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How to install Ubuntu Desktop

Nowadays people start to explore and use Linux on their older computers because Linux is much leaner than Windows and so suitable for older computers. Another important reason is that Linux is free to download and use. Among the many different Linux hybrids to choose from, Ubuntu is currently the most popular Linux desktop distribution.

In this article, the essential steps of how to install Linux Ubuntu desktop version are detailed.

Step 1: Download Ubuntu

There are three different ways to get Ubuntu. This article will only talk about how to use the download version.

Download Ubuntu to your computer now. The downloaded file is a single image file with .iso file extension and is nearly 700M. If you don't have a fast internet connection you may consider requesting a free Ubuntu installation CD.

Step 2: Verify the downloaded image file

This is an essential step in Ubuntu installation - make sure the downloaded file has not been tampered.

Verifying Ubuntu ISO image for correct MD5 hash value is a simple process. You need to download a software and use it to calculate a value that is identical to the one provided by Ubuntu website.

(1) Download and install HashCalc.

(2) Run HashCalc and select the Ubuntu image file and then calculate its MD5 value.

Here is what it looks like after the MD5 is calculated:

(3) Compare with the correct MD5 hash value for your Ubuntu version.

Ubuntu MD5 Hash page lists MD5 hash values for all the different versions of Ubuntu, including Kubuntu, Edubuntu, and Xubuntu.

Step 3: Burn the download image file to a disk

An ISO image is an archive file (disk image) of an optical disc. The image contains all the data (files and folders) of an archived CD or DVD. Before you use the data, you need to restore its folder and file structures. This restoration process is known as burning image to disk, which means you restore all the data to a disk (CD or DVD).

Ubuntu website recommends you use Infra Recorder, a free and open source image burning program.

(1) Download and install Infra Recorder.

(2) Insert a blank CD into your computer's CD or DVD burner.

(3) Open Infra Recorder, and select the 'Actions' menu, then 'Burn image'.

(4) Select the Ubuntu CD image file you want to use, then click 'Open'.

Note that the image file should be the one you have verified for MD5 hash.

After you click Open, you will see a configuration dialog window comes up. No need to change anything - just click OK and the burning will start straight away.

Please note that, if your CD burner software says it is too large for the 700 MB CD and can't be burned, probably the image is corrupted. You will need to verify Ubuntu ISO images for correct MD5 hash value. See step 2 above.

Step 4: Make sure that your BIOS has the ability to boot from a CD/DVD drive.

When computer starts, it needs to know which drive to run first - it can be CD/DVD drive, removable devices, or hard disk. This is known as boot sequence. Boot sequence can be changed within BIOS settings (or called CMOS).

To access BIOS settings, after you turn on the computer and depends on what type and brand of the computer you use, keep pressing Del key, or F2, or F8, or F12 key, the BIOS settings screen should come up. In the Boot Sequence section, move the CD/DVD drive to the top of the boot priority list. If you are not sure, check your motherboard's manual for detailed information.

Step 5: Verify the burned disk for problems

Some people experienced the SquashFS Errors problem when booting from the burned disk to install Ubuntu.

The error is similar to this:

[ 135.292409] SQUASHFS error: sb_bread failed reading block 0x9d7f3
[ 135.292411] SQUASHFS error: Unable to read fragment cache block [275faa28]
[ 135.292413] SQUASHFS error: Unable to read page, block 275faa28, size 23a7

Most of the time, the error is caused by bad files in the burned disk. So, in addition to verifying the MD5 hash, you also need to check the integrity of the disk you have just burned. To do that, insert the disk to computer, after it has booted from the disk, use the Down arrow key to select the option Check CD for defects. It will take a while to complete the checking.

If you keep having trouble with the disk, try use a different burning software, such as ISO Recorder and here is the tutorial on how to use ISO Recorder.

Step 6: Finally, it's time to install Ubuntu desktop.

Insert your disk and when the screen comes up, select Install Ubuntu.

Happy installing!


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