is somewhere between "follows complex instructions" and "writes Java script".
I have a strong desktop PC that I use for Open Office, Firefox, and GNU image editor. I have a separate work PC so I don't have to worry about compatibility issues besides my printer.
Can anyone tell me a good version to start with? I need to be able to install it on a hard drive that currently has no OS installed. Also, is there a good user manual or resource to get me acquainted with it?

October 6th, 2012, 07:57 PM
Thread moved to "Absolute Beginner Talk"

October 6th, 2012, 08:02 PM
Well, Ubuntu or one of its spinoffs would work fine. Kubuntu allows for lots of user configuration, Xubuntu is lightweight but still gives you alot of options for configuration, Lubuntu is a highly-functional leightweight distro, and straight-up Ubuntu is easy for some but doesnt allow for much individualization. Try some out!

October 6th, 2012, 08:13 PM

This is the official documentation for Ubuntu 12.04.

You can also click on the community help wiki tab and get more robust information for such things as hardware and other issues found common within the community.

October 6th, 2012, 09:38 PM
Welcome to the forums.

If an empty hard drive then you need to understand a bit about partitions. Will hard drive only have Ubuntu or other systems?

If a newer computer with at least 3GB of RAM download the 64bit version of Ubuntu, otherwise any of the lighter weight versions may be better.

gparted & fdisk instructions:

GParted partitioning software - Full tutorial
Screenshots of using gparted

Also instructions for CD or USB
Write image or burn image not copy ISO as one large file to CD.

October 6th, 2012, 09:47 PM
The great thing about Ubuntu and its spinoffs is that they can all be run from a Live CD or USB. You can test drive them before installing them on the HD. (Of course, things will run somewhat slower because of read speed limitations of these removable media.)

At the end of the day, however, you shouldn't loose too much sleep over which one to choose, since any one of them can be reconfigured to be identical to any of the others, by changing the Shell/Desktop Environment and adding/removing a few applications.

October 6th, 2012, 10:06 PM
I'd go for Ubuntu 12.04.

You can also download the Ubuntu-Manual (ubuntu-manual.org) which is an intro to how Ubuntu and Unity works. That would be a good place to get you started - I know this because I wrote two of the chapters. :)

October 6th, 2012, 10:21 PM
Much will depend on your computer background. If you are coming from a Apple/Mac, you might find the new Unity interface on Ubuntu 12.04 friendly. However, if you are coming from a Windows background you might find the Gnome Classic 12.04 interface easier to transition into. I have been using Ubuntu since late 2006 and find the classic Gnome interface far superior to Unity for me! You and others might find otherwise.

Kbuntu is also an option, though I wasn't all that impressed when I test drove it. It seems like a lot of work, but that can be challenging for those interested.

Most will come down to how you use your computer. Do you use it for productivity, ie. writing, accounting, emails, etc. If so, then most of the interfaces will work fine.