Chapter 3. Preparing to Install Ubuntu

In This Chapter

  • Evaluating how much space you need for Ubuntu

  • Backing up your Windows computer

  • Removing unnecessary files

  • Organizing the files you want to keep

  • Creating a partition for Ubuntu to live on

As shown in Chapter 2, Ubuntu works very nicely from a CD‐ROM or DVD as a live (meaning that you don't have to install it) operating system. But if you want to make Ubuntu a permanent part of your computing life, you'll find the installation process to be very easy. Installation is one of Ubuntu's many strengths.

The Ubuntu installation process is the easiest of all Linux distributions.

This chapter describes how to prepare your computer to install Ubuntu alongside Windows. When you're finished, you'll have a dual‐boot computer — meaning that you can boot into either Ubuntu or Windows. Because most current useful computers have Microsoft Windows XP installed, I describe how to make Windows behave and play nice with its soon‐to‐arrive little brother. Don't worry, they won't fight.

If you don't want to keep your current Windows — or Linux — installation and files, you don't have to worry about making nice with it. You can skip to Chapter 4 and install Ubuntu over the existing operating system. Windows, you are the weakest link. Goodbye.

Preparing to Make Room for Ubuntu

A dual‐boot system with Ubuntu and Windows requires enough hard drive space for both Windows and Ubuntu. I recommend a hard drive with

  • A bare minimum of 3GB of unused capacity to install ...

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