Recently I decided it was time to grab up a spare computer that I could use for tinkering as well as back up files from my other machine in the event that it goes down. The one big thing I wanted to do was to install a Linux OS and experience everything that comes with it. This would be my first time installing a Linux OS. I chose to install Ubuntu since it is the most widely used and has the most extensive documentation and help available.
When I bought this machine it had a fresh install of Windows XP and came with the recovery disk which was excellent because I had to use it multiple times before I got things just the way I wanted them. Since this computer didn’t have any files I didn’t have to worry about backing anything up but it would be a must if considering putting Ubuntu on an everyday machine. To install Ubuntu you need the install CD. Ubuntu community can mail you one if you so request online, but why not be a DIYer and burn it yourself? I downloaded the Ubuntu 9.10 Desktop version for a graphical install and then went straight to burning it onto a CD. This was a mistake. I didn’t figure that the piece of the installation instructions regarding running the checksum was all that important, but it absolutely is. If the download is the least bit wrong the installation will not work. I burned several CDs of a bad image. Eventually I followed the installation documentation more closely and actually downloaded winMd5Sum. With this free tool I was able to compare the checksum of the downloaded image with the correct checksum from the Ubuntu site. It took several attempts and switching to a Canadian mirror before getting a successful download. Finally I could burn it to a disc.