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October 13 is a big day for Ubuntu fans. It’s the day that the next version of Ubuntu arrives. If you want to give it a try, download a copy of Ubuntu 11.10, Oneiric Ocelot, burn an ISO copy to a CD or USB stick, pop that into your PC, and follow along.
Before doing anything drastic, like actually installing Ubuntu on your PC, make sure it works first. Only after testing it out for a while, should you reboot your computer and chose the Install Ubuntu option.
Next, you need to decide if you want to include proprietary software, such as Adobe Flash, in your Ubuntu desktop. If you’re a free software purist, you’re going to say no to this option. I’m more of a pragmatist so I’m chose both to install it. In addition, at this point you need to choose if you want to download upgrades as you’re installing your new copy of Ubuntu. I usually choose yes, but if you have a slow Internet connection, you can skip this.
After this, you need to decide what you’re going to do with your hard drive. On a standalone PC you can either use your entire system or choose to have it dual-boot with Windows or some other operating system. In my experience, Ubuntu can live quite comfortably on the same PC as Windows XP, Windows 7, or any other version of Linux.