Linux for Starters

Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Install Ubuntu from your USB stick – Part 4

This is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

In this article we show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk. It’s a slick process.


Step 1 – Insert the Ubuntu USB stick and access the BIOS

In Part 3 we showed you how to make a Ubuntu USB bootable stick. Insert this USB stick into a USB port on your computer. Start up your computer.

There’s a couple of things we next may need to do. They involve accessing your computer’s BIOS.

To access the BIOS, you’ll need to press a key during the boot-up process. This key is often displayed during the boot process with a message “Press F2 to access BIOS”, or something similar.

The two changes you may need are:

  • Turn off Secure Boot (as shown in the image below);
  • Tell your machine to boot from the Ubuntu USB stick you created in. Move USB up in the boot order.
Ubuntu - Secure Boot
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Step 2 – Try or Install Ubuntu

This is the first screen you’ll see when you boot up your machine from the USB stick. Choose your preferred system language. We didn’t need to change from the default English.

Ubuntu - Install
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You can boot into the live environment by clicking the “Try Ubuntu” button. It’s a great way to get a feel for Ubuntu and check things are working, but it won’t install Ubuntu to your hard drive.

To get the full benefits of Linux, click the “Install Ubuntu” button.


Step 3 – Keyboard layout

We now start the installation process starting with the keyboard layout.

Ubuntu - Keyboard
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Choose the appropriate keyboard layout. We’ve chosen the standard selection for a UK keyboard layout.


Step 4 – Install options

The next dialog box lets us choose between a normal installation or a minimal installation. If you don’t need software like LibreOffice or Thunderbird, you may wish to choose the minimal installation. But we recommend you go with the “Normal installation”. You can always uninstall unwanted software.

Ubuntu - Updates
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There’s also the option to download updates while installing Ubuntu and to install third-party software for graphics, Wi-Fi hardware, and additional media formats. You can always install them after installation so don’t worry if you don’t tick this option.


Step 5 – Installation type

To keep things simple, we suggest you dedicate a single computer for Linux rather than complicate matters by dual booting. In the image below, we are going to erase the disk and install Ubuntu. If your machine already has Windows installed on it, you’ll be given the option to delete Windows and install Ubuntu as the only operating system. Make sure that any important data on the disk has been backed up.

Ubuntu - Installation Type
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Once you are more experienced with Linux, you can learn about dual-booting between Linux and Windows.


Page 2 – More configuration and installing software

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Setup computer
Page 2 – More configuration and installing software
Page 3 – First boot


All articles in this series:

Linux For Starters
Part 1What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
Part 2Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
Part 3Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
Part 4We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
Part 5Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
Part 6Navigating your way around the Desktop.
Part 7Updating the system, install new software.
Part 8Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
Part 9Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
Part 10We cover the basics of files and permissions.
Part 11Getting help from your system.
Part 12Learn all about the file system.
Part 13Manipulating files from the shell.
Part 14Maintain your system with these simple tips.
Part 15Managing users on your system.
Part 16Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
Part 17Gaming on Linux.
Part 18Protect your privacy with this guide.
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One comment

  1. Thanks this is helpful. I’ve been thinking about trying Ubuntu for a few months. I’ve got a spare weekend so I’ll give it a try. I read that it’s important to forget about the Windows way of using the machine.

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