Installing Ubuntu Linux 7.10, Gutsy Gibbon

February 05, 2008

South Africa's Ubuntu, an open source software company featuring a new version of Linux and its derivatives every six months, is the world's most popular family of Linux distributions. I say "family" because Ubuntu Server and Desktop also have specialized "sister" distributions, including Kubuntu, Edbuntu, Xubuntu and Gobuntu. According to the 2007 Desktop Linux Survey, Ubuntu has a leading 30% of the Linux desktop market, with Novell's Suse in second place at 21%.

While Canonical, the European commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, will mail you copies of the operating system on cd-rom absolutely for free, I opted instead to download the ISO file of the alternate install CD, which I then burned to cd-rom. This is the text-based installer which is faster. The version they can mail to you, which you can also download for free, is the the live CD, which runs in RAM only, unless you decide to install it to the hard drive.

The following instructions are not exhaustive, but they will allow you to easily install Ubuntu on the entire hard drive, without having to worry about creating more than one partition. Other instructions, with screen shots, can be found on Ubuntu's wiki.

I recently learned that in the US, Microsoft Windows Vista will be making about 100 million desktop computers obsolete and ready for the scrap heap, since Vista has higher hardware requirements than previous versions of Windows. This massive surplus of PCs has Linux community volunteers anticipating donating computers, naturally hardened against malware and other security risks, to families who currently do not have home computers. While not invulnerable against Internet security risks, the Linux operating system is 100% free for download and can be reinstalled and shared, with the license restrictions common to proprietary operating systems.

As more and more people will find out, there's little that you can't do on a Linux computer and each Linux distro (bootable Linux discs) contains multitudes of free applications worth hundreds of dollars. After installing Ubuntu Linux, you will see just how easy it is to select among hundreds of free open source applications, with a few mouse clicks. Do some googling and you will see many ways to customize the appearance of your desktop, with themes that mimic the beauty of Apple's MacIntosh and the eye candy slickness of Windows XP. While it shares UNIX heritage similar to Mac OS X and its successors, Linux comes in many different variations and for the hobbyist, is a joy to discover.

Step-by-step installation of Ubuntu 7.10

PC: 2 GHz Pentium 4, 1 GB RAM

Ubuntu 7.10 alternate install cd-rom used (downloaded.) Note, this is the text-based install of Ubuntu, not the live CD. The live CD version runs from RAM and doesn't install on your hard drive, and it is a great way to see what Ubuntu is about without committing to it.

1. Insert the CD-rom into the computer.

--> [Boot the PC with the install cd-rom: hit the reset button or just turn the computer off then on]

2. In the first screen, you see a list of options.

--> [select “Install in text mode,” from the list of options. You can also select “Check CD for defects,” to make sure the CD-ROM is not corrupted.]

3. A “Choose language” screen appears.

--> [select “English – English”]

4. A second “Choose language” screen appears.

Select country, territory or area.
--> [select “Canada”]

5. The “Ubuntu installer main menu” screen appears.

“You can try to have your keyboard layout detected by pressing a series of keys. If you do not want to do this, you will be able to select your keyboard layout from a list.

Detect keyboard layout?”

--> [select “Yes”]

6. Another “Ubuntu installer main menu” appears.

Keyboard layout detection complete. Based on the keys you pressed, your keyboard layout appears to be "us:intl." If this is not correct, you can go back and select your keyboard layout from the full list instead.

7. "Detecting hardware from cd-rom drives" message flashes by quickly, followed by "searching CD-ROM drive," then "loading additional hardware," and ”Configuring DHCP."

8. The “Configure the network” screen appears.

Please enter the host name for this system. The hostname is a single word that identifies your system to the network. If you don't know what your hostname should be, consult your network administrator. If you are setting up your own home network, you can make up something."

