You’ll find that the process for getting Ubuntu is eerily similar to what I just described for Slackware on page 1. This is because getting linux is more or less the same process regardless of what distro you choose. Like Slackware, you can purchase a full, shiny set of Ubuntu discs at the Get Ubuntu section of their website, or you can download it via their mirrors section… but what is this? Request a free CD?
That’s right. The fine folks at Canonical (the people who make this distro) think that you should be able to try it out before you even take the time to download or cough up the cash to buy it. Of course, on their website, they only sell CDs in packs of 20 or more, but for $35.00 and the enjoyment you’ll get out of Ubuntu, you can probably find 19 friends that would appreciate a copy. Right? Yeah, maybe not. But hey, you can have them send you a single CD for free!
To be honest, most folks just download it, and with Ubuntu that’s even easier than Slackware, because it’s only a single ISO file, and you only have to burn a single CD for it.
Keep in mind that this ISO file is 699MB, so you’ll be waiting a little bit for the download to finish, during which time you can run out and purchase a spool of blank CDs. Why? Because once you start downloading distros and trying them out, you’ll be doing more of it, most likely. I know I did.
Now what do I do with it?
Can’t blame you one bit for asking that. So you bought/torrented/downloaded your Slackware or Ubuntu and you have some install CDs sitting in front of you. What next?
With Slackware, that’s another post, coming soon. But if you chose Ubuntu, you’re in luck. Ubuntu install discs all double as Live CDs. If you pay any attention to Linux goings-on, you’ll see that term getting thrown around a lot. What’s a Live CD? It’s a disc you can use to try out a distro without installing anything.
All you do is put it in your CD-ROM drive, boot off of it, let it load, and voila!, you have a usable environment without wrecking whatever you already have set up on that computer. This is a great way to see how a distro is going to react to your hardware, and also a good look at what you’re getting before you take the trouble to repartition and do a full installation. Try it, it’s fun!
Slackware doesn’t work that way (at least, not in my experience), but as I had mentioned, what to do with Slackware discs is the subject of another post, so we’ll get to that in time.
In the mean time, get busy getting a Linux distro and watch this space for discussion about installation.