What keeps back people from trying a new operating system? Especially, the Linux based operating systems like Ubuntu are often left untried for various reasons. For running Ubuntu you just require a processor with 700 MHz, minimum of 512 MB RAM and 5 GB Hard disk space.

Below are some of the common reasons that stops people from switching over to a new operating like Ubuntu:

1) The fear of usability – how difficult is it to use Ubuntu? I bet you dont remember how difficult it was when you started with whatever operating system that you are using now.
2) Where to find what? – I agree that working on a new operating system is like moving into a new town. It’s difficult in the beginning to get know things but i can assure you that once you start to explore things will fall in place.
3) Where is my Software? – I was using this xyz software for a long time in my older operating system and now I can’t find it in Ubuntu -There are lot of choices available for all your software’s and you can find one easily in Ubuntu Software Centre .

And the God of all reasons is “What if I don’t like Ubuntu?”

I am not asking you to kick off your current operating system once for all from your machine and plunge right away into  Ubuntu, all I am asking you to do is “just give a try”, that too with a safe fall back option.

Below are some of the best ways to install and explore Ubuntu. These 3 options can help you to evaluate Ubuntu and its features quickly and yes you can forget Ubuntu if you don’t like it.

Before proceeding any further, download your latest copy of Ubuntu from the official website first. There are two download options available for you, one with extended support and the other one with the latest cutting edge features, you can choose any one among the two. Since you are just giving Ubuntu a shot I would recommend to download the one with the extended support.

Now its time for action lets get started, shall we ?

1) Install Ubuntu on USB

Find a USB Stick preferably with 4 GB free space and I can guarantee you that this is the simplest method to install and explore Ubuntu. Download “Linux Live USB Creator” and install it on your machine, the size of the installer is just 4.5 MB and will take 150 MB space of your hard disk for installation. Make sure your USB is in FAT32 format before you start installing Ubuntu. Now run the “LiLi USB Creator.exe” from the installed path and you should see a cool dialog launched as shown below

Linux Live Top 3 Options to Install and Try Ubuntu

Just follow the 5 steps shown on the Linux Live Installer Screen and you should have your Ubuntu ready on your USB. Now reboot your system and change your BIOS settings to set the primary boot device as USB. That’s it, the system will get into Ubuntu and you are now ready to explore Ubuntu from your USB.

2) Ubuntu on Virtual Machine

Virtual Desktops can help you to run an operating system within another operating system. There are lots of widely used virtualization software’s like Oracle VM Virtual Box, VMware etc. Download any of the virtualization software that you prefer and install it on your machine. If you are using VMware then choose “I will create the operating system later” option in the New Virtual Machine Wizard rather than choosing the Installer Image or Disk directly.

VMware Top 3 Options to Install and Try Ubuntu

Please note that virtual machines share the RAM from your host operating system so plan accordingly. The rest of the installation process is pretty simple and shouldn’t be a problem unless you have not installed any operating system on your own.

3) Dual Boot Ubuntu

You can choose this option if you don’t want to share your RAM between your host machine and virtual machine. Before you go ahead with this option it is recommended that you keep in mind the below things:

a) Back up your important data to an external disk.

b) Always install Ubuntu after you install windows**.

c) Allocate separate partition drives for windows and Ubuntu.

**You can still install windows after installing Ubuntu but the GRUB (Grand Unified Boot loader) will be overwritten by windows and you have to reinstall the GRUB.

Burn the latest Ubuntu that you have downloaded into a disc and load it into your drive and restart the machine. Change the BIOS setting to boot from your CD. Once you start the installation the wizard will provide you an option to either manually partition the drive or let the installer do an automatic partitioning. If you are not comfortable with manual partitioning just let the system do the automatic partitioning. Rest of the installation process will be wizard driven so no worries there. Check out a snapshot of Ubuntu below from my system

Ubuntu on virtual machine


I am done from my end and would love to hear your experiences of exploring Ubuntu.