Installing Ubuntu 13.10

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Install Now

If you opted for self-partitioning, click Install Now . To set up complete encryption, Ubuntu asks for a security key. Select the most secure one possible (Figure 6). Ubuntu then asks about your location (Where are you? to get the time zone), Keyboard layout , name, username, and password (Who are you? ). The latter dialog also asks whether you want to Require my password to log in or Log in automatically , with an additional option to Encrypt my home folder . Ubuntu uses EcryptFS for this.

Figure 6: If you choose the complete encryption option that Ubuntu offers, be sure to use a secure password (security key) and keep it in a safe place so as not to lose it.

After selecting your timezone and keyboard and setting your username and password, you'll come to yet another new screen introduced in 13.10 (Figure 7). Here you can create or set up your Ubuntu One cloud account. You will find this useful for backups, storing and sharing photos, and buying music and games later.

Figure 7: New in 13.10 is the option to configure your Ubuntu One account during the install.

If you have one of the supported Ubuntu webcams, the installer also suggests that you take an image of yourself to complement your profile. Ubuntu 13.10 can also import profiles from other installed operating systems, including not only browser and email files but also screen backgrounds and documents.

During the install process, you can view a slideshow that presents the new features in Ubuntu. Installation can take a while, depending on your system, and it ends with a prompt to Restart Now (Figure 8). Remove the CD/DVD and press Enter so that the computer reboots. If you activated system encryption, enter the password before booting up.

Figure 8: Installation can take a while, but it is painless and can generally be left to its own devices.

Updating Ubuntu

If you have Ubuntu 12.04 installed, you should first consider whether you want to upgrade at all. Version 12.04 is an LTS version with five years of support, so you could wait until 2014 to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04. If you still want to upgrade to 13.10, you have to upgrade to 12.10 first. You may also want to upgrade to 13.04, but I had no problems going from 12.10 to 13.10. Before you start, turning off the external repositories and PPAs makes sense. Use the Software Center Edit | Software Sources function and remove the check marks on the Other Software tab.

Next, press Alt+F2 and enter update-manager -d . In the empty window of the update manager, an Upgrade button shows at the top. During the upgrade, the installer asks whether you want to keep or replace a specific configuration file; choose to replace if you haven't made any changes. Because Ubuntu is downloading many packages and replacing them, make sure your computer is connected to a power supply to stay charged during the process.

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