--> [you can accept the default name "ubuntu"]

9. The “Detecting disks and all other hardware” message flashes by.

10. The “Partition disks” screen appears.

The installer can guide you through partitioning a disk (using different standard schemes) or, if you prefer, you can do it manually. With guided partitioning, you will still have a chance later to review and customize the results.

If you choose guided partitioning for an entire disk, you will next be asked which disk should be used.

Petitioning method:

--> “Guided - use entire disk” [select this one]

11. Another “Partition disks” screen appears.

Note that all data on the disk you select will be erased, but not before you have confirmed that you really want to make changes.

Select the disks to partition.

--> [the highlighted hard drive is selected, hit Enter]

12. Another “Partition disks” screen appears

If you continue, the changes listed below will be written to the disks. Otherwise, you will be able to make further changes manually.

--> [select “Yes”]

13. The message “Creating the ext3 file system” flashes by.

14. The “Configure time zone” screen appears.

Select your time zone.

--> [select "Central"]

15. The “Configure the clock” screen appears.

System clocks are generally set to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The operating system uses your time zone to convert system time into local time.
This is recommended unless you also use another computer operating system that expects the clock to be set to local time.

Is the clock set to UTC?

--> [select “Yes”]

16. A “Set up users and passwords” screen appears.

A user account will be created for you to use instead of the root account for non-administrative activities. Please enter the real name of this user. This information will be used for instances as default origin for e-mails sent by the user as well as any program which displays or users the users' real name. You full name is reasonable choice.

--> [enter a name]

17. Another “Set up users and passwords” screen appears.

Select a username for the new account. Your first name is a reasonable choice. The username should start with a lower-case letter followed by any combination of numbers and more lower-case letters.

[enter username]

18. Another “Set up users and passwords” screen appears.

A good password will contain a mixture of letters, numbers and punctuation and should be changed at regular intervals.

Please enter the user password again verify you have typed it correctly.

--> [type in your password]

Re-enter password to verify.

[type in password again]

19. An “Installing the base system” message flashes by.

20. The “Configuring xserver –xorg” screen appears.

Please keep only the resolution you would like the xserver to use. Removing all of them is the same as removing none, since in both cases, the xserver will attempt to use the highest possible resolution.

--> [select 1024 x 768]

21. The “Finish the installation screen” appears.

Installation complete.

--> [Reboot the computer]

22. The Ubuntu splash screen appears.

--> [Type in user ID, then on the next screen, type in password.]

23. At the desktop.

--> [Click on the "star" icon to bring up the Update Manager.]

--> [Choose to install 185 updates]

24. Adding programs.

--> [Click on Applications, Add/Remove to bring up a list of applications that can be selected for install.]

The list is huge but is broken down by category and you can search easily for specific applications or capabilities. This is essentially a GUI for Synaptic Package Manager, which previously required command line entries to use.

Ubuntu is a powerful way of getting onto the Linux bandwagon, if you have the motivation, and its been proven to induce that motivation for those who haven't yet taken the leap.

Triniman's BlogAlmost weekly, Triniman catches new movies, and adds one or two CDs to his collection. Due to time constraints, he blogs about only 5% of the CDs, books and DVDs that he purchases. Holed up in the geographic centre of North America, the cultural mecca of Canada, and the sunniest city north of the 49th, Winnipeg, Triniman blogs a bit when he's not swatting mosquitoes, shovelling snow or golfing.

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Installing Ubuntu Linux 7.10, Gutsy Gibbon


Author: Triniman


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February 5, 2008
12:42 AM


welcome back:)

Ravi Kulkarni
February 6, 2008
10:57 AM

Hi Triniman,

Very nice. Thank you for this article. I have installed Ubuntu on a vmware virtual machine and I must say it is a breeze. For those who want to learn Unix and applications it has never been easier.



February 7, 2008
10:02 PM

Thanks for the comments, guys.

I'm also looking forward to the April release of Hardy Heron, Ubuntu 8.04, which will be a LTS version, Long Term Service, supported for three years.

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