Installing Ubuntu is now extremely easy thanks to the integration with a Live CD. Before you decide to install, just boot up using the CD to make sure that your system can handle Ubuntu. Once you are happy with it, you can use the simple GUI installer that Ubuntu supplies to install Ubuntu straight to your hard drive. You do get a few options before you boot the live CD, which are listed below:
• Testing the installation media Useful for testing the integrity of your copies of the Ubuntu CD-ROMs/DVD. If you download .iso images of the Ubuntu CD or DVD, you can also use an MD5SUM client to compare the prepublished checksums for the media against your .iso files.
• Testing your PC's memory Useful for ensuring that your PC is in good form with functioning memory. Linux will use every available byte of RAM, and you should ensure that you do not run into problems after the operating system is installed.
• Rescuing the system In instances where a boot loader configuration has failed, or for some reason the system will not boot, you can use the installer to boot to a rescue mode; you can then mount the existing file system and rescue data or reconfigure the system to resolve the problem.
• Specifying hardware workarounds You can use various options at the installer command line to get around problematic or unsupported hardware posing an obstacle to your install.
• Specifying an install method You can install Ubuntu from a hard drive partition or over a network using FTP, NFS, HTTP, or virtual networking.
See Chapter 3, "Installing Ubuntu," for specific details about various installer options.
Ubuntu installs a preselected choice of software as standard, allowing you to add to this depending on your specific requirements. Unlike other distributions, there are no "Server" or "Workstation" options; instead, Ubuntu is designed with flexibility in mind and comes with the uber-efficient apt-get and synaptic packages. This combination of tools enables you to acquire and install new software with little hassle and opens up a whole world of software to you.
See Chapter 2, "Preparing to Install Ubuntu," for some important considerations to help you prepare to install Ubuntu. See Chapter 3 to learn how to install using a CD-ROM/DVD, a hard drive, or a network.
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