The first thing you should do is head to http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download and download Ubuntu 11.10 LiveCD. Just click the big orange Start download box.
Using your disc burning software, burn the .iso you downloaded to a CD.
Before you go any further, ensure all important data is backed up in case of data loss on your drives. This guide assumes you have media backups of your Windows partitioned hard drive and you are safe to proceed.
***Warning: Installing another operating system without first ensuring you have backups of your current files and operating system is a big risk. If you have no data to lose or you’ve backed up important data, you’re ready to proceed. YOU are responsible if you lose data.For those of you using Windows, and installing Linux for the first time I recommend you either use a separate hard disk that does not contain the Windows OS, or create a partition big enough for Linux within Windows using Disk Management in the Administrative Tools menu of the control panel. 30GB of hard disk space is absolutely plenty of space for you to begin exploring Ubuntu whilst at the same time having room to grow.
Ensure you have a network cable connected, restart your computer, and boot from the CD drive.
The LiveCD will load up, and you’ll be presented by the following box:
For the purposes of this guide, we will assume you’ve already tried Ubuntu and want to proceed with an installation, so click “Install Ubuntu.”
You’ll be greeted by the “Preparing to install Ubuntu” screen, exactly as below:
I recommend you select “Install third-party software” as I have done in the screenshot above. I prefer to do system updates once up and running, but if you have the extra time you can also select “download updates while installing” as well. Then click continue.
The next screen you will see is “installation type,” what you see will be dependent on whether you have an existing Windows installation or not.
I’m going to split this into three different sub-steps, to make it as simple as possible.
For those installing in a virtual machine or to hard disks without an OS you will see the following screen:
You have two choices:
1. Erase the entire disk and use all of it for installation — Ubuntu will automatically partition your disk and proceed with installation.
2. Select “something else” and manually create your partitions (which is covered in detail in step 7-C).
If you are choosing the first option, select the radio button and then click continue, proceeding to step 8.