How to install Ubuntu on Windows Machine. (Dual Boot)

I have installed Ubuntu On my Windows PC and have been enjoying the bells and whistles of Ubuntu since then. I installed it (if I remember it vaguely, October of 2008). Loads of people (Mostly my friends) are asking me how to do this and that. So I decided to document the whole thing. I will be starting with the installation of Ubuntu. The rest will be documented soon.

You need the following things to install Ubuntu on Windows Machine. Windows include Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Requirements to install UBUNTU 8.xx and above on windows based PC

  1. An Open mind to try UBUNTU. There will be different ways to work, different terminologies to learn. There will be hiccups. So an open mind and an attitude to learn is important.
  2. A basic knowlegde of computers. The difference between a keyboard, mouse display screen and interaction with computer is needed by anyone performing this install. If you do not know what is being talked about in this sentence, fear not. Ask a Geek friend in your circle. Trust me, you will find one, if you think hard. He is sure to help you out.
  3. A PC to spare, having at least (the word is at least). The more the better
    1. 1 GB RAM
    2. 4 GB HDD Space for Ubuntu(that’s what UBUNTU CD will tell you). My recommendation is to give at least 10 GB to Ubuntu partition. If you plan to keep windows and Ubuntu both, then keep 20 GB for Windows XP / VISTA partition alone for windows to breathe. That makes 10 + 20 = 30 GB HDD. I really do not think, 30 – 40 GB HDD is a problem these days. We are having 150 – 160 GB of HDD. If your Laptop is having 100 GB of HDD Space, you should be fine.
  4. A working CD Drive to install Ubuntu, or if you have NETBOOK with you, you need to have external USB Enabled CD ROM DRIVE. Another option is to use UBUNTU on USB Drive. (
  5. An internet connection  possibly for installing ubuntu softwares. Installing Ubuntu Software is a breeze. It is more easier. But ensure that you having access to cable internet, most probably broadband and your network card is built in. Ubuntu will be giving you a hard time if your network card is installed externally. No Dial ups please. Ubuntu will be giving more hard time if you need to detect your modem.
  6. An Ubuntu Live CD. :). I would recommend ubuntu 8 at least.
    You can order the Ubuntu CD from ( The delivery usually takes 6 – 10 weeks once the order is placed. Do place the order of UBUNTU Desktop CD. Do not choose to have UBUNTU SERVER CD. You do not need it unless you plan to use Ubuntu for development or enterprise uses. The website requires, that you need to be a user. Sign up, and provide your P-mail address at which you want it delivered. Do keep in mind, that the Pakistan Postel service do have problems. They may be keeping the CD with themselves too. Yes this is coming from experiences. Ensure, that the address you are giving does receives the international packages. Because, Ubuntu will be sending normal registered package not a FED EX or DHL Mode package.

OK, I have all the requirements.

  1. PC with 1 GB RAM
  2. 160 GB HDD 
  4. Working Internet connection
  5. UBUNTU LIVE CD (8.xx or 9.04)

Proceed to preparation.
Preparation to be performed in your Window Partition

Gone are those dreading days, when low level formats were done. All you need to do is point and click choose options wisely. Our plan is to install UBUNTU and keep the working version your Windows (XP or VISTA) instact. So that, if anything goes wrong in UBUNTU, or if you cannot perform a task in UBUNTU, you can always switch back to Windows and perform your task there. For that, you need to make a partition in your Windows Vista.

  1. Load up your Windows Vista.
  2. Make sure you login with Administrator user name and password. Yes, if you are a smaller sibling to your younger brother, and if he has given you non-administrative rights, email this link to him and ask him to perform installation. Without, Administrative rights, you cannot do a thing. Or you can hack his Adminsitrative Username password.
  4. right click on main Vista Partition and select SHRINK VOLUME. Usually the default values will be calculated, and 50% of your HDD space will be given in the resulting dialog box
  5. Perform the shrink. If things are performed correctly, there should be another line added by the name of Un-Allocated, Leave that. Do not give it a name or format it. That is all you need to do in Windows Vista. Now Take backup of your documents in an external drive. Just in case if anything gets messed up, you do not fear losing your precious love letters and documents. Don’t say, you haven’t been warned.

UBUNTU Installation
Now, pop up the UBUNTU CD into the CD Drive and re-boot the PC.

