Installing Ubuntu 13.04

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The Ubuntu installer opens in a Welcome window in which you choose a language. The next window checks to see whether your computer meets the installation requirements, which are at least 5.3GB of available drive space (for the DVD version), plugged in to an electrical outlet (important for laptop and netbook installations), and preferably connected to the Internet (Figure 3).

Figure 3: The installer provides options to prepare for MP3 support and for downloading updates, among other things.

In this window, you can set two checkmarks. If you mark Download updates while installing, Ubuntu uses the idle time during installation to download patches and security updates from the Internet, but doesn't install them yet.

Marking Install this third-party software loads a few important codecs and plugins for your system during the installation. These codes and plugins will allow you to play MP3 files on your player and see Flash content in your browser. These two options can always be set later, but for now, Continue takes you to the next window.

If a wired connection exists to the network and Ubuntu recognizes your wireless card, the next window displays the discovered access points. Using the correct password, you can connect to the access point. If no choices are available, a wireless connection is not possible, so use a wired connection instead.

Choices, Choices

A new window then appears that was introduced in Ubuntu 12.10. If Ubuntu doesn't find another operating system installed, it provides the options, as before, to Erase disk and install Ubuntu or to do Something else (Figure 4). As in 12.10, two additional options are Encrypt the new Ubuntu installation for security and Use LVM with the new Ubuntu installation. If you encrypt Ubuntu, the performance is a bit less than optimal, although it secures data against theft. Note that you can always encrypt your home directory later.

Figure 4: Choose to erase the entire disk for the Ubuntu install, or make a different selection.

If you have another resident operating system, such as Windows 7, the option Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 7 appears on the screen, which you can invoke using Continue. In this case, the options for encryption and LVM are grayed out and not available. If you have an older Ubuntu version, additional options appear in the installer window.

Hard Drives in Ubuntu

Ubuntu names device files on hard drives according to a particular schema: /dev/sda addresses the first detected hard drive, with /dev/sda1 its primary partition (/dev/sda2 through /dev/sda4 are the three other primary partitions). The /dev/sda5 device is the first logical partition located in the /dev/sda2 extended partition. Windows should always be located in the first primary partition (/dev/sda1 ), and generally also in /dev/sda2 . If you plug a USB stick or external hard drive in the USB slot, these external storage devices get the designation /dev/sdb , with everything else following the same schema. Using the sudo fdisk -l command, you can get an overview of the available hard disk and USB memory and the partitions and filesystems within them.

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