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As a total newbie on Linux, I want to install Ubuntu on my Windows Vista computer. Dual boot. How does it work, which options should I use?

  • Installation size? My computer has 89 GB free. The default choice is 18.

  • Desktop environment? I don't know which one to choose. The default choice is Ubuntu, but what's different about the other ones?

Thanks for your reply.

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closed as not a real question by Tom Brossman, Uri Herrera, Jorge Castro, Eliah Kagan, Nitin Venkatesh Oct 2 '12 at 6:00

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

How do I install Ubuntu – Uri Herrera Oct 1 '12 at 22:31

Here are the minimum requirements for installing ubuntu.

Ubuntu Desktop Edition

  • 700 MHz processor (about Intel Celeron or better)
  • 512 MiB RAM (system memory)
  • 5 GB of hard-drive space (or USB stick, memory card or external drive but see LiveCD for an alternative approach)
  • VGA capable of 1024x768 screen resolution
  • Either a CD/DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media
  • Internet access is helpful
  • Installation size? My computer has 89 GB free. The default choice is 18.

    1. If you not not starving for HD space i'll recommend to use 30GB at least. the entire 18GB will not be used only for hard drive space, there are other partitions like swap to be created.

    2. Desktop environment? I don't know which one to choose. The default choice is Ubuntu, but what's different about the other ones?

Ubuntu is getting ready to launch 12.10, the current stable version is 12.04. Here are few things you might expect in the new release.

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I have been using Ubuntu for a week now, converted from W7 myself.

I used the Windows Installer and it worked perfectly.

I gave Ubuntu 15 GB and chose Ubuntu as default desktop enviroment. Don't worry, you can change desktop later if you want to try something else.

Ubuntu has alot of online support help like askubuntu and many others, don't be afraid to use them. Forums, youtubers and websites are dedicated to see us newbies through the first weeks :)

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Welcome to Linux! We're happy you're here! I was a long-time Windows user until about a year-and-a-half ago, when I did what you're doing, partly out of a bit of frustration with Windows but largely because I was just curious. I figured I might as well see what it was like on the other side of the fence. Now I still have a Windows partition that I keep just because, but I almost never boot into it: I'm all Ubuntu now.

So to answer your questions, it looks like you have plenty of room on your HD. You won't use as much space with Linux as with Windows, but if you end up staying with Linux you'll want more space eventually where you can save pictures, music, etc., so I'd recommend going with about 30 GB (as kmassada also recommended). It'll give you plenty of room for messing around and learning - which is one of the fun things about Linux.

But you might want to keep some of the rest of the space clear for now, because you might get the desire along the way to install and test other flavors of Linux. Hey, they're free, right? Why not try them out? A free 20 or 30 GB of space would let you easily try something else out. (In my year-and-a-half, I've tried out lots and lots of distros, including all of the popular ones; I'm still with Ubuntu, but I'm glad I looked at the others, too.) So if you give about 30 GB to Ubuntu, you'll still have almost twice that space left for trying out other distros. (And when you're done testing one, if you want to get rid of it you can just delete the partition.)

As for the desktop environment, well that's pretty subjective. I really like Unity but I know others prefer different DEs. One good way to test some of the others is to install a distro that comes with another DE (try Kubuntu, for example, in another partition, to experience KDE, or Xubuntu or Lubuntu to try some of the lightweight DEs). You can easily try Cinnamon or Mint with Ubuntu, installing them and then logging into them. And you'll want to check out Gnome, too. As you read more and learn more about Linux, you'll encounter a lot of things about them all - and even a few irrational rants.

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Do not be afraid of multi booting. Every distro I have used for about 10 years now makes this easy. Just know what is on all your partitions so you don't overwrite the wrong one. Also if you want to try several distros side by side I would recommend GAG.

18GB is more than enough space for Linux. The question is how much stuff will you want to add. Not enough for a movie library but plenty for checking email and surfing.

Desktop Environment... try them all. I have found the hardest part of using Linux is the amount of choices. Every time I want to do something I have to start googling and comparing different apps (music players, video players, text editors, email, file managers, on and on). So filter your options through your requirements and just try them until you find something you are comfortable with.

I know that's not helpful so here is a comparison you might have already seen.

Have fun! And I always tell windows user to enjoy the huge repository of free applications. Synaptic is your friend.

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