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How do I install Ubuntu?

I am quite new to UBUNTU. I have just read a book on UNIX. I have no practical experience about working on Linux. Can anyone help me out on how do I go about,installing it on my machine(laptop). Which is presently running Windows 7.I am a bit worried about losing the previously important files, in case things go wrong.Yes, I am lagging a bit of confidence, to be specific.:p

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marked as duplicate by Flimm, Jorge Castro, Ringtail, Eric Carvalho, Eliah Kagan Jan 24 '13 at 1:46

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Although Linux and Unix are very similar, they are not quite the same, and distributions differ. For example, Ubuntu (Linux), Android (Linux) and Apple's OSX (Unix) are quite different. I suggest that you search the Ubuntu Forums, especially the Absolute Beginners Section, where this question has been asked and answered many times. – Paddy Landau Jan 23 '13 at 13:39
Why not go to the IRC channel for Ubuntu and chat to people with instant messaging? You can even do that directly from your browser by clicking here. – Flimm Jan 23 '13 at 13:44
google is your friend – nickanor Jan 23 '13 at 13:48
This question is ambiguous, vague, and overly broad. It cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. If you worry about losing important files make backups, copies etc. For installation help, search for Ubuntu installation. Start at – user68186 Jan 23 '13 at 13:52
Check Free Ubuntu start-up guides – Ed Villegas Jan 23 '13 at 14:47

You don't have to install it on your machine in order to try it. There's what are called "Live CDs" or "Live USBs" that you can boot from, run Ubuntu wihtout any modification to your existing system (unless, of course, you actively erase or modify your files), and when you reboot again the original OS comes back unmodified.

You can check this guide on the official ubuntu site on how to try ubuntu befor you install it.

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The #Ubuntu-beginners and #Ubuntu channels in IRC are great, I hang out in there all day. Always active.

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