[lug] new install

Ken MacFerrin lists at macferrin.com
Mon Mar 5 14:29:24 MST 2007

Bob Singleton wrote:
> I need help and advice.
> I want to make the leap from windows to Linux. I'm a little bit leary
> because I don't have an internal CD drive or floppy etc. I do have an
> external CD/DVD drive. Should I anticipate a problem when my old
> operating system is being deleted - will my computer be able to see the
> external drive?   Also, someone recomend the best Linux system to
> install, Red Hat, or what? I'm coming into this cold turkey.
> I have an IBM Thinkpad X30
> processor is pentium III with 1.06 MHz
> Memory is 128 MB
> Storage is 20 GB

Given the amount of memory you're working with I would recommend
Xubuntu.  It's part of the Ubuntu family which means you'll get a nice
polished desktop that's full featured while also being easy for
"newbies" as well.  Xubuntu runs the Xfce4 desktop manager which is more
optimized for slower systems than Ubuntu (Gnome desktop) or Kubuntu (KDE
desktop).  The Ubuntu distros also have robust mailing lists and support
forums to help you as you go.

The easiest install method will be if you can boot from the external CD
drive.  Try booting into your BIOS setup with the external drive
connected and see if it's listed in as an option under the "boot
devices" section.  If it is listed, then put it before your harddrive in
the boot order.  You can then boot back into windows for the mean time
and download a "live cd" that will allow you to test out Xubuntu on your
system without having to actually install anything.  It will run much
slower in this test mode than an actual install but should give you a
chance to get a feel for it before the install.  You can download a live
cd ISO image from the link below.

(sorry, it's a EU based download.  The US mirror seems to be down at the

Once you have this downloaded you'll have to use a Windows tool like ISO
Recorder (link below) to burn the ISO image to a CD.

Once you have the CD created then drop it in the external drive and boot
up the laptop.  If it will boot off the CD then you'll be able to do CD
based install.  If not, then it's a little tricker to do a PXE boot
network install or a USB flash boot install, which would probably be a
good project to bring to a BLUG or CLUE Installfest.

If it can successfully boot off the external drive, then you'll also
need to download and burn the "Alternate" install CD from the link below
because the normal install CD will not work on systems with less than
192M of RAM.



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