Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ubuntu and Windows guide 1

It's all going to be about Ubuntu over Windows today. I'm going to introduce some vital configuration aspects and how to customize and explore the world of Ubuntu.

As I know personally most of the community trends towards Windows glossy products rather than classic old school Ubuntu. That's because the myth that prevails among them regarding the Ubuntu being a highly complex, hard to use OS and not having to "double click a .exe" to do all the work for you. But the real deal is Ubuntu is a highly customizable, easy to use OS. There is a significant improvement in the GUI and the file system  of the latest Ubuntu version 11.04. My goal today would be to introduce and install Ubuntu with windows and some minor configurations because some of the old discussions available in the web isn't going to help you as much as the filesystem has changed a bit. I'll post more tutorials later.

You can download the OS at and can be installed using either a CD or a bootable pen drive. There is clear direct help in the download section about how to create the media.
While installing just make sure you select a swap area (of about twice your Ram size if it's below 2GB, this acts as the virtual memory) and a partition to install Ubuntu formated with EXT4. if you want to tryout Ubuntu you can either use the disk to run Ubuntu live or you can install Ubuntu along with Windows while in windows by just "double clicking the .exe". I highly recommend making sure you reserve a separate partition of about 10GB at least and if can reserving a small area of 100 MB for the boot partition and another partition to install the home directory if you are planning to use it often. If you have a separate partition for your home directory you won't lose your precious data while formating after encounting an error.

You can connect to the Internet straight away by either WiFi or Mobile broadband. The settings are available on the top right hand corner. And it doesn't require any other utilities ,just a simple configuration.

One of the most frequently asked questions among the beginners is that how to change the boot order. By default it's set to Ubuntu with a timeout of 10 seconds.
To do this you need to have a basic idea of using a text editor in Ubuntu. Vim is the most highly used and it's very easy to use when you get  to know it.
You can install Vim by going to the terminal (homeButton > type terminal in the search box). When it opens type

sudo apt-get install vim

This will prompt you to enter the root password. Type in the password you entered while installing.After the installation is over type


to get the vim tutorial. It's a long list yet if you thinking of using Ubuntu with web servers etc you must learn it. If not still you can use it as a simple text editor with delete,insert all the keys working. To exit from vim press escape and then


and press enter.This will exit immediately  without saving.


press enter, this will exit immediately after saving.
try this with a sample by creating one

vim thisIsATest.txt

there are two modes in Vim. One is the command mode the other is the writing mode. You can always go to the command mode by pressing the escape key and writing mode by pressing 'a' or 'i'.

Onto the good stuff, changing the boot order. To do this you have to alter a file of the grub bootloader. Type

vim /etc/default/grub

be careful when playing with these files. Still remember you always have the option of exiting the file without saving by typing :q! after pressing the escape key.

In that file there is an entry called


change the number to 4(pressing i after getting the cursor in the right spot) if you have only one windows OS installed so it'd look like this


then save it and exit by pressing escape and :wq!

The last part, type

sudo update-grub

so that it'll apply the settings. This has been enabled to minimize the mistakes.

Then restart your computer and see if it had worked. If it had then the Windows section would be highlighted and after the default 10 seconds windows will bootup.

Further more you can change the timeout by changing the


value. Follow the same process and see if that had taken effect.

If things haven't gone wrong(I hope they haven't) you would have a Ubuntu running machine with windows being the default bootup entry. Search more about the grub bootloader. There are tons of customization oppotunities available unlike Windows.

If you run into any kinda trouble please let me know I'll be happy to help you. If you need any help in ubuntu please email me or post here. It will encourage me to post more posts in my blog. If you don't like it criticize it so I can correct my mistakes. This is just the beginning, there is a lot more out there.

Ubuntu all the way ......... (I'm not getting paid by Ubuntu :) )

1 comment:

  1. Ubuntu ROX... \m/
    Thanks For This Valuable Information!!
    Keep it UP.
    Happy Blogging :)