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The use of OS Linux means that you'll have access to the Internet. This is the necessity. Installation of the Ubuntu distribution is possible in several ways. We prefer to make initial installation of the distribution using small (approximately 700 Mb) installation image. Of course, in this case you'll need access to the Internet, so that the operation system you install or the installed OS could load additional necessary packages.
Following this link you can download the minimal Ubuntu installation image http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download . Having downloaded this image, burn it to a CD or DVD disc for further installation.
Make sure your system is adjusted to boot from CD drive first. This can be checked in BIOS settings. Also it is advisable to think about preliminary partitioning of hard disk drive and to provide a place for new OS, if you plan to use two OS on one computer. If you already have OS Windows installed, then you will probably want to save this OS. The easiest way to rearrange hard disk drive - to use tools of OS Windows and its hard drive management system, also we can use paid programs, like PartitionMagick. For fully-featured functioning of OS Linux you will need at least three partitions on your hard disk drive. The first partition will contain system files and programs, the second partition will be intended for storage of your settings, documents and all other user's files (this partition should be made the biggest) and the last partition will be used as swap - this section will be used as Random Access Memory (RAM) when the lack of RAM will be discovered in system. However, during Ubuntu installation you'll be able to partition only unused part of a disc.
Now, when you have a boot disk, you can start installing the system. In the beginning of installation choose language, and choose "Install Ubuntu" in menu (in order to experiment you can choose "Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer" and you'll be able to evaluate all possibilities of base system). So, choose language again, locale and keyboard layout.
Before we continue, it is necessary to put some theory. Hard disk drive (HDD) can be divided into partitions. These partitions are of two types: primary and logical. The amount of primary partitions can be only 4. The logical partitions are not limited by quantity, but the group of logical partitions decreases the amount of primary partitions by 1. The amount of primary partitions is very important restriction for OS Windows, as this OS can be downloaded only from a primary partition. This restriction doesn't refer to OS Linux. OS Linux will be perfectly downloaded from a logical partition.
The next step is partitioning of hard disk drive (HDD). In case if you have already made preliminary partitioning of a disk, it will be enough simply to set up mount points of disks and to format partitions that have already been chosen, otherwise you should partition a disk at this stage. The most simple and reliable method - is manual partitioning of a disk (If you plan to use all HDD for Ubuntu, you can use the installer using "guided - use entire disk" or "guided - resize /some disk/"). If you use manual partitioning choose a hard disk on which you plan to install the Ubuntu distribution. In the process of partitioning you are proposed to create a partition, indicate a space of a new partition (by default all available disk space is indicated), indicate a primary partition or a logical one (for the first partition "primary" should be chosen, hereafter it is not so important; the main thing is not to forget that the amount of primary partitions is limited). On partition's setup page you should turn attention to mount points - it is necessary to watch them. The file system has treelike structure and the first thing we should do is to mount a root directory ( / ), don't forget about the partition with the mount point /home - it will be a place for storage of all your working files. Now we should create swap partition, here we repeat the same settings as in usual partition (the space shouldn't be very big, aproximately 1/2-1 from quantity of RAM), and on partition's setup page in "Use as:" item check "swap area". Having finished with settings we choose "Forward".
Hereafter a window will appear, in which you'll be proposed to download your personal data: name, login, password and computer's name. Fill in all fields and choose "Forward".
If you have some problems with this setup or installation then you can try an alternative Ubuntu installation image, it can be downloaded from http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download (just mark "Check here if you need the alternate desktop CD" checkbox).
We completed the first step of Open Source CG Workstation building. We still need to install required applications and drivers but this is a topic for another article.