Has the frustration of using the Windows operating system reached a tipping point for you? You've probably had to deal with random reboots to upgrade, failed upgrades, unsupported hardware, crashes, and a never-ending inflexibility and general unreliability.
If that sounds like your experience with Windows, I'd like to introduce you to something better, more reliable, and free. Said something is Linux and it's been my operating system of choice since 1997. Now, back in those early days, Linux was a significant challenge to use and an even greater headache to install.
That was then, this is now. With some small exceptions (such as Gentoo and Arch), modern Linux has become incredibly easy to use and even install.
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I know, I know…you're thinking, "I can't install an operating system!" Au contraire, mon ami. If you can install an application, you can install Linux.
Don't believe me? Let me show you by way of Ubuntu Desktop 22.04. I'll be demonstrating with the beta release of this iteration, but the installation will be the same when the full release is made available.
A word of warning: Make sure you're installing Ubuntu on a machine you can spare. Save any important data from that system to an external drive, as once you've installed Ubuntu whatever operating system and user account that was previously on the machine will be toast.
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To make this work, you'll need to download the ISO image for the latest release of Ubuntu. Once you have that downloaded, you'll then need to burn the ISO image to a USB flash drive using a tool like Unetbootin (which can be installed on Linux, macOS, or Windows). Burning the ISO image to a USB drive isn't just copying the file to the removable device; instead, it creates a bootable drive from which you can then install the operating system.
Once you've installed Unetbootin, insert your USB drive, open the application, and then select Diskimage, click the three horizontal dots (Figure A), and locate the ISO image you downloaded.
From the Drive drop-down, select the USB device (making absolutely certain you've selected the right device) and click OK to burn the ISO to the drive.
Once Unetbootin completes, safely remove the USB device, insert it into the machine that will house your new installation of Ubuntu, and boot up.
The first screen (Figure B) allows you to either try Ubuntu or install it.
Click Install Ubuntu and then (in the resulting window - Figure C) select the keyboard layout and click Continue.
In the next screen (Figure D), click the check box for Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware and additional media formats. This option will install several codecs so you can play numerous media files.
Click Continue and, in the next window (Figure E), keep all of the defaults and click Install Now.
You will then be prompted to proceed with the installation (Figure F).
In the next window (Figure G), either select on the map or type your location and click Continue.
Next, you must create a user for the system (Figure H). Type your full name, a name for the computer (which can be anything you like, such as ubuntulinux), a username, and a password.
Make sure to keep Require my password to login checked (otherwise your system will be less secure). Click Continue and the installation will begin. It should take at the most five minutes to complete the process (depending on the speed of your network and system).
When the installation completes, you'll be prompted to restart the computer (Figure I).
Finally, you'll be prompted (Figure J) to remove the installation media (the USB drive) and hit Enter on your keyboard.
When the machine reboots, you'll be greeted by the login screen (Figure K). Enter the username and password you created during installation and enjoy Ubuntu Desktop Linux.
And that's all there is to installing Ubuntu Desktop Linux. And you thought this was going to be a challenge. Congratulations on taking your first step toward desktop freedom.