Preparing for the Install Process

The basic steps in installing Ubuntu are to plan, install, and configure. You have to decide how to boot to an install and how much room to devote to Linux. Then perform the install (a sample step-by-step installation is in Chapter 3, "Installing Ubuntu") and afterward, configure your system to host new users and specific software services. Much of the initial work is done during the install process because the installer walks you through partitioning, configuring the desktop, and configuration of any recognized network adapter.

There are many different ways to install Ubuntu, and selecting an installation method might depend on the equipment on hand, existing bandwidth, or equipment limitations. Here are some of the most commonly used installation methods:

• CD-ROM/DVD Using a compatible CD-ROM or DVD drive attached to the computer (laptop users with an external CD-ROM drive will need PCMCIA support from a driver disk image included under the first CD-ROM's images directory).

• Network File System (NFS) You can install Ubuntu from a remotely mounted hard drive containing the Ubuntu software. To do this installation, you must have an installed and supported network interface card, along with a boot floppy with network support. (You learn how to make boot floppies later in this section of the chapter.)

• File Transfer Protocol (FTP) As with an NFS install, installation via FTP requires that the Ubuntu software be available on a public FTP server. You also need an installed and supported network interface card, along with a boot floppy with network support.

• Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP) As with the FTP and NFS installs, installation via HTTP requires that the Ubuntu software be available on an accessible website. You also need an installed and supported network interface card, along with a boot floppy with network support.

• Installation via the Internet If you have the bandwidth, it might be possible to install Ubuntu via the Internet; however, this method might not be as reliable as using a Local Area Network (LAN) because of availability and current use of the Ubuntu Project or other servers on mirror sites.

• A hard drive partition By copying the .iso images to a hard drive partition, you can then boot to an install.

• Preinstalled media It is also possible to install Linux on another hard drive and then transfer the hard drive to your computer. This is handy, especially if your site uses removable hard drives or other media.

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