  1. ensure, that your PC boots from the CD Rom Drive first, and then if doesn’t find OS in Boot CD, it loads from your HDD. For this to ensure, try reading this link. I do hope you will get the idea. (
  2. once that is done, re-start and boot from UBUNTU, a small prompt will ask to load from CD. Act accordingly and sensibily. From now, make a habit of reading and acting as making a sensible choices. Trust me this attitude will help you a lot from now on. Windows way of entering ENTER in everyone should be changed.
  3. You will be presented with a black screen of installing UBUNTU like this.
  4. Choose INSTALL UBUNTU. After a while, depending on your PC performance, you will be presented with another screen like this.
  5. Choose the Language which will be English in most case. If you are planning to use UBUNTU in your langauge, may be, Arabic, do not worry. You can always change it once successful installation. While I recommend to choose english, I cannot stop you from not choosing your preffered language. I am quite sure the installation will be smooth, but then this toturial won’t be giving you the screen shots in your preffered language. So again, choose wisely.
  6. Click FORWARD.
  7. You will be presented to choose your local time zone. Again, choose your timezone by choosing your country and then navigating to your city.
  8. Click FORWARD. Next screen will choosing your keyboard. Choose the default.
  9. Click FORWARD.
  10. You will be presented with a CRUTIAL SCREEN. If you have been speed reading. STOP. HOLD. HALT.
    Yeah, you should be careful here. Choose the option, USE LARGEST CONTINOUS FREE DISK SPACE. Do not choose USE THE ENTIRE DISK, or SPECIFY PARTIONS MANUALLY. It will ruin this whole tutorial. The other options are for advanced users only.
  11. Click FORWARD. You will be presented with entering some information about you.
  12. Accordinly, and sensibly, enter your Username and password. Do choose a wise password. ( or (
  13. Ubuntu picks up your documents residing in your Windows Vista installation. Yes, your complete Bookmarks, Favoutires, pictures, Music, Videos, etecetera will be migrated to Ubunutu account. So go head and give permission to ubuntu to migrate all your documents into ubuntu. You can also choose to access documents in your Windows Vista to your Ubuntu account, but that is another story.
  14. Click Forward. A confirmation will be asked from you. Have you chosed “USE CONTINUED FREE DISK SPACE”? If not, you can still go back and change that. Confirm it. The ubuntu installation will commence. Go a grab a cup of Coffee, and do someting else. Just make sure, your PC does not shuts down due to power failure. Relax.
  15. After installation, the Ubuntu will be asking you to remove CD and shutdown PC. Act accordingly.
  16. UBUNTU is installed. All you need to do is to remove the UBUNTU CD from your CD ROM drive and re-boot the PC. One change is new is GRUB window will be allowing you to choose the Operating System to which to boot.
  17. The first one will be, obviously, UBUNTU. The last one will be Windows VISTA. If there is anything, you can’t do in UBUNTU, for example
    1. Printing
    2. using Scanner
      You can always boot into Window and perform the task. The above tasks needs some work to be able to performed in Ubuntu.
  18. Enjoy your New UBUNTU Installation.

You might be wondering what can you do in UBUNTU. Well the list is very long, but I would list to obvious.

  1. Surf the Web (Securely, with no or little concerns of Virus). You are very less likely to get virus when you are in UBUNTU. Almost 99%.Now this is not what I am saying. Trying reading some proof here. (
  2. Open documents in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access Database. A default Open office (Alternative to Micorsoft Office is installed in this installation. All you need to do is check it out.)
  3. Listen to Music (MP3, MP4, AAC, WAV, MIDI.). A default player named Rhythm box is also installed in this installation.
  4. Play Games. An assortment of games are also installed in this installation
  5. Play / Watch Movies / DVDs. A default player Movie Player is also installed in this installation.
  6. Download Torrents to your hearts content, again without a fear of getting any virus.
  7. Get an eye candy for your Ubuntu. Can your WINDOWS DO These

Image Courtesy:

Ubuntu on the Acer Aspire One

Step-By-Step Guide

This guide will walk you through configuring Ubuntu 8.10 Netbook Remix for optimal performance on the Acer Aspire One.

What will work if you do this:

  • All the obvious stuff: screen, keyboard, disk, touchpad, USB, etc.
  • Wifi (including kill switch) and wired Ethernet.
  • Both card readers, including instant powersave-on-eject.
  • Sound output, including headphone jack.
  • Audio input jack.
  • Webcam.
  • Suspend and hibernate.
  • Automatic CPU frequency scaling.
  • Dual-booting back to Windows XP (if that’s your thing).

After configuration, the machine should boot in under a minute, and get 6+ hours of battery life with light use (i.e. browsing the web, but not transcoding videos).

What will not work if you do this:

  • The internal microphone.
  • The Wifi activity LED.
  • Some (but not all) of the funky Acer hotkeys.

It’s probably possible to get these working, but they don’t interest me.

You will need…

  • An Acer Aspire One.  Mine is an AOA150-1447 with a 6-cell battery, but other models should work.
  • An internet connection, both to read this (hi!) and to download software.
  • A USB flash drive, at least 1GB.  Note: a 1GB flash card in one of the card slots will not work.  A card in a USB reader will work.
  • Basic familiarity with Linux/Unix.  Some steps of this guide require you to perform actions in the terminal, as root, where it’s very easy to break things.
  • Comfort with installing Ubuntu, or willingness to follow the many tutorials that will come up if you search; this one seems fine if you use Windows.  If you already have an Ubuntu 8.10 machine, use the “Create USB Startup Disk” app under System > Administration.  This is worth restating: this tutorial will not teach you how to install Ubuntu — only how to make it work right on the Aspire One!

