Why Install Linux?
- Mainly Linux are for those who wants to see the source code of the operating system, customize them, and maybe reuse them to make their own operating system.
- For general users, it is the home of free and opensource software where instead of cracking software for those who cannot and does not want to buy software, use Linux instead that secures us from the law.
- Other than for those who wants to support open source software, are for those who are curious. Why not give it a try? It does not hurt and nothing to lose. It is not like the old times where Linux are difficult to use but Linux has advanced to be more beautiful and user friendly.
Download Linux and Create a Bootable Drive
Download any Linux distribution for free on their websites. For first time users, I recommend trying Ubuntu where although there are many user friendly Linux distributions suited for beginners Ubuntu is the most popular general users Linux distribution today. If the information regarding to the problems you are facing are not already available online, then you can just ask the community and they usually respond quickly.
After downloading the Linux disk image is to create a bootable drive. The popular bootable drive today is a bootable USB where we the Linux into a USB and boot it in startup. I am guessing that most of you are Windows user and my favourite software to create a bootable drive is Rufus. If you are on MacOS or rarely you bought a laptop with Linux installed and want to install another Linux, my favourite is Balena Etcher. Ofcourse there are other utilities such as Win32 Disk Imager and Unetbootin, my favourites for now are Rufus and Etcher but feel free to try other utilities but becareful of malware.
Today's utility provides protection as it does not read internal and large external hard disks preventing us from messing our existing system. We can show them by clicking a checkbox and will notify us to proceed with caution. Well the only risk is that we may forget to backup the contents of our flash drive and procceed with the flash erasing the contents in the process. The main process from the video are:
- Download and install the utility.
- Choose a USB drive to flash.
- Choose the Ubuntu or any OS disk image as the material.
Installing Linux Ubuntu
On Virtual Machine
If you want to try Ubuntu or any other operating systems (OS) but not yet confident in installing directly to the computer with reasons such as afraid of messing up the current system, then you can try virtual machines. Virtual machines runs your OS on top of existing one just like other software and applications so you do not need to worry about messing your current system. Another reason is if you have a high spec computer that is powerful enough to run 2 OS at the same time which may make you feel lazy to install two seperate OS in one PC (dualboot) and just install the OS on top of existing one. If you are confident enough or do need this step, just skip it. If you can afford, you can try VMware. If not, you can try VirtualBox. Detail discussion is not necessary here as you can just install and explore and delete and try again if you fail as there are no risk. However, from the video, here are some highlighted steps:
- Create a new machine.
- Choose the disk type. Virtual Box disk type are usually compatible with Virtual Box only. If you want to transfer to VMware or other software, choose another type. So you can install and save the virtual drive in your storage and you can open it on another computer with Virtual Box or other virtual machine software installed.
- Allocate the amount of RAM generally not more than half of your existing RAM where the software will give you some recommendations.
- Go to settings for further configurations such as the display for video card memory, storage for inserting the Ubuntu or other OS disk image, network for connecting to the Internet and other networks, and more.
- Start the machine and proceed with the installation.
On Internal Hard Drive (Default Way)
Unfortunately, I do not have a video of installing alongside them but the recording should not be much different from install fresh. I do have a video of the "something else" option on the next subsection. Ofcourse, if you are an expert, you would probably prefer "something else" and make your own customization. The "install alongside ..." is just a user friendly option for general users.
On External Hard Drive
Installing on external hard drive is what something people rarely do but people do it because:
- They are moving from places to places (maybe office to office) and does carry portable computers such as laptop so they bring a preinstalled flash drive or external hard drive and boot them on any computer they find rather than the already installed OS in the internal hard drive.
- For further reasons such as for privacy such as using Tails OS or any other functions that most OS are not capable of such as Forensics where it is better to bring a specialized OS in a flash drive.
- Finally for those who does not want to dual-boot nor use a virtual machine.
The installation method is similar but with few difference as follow after choosing the "Choose something else":