Today I’ll show you how to install Ubuntu 20.10 on your Desktop which is probably the first distribution you are going to start with if you decide to switch to Linux.
First, you need to open your browser and go to https://ubuntu.com/. Then go to the Downloads section in the Menu. As you can see here, Ubuntu has a lot of versions and options to choose from Desktop, Server, IoT (Internet of Things), and the cloud as well. On the bottom right you might also notice that Ubuntu also come in different Flavors. This just means Ubuntu but with different Desktop Environments. The default version comes with the Desktop Environment GNOME, but you can try different ones and choose the one that you prefer.
For our purposes. we will go with the Ubuntu Desktop option. For the Desktop, you have two versions the LTS version 20.04, released in April 2020, and the latest rolling release 20.10. The main difference is that the LTS version (which stands for Long-Term Support) is supported for five years by canonical from the day of its release. That makes it more reliable and maintainable in the long run. The installation instruction should be almost the same. So, let’s choose the latest version for now.
This will download an ISO file that you need to burn to a blank DVD or a USB key. Make sure to make it bootable. For this, you can use tools like rufus or isotousb.
When you first boot from the USB Drive, you’ll find you have two options: Try Ubuntu or Install Ubuntu. If you are still unsure if you want to fully switch to Linux or you want to test the compatibility with your hardware first, you can click on Try Ubuntu and actually run a full running and functional Operating System right from your USB drive with no impact whatsoever on your current setup.
On the other hand, if you have already made up your mind and decided to make the full switch, Go with the Install Ubuntu option. Next, you’ll be asked to choose your Language and Keyboard settings. If you/re unsure what’s the best configuration for your keyboard, you can click the “Detect Keyboard” button at the bottom which will ask you to press some keys on your keyboard and it will detect the right configuration for you. You can also test in the input field to check if it’s working as you would expect.
Then you have two kinds of installation:
Normal Installation: which automatically installs some handy additional software to get you started.
Minimal installation: just the basic Ubuntu with only a web browser, you’ll have to install additional software yourself later on.
the “Other Options” section is very important. The first one asks you whether to download the updates while installing. The second one asks you if you agree to let Ubuntu install other third-party drivers, which very essential if you have an NVIDIA card or if you would like to watch or listen to the essential video/audio formats (MP3 for example).
Now, the next part is the most important and critical one. You’ll be asked if you either want to erase your whole disk and install Ubuntu and let Ubuntu handle the Partitioning of your hard drive or if you would like to handle the partitioning yourself, you can check the recommended partitioning sizes here. You might have a third option to install Ubuntu alongside Windows if you already have Windows installed and Ubuntu can detect it.
You then need to choose your Location and hit Continue. Then you have a “Who are you?” part where you configure your name, which automatically fills up your username (you can have multiple users using the same computer, and then the computer’s name which is how other computers will see this computer. You will understand why is that important later.
Now that you’ve done your configuration, let it install. That might take some time depending on your hardware. Then, you’ll be asked to restart your PC. After reboot, you’ll find some optional setup steps that you can just skip for now. And there you go, you’ve now successfully installed Ubuntu on your Desktop. You can now browse the internet, Install additional Apps and software from the Ubuntu Software, or browse your files.