The Steps

  1. Install Ubuntu 8.10 on the Aspire One from USB flash device.  Don’t use the Ubuntu Netbook Remix image; use the Desktop or Alternative installer.  There are no tweaks or surprises here; assuming you’ve correctly prepared the flash drive, use F12 to choose it at the BIOS screen and the install works flawlessly.  Ubuntu even offers to resize an existing XP partition if you have one.
  2. Get the wifi working.
  3. Make the machine quieter by turning on fan control.
  4. Get the card readers working.
  5. Fix suspend/resume/hibernate.  This disables your internal microphone as an unfortunate side effect, for now.
  6. Configure power management to increase battery life.
  7. If you’d like the internet to be usable, install Flash 10.
  8. If you use Java apps or applets, install Java 6.
  9. Install the Ubuntu Network Remix packages.
  10. Configure Firefox to free up valuable screen real-estate.
  11. Enable two-finger scrolling if you like it.


How to Install MSN Messenger on Ubuntu Linux?

At first I found it quite difficult to use Pidgin Internet Messenger on Ubuntu Linux. Even though it allows signing into MSN, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk, it still doesn’t give me the real feel of an instant messenger.

After a little research on the Internet, I was sad to find out that Microsoft does not provide a Linux version of MSN. But thanks to following two softwares you can enjoy MSN instant messaging on Linux just as you would on Windows.

KMess tops the list for me as its interface closely resembles to that of Windows Live Messenger. It features offline messages, Winks, Rich text chats, Emoticons and much more.

The other software that you can try is aMSN. It has all features of KMess and some other additional features such as Webcam support, Tabbed conversations and Voice Clips.

Otherwise you can always try installing original Windows Live Messenger using Wine on Linux. However there is no guarantee if this will work or not.

To install KMess and aMSN simply visit their respective websites or use the universe package repository in Synaptic Package Manager in Ubuntu.

Install Software By Clicking a Link in Ubuntu

Installing a new program in Linux is no piece of cake. Either you have to use Add/Remove Applications or you might have to do it the hard way using the Terminal.

This is where Windows take the precedence as it allows one-click installation of programs and softwares. The good news is that it can also be done in Linux with a program called Apturl which allows you to install a program simply by clicking a link.

Now to make a link recognized as an install command, install Apturl using the command below:

sudo apt-get install apturl

Restart your web browser after the installation is complete. Now to make sure that Apturl is active and working, try clicking the bold link below and it should automatically prompt you to install the Gnome Main Menu (more info on the software can be found here)

Install Gnome Main Menu

As you can see that Apturl has helped your browser recognize commands through a link so this is a very useful tool for Ubuntu users. For those complaining about how insecure it is, they should know that Apturl only works with programs in your repositories (which are 100% safe).

How to Install Adobe AIR on Ubuntu

Adobe Technologies released the Linux version of Adobe AIR some weeks ago which brings web applications and widgets to your desktop. Installing new applications on a Linux distribution is always a mystery for newbies so here is a guide that teaches you how to install Adobe AIR on Ubuntu.

  1. Open the Terminal
  2. Download the file from here using the wget command:
  3. The name of the file is AdobeAIRInstaller.bin
  4. Save the file in the Home folder (Places > Home Folder)
  5. Run this command:
    chmod +x AdobeAIRInstaller.bin
  6. Now run this command:
    sudo ./AdobeAIRInstaller.bin

The normal installer will open, install it. From now whenever you download a .air file, just double click it and it will be installed.

Also take a look at 10 Most Useful Adobe AIR applications reviewed by Sizlopedia.


Boot and run Linux from a USB flash memory stick

Boot and run Linux from a USB flash memory stick

Carry a portable Linux version with you on a USB flash pen drive. Easily bring your portable desktop with you wherever you go.

Portable USB Linux Desktop Screenshot with CompizUSB Linux installation enables you to install a portable Linux operating system on a flash drive or USB key no larger than your thumb (thumbdrive). This portable Linux operating system can then be run from any computer that can boot from a flash device, allowing you to bring your operating system, desktop, applications, files, email, personal settings, favorites, games and more with you. It’s your own personal operating system you can carry in your pocket. On, we provide many simplified portable Linux flash drive installation tutorials. Making is easy for anyone to install, boot and run Linux portably from a Pen drive!


Some worthy links are

Install Kubuntu 8.10 to a Flash Drive using the Live CD

Install Ubuntu 8.10 to a Flash Drive using the Live CD

How to make UBUNTU USB Live

How to make UBUNTU USB Live

Everyone seems to be loving the new release of Ubuntu i.e. Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex which launched yesterday.

It is a lot more secure and stable as compared to previous releases of Ubuntu. What I personally liked so far is the new ‘Carry on a USB’ feature which lets you download and install Ubuntu via a USB flash drive instead of burning it to a CD.

Here I have a little tutorial on how to install Ubuntu 8.10 via USB Flash Drive. I used the same tutorial to install Ubuntu on my Acer laptop without writing or burning it to a CD.

All you will be requiring is the Ubuntu 8.10 ISO which can be downloaded from and a USB flash drive with at least 1GB of memory.

Here is what you need to do.

  1. Connect your USB flash drive to your PC and format it in FAT32 by right clicking it and selecting format.
  2. Download the Ubuntu 8.10 conversion script and execute it. A folder named Ubuntu810 shall be created.
  3. Place the Ubuntu 8.10 ISO in the Ubuntu810 folder.
