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Installing Linux

So, you've decided to give Linux a try.  I'm assuming you have chosen either Ubuntu or PC Linux OS.  Regardless, the basic steps are the same.  I'm also going to assume that you are a total Linux beginner so I won't bother about installing Linux along side your current setup - that can get real messy if it goes wrong.  Not because Linux is messy, but having multiple operating systems on a hard drive can be tricky.

Therefore, I'm going to assume that you want to install Linux on the whole hard drive on your PC. This means that you want to give the whole drive to Linux.  So you'll either have a PC with Windows and you want to get rid of it and don't mind formatting the drive and overwriting your current setup.  Or maybe you've bought a computer with a hard drive and no operating system and wan't to give the whole lot to Linux. Or maybe you have an old pc that yopu can experiment with. Regardless, I'll assume you have a PC with one hard drive and you want to give the whole lot to Linux.  No matter what you do, make sure you've backed up any important stuff you need.

Live CD Mode
Both Ubuntu and PcLinuxOS offer what is know as a Live Cd Mode. Basically this means that you can run Ubuntu Linux from the actual cd/dvd and don't have to worry about installing it on your hard drive.  It's only a temporary measure, ideally you'll want to actually install in on your PC hard drive, but it's a good way of seeing if you like the look and feel of a partilcular version of Linux and also more importantly seeing if Linux works with your current setup.  It more than likely will but it's good to find out anyway.   There is a general misconception that Microsoft Windows works out of the box with every piece of hardware on the planet, this is not true at all.  I have a laptop and while drunk one night I installed Windows XP on it 'for a laugh' and had to spend the next day scouring the net on another PC for drivers to work with XP.  By then I had sobered up...

So, using Ubuntu as an example, you turn on the PC, quickly insert the cd/dvd, and after while you should be presented with a screen the same as below.  If you are certain on installing Ubuntu then choose Install.  If you want to use it in live mode without affecting your current setup then choose the first option.

Ubuntu Screenshot

If you choose the first option then you'll eventually arrive at the Ubuntu Desktop as per the screenshot below.  Have a play with Ubuntu, explore and learn.   If you choose the install option either from menu in shot above or from the live cd as per below then you'll be asked a couple of questions about your location, timezone and more importantly how you want to allocate the hard drive.  If you are just starting out then as I mentioned above you don't want to start meddling with installing multiple operating systems so just choose the option that gives the complete hard drive to Ubuntu.  This is shown in the 2nd screenshot below.

Ubuntu Desktop
Above - Ubuntu live cd.  Have a play around and explore!
Ubuntu Hard Drive question.
Above.  During install you will be asked how you want to alllocate your hard drive to Ubuntu.  If this is a new hard drive or you are happy to overwrite the current contents then choose the 'Guided Use Entire Disk' option.  This will completely wipe your current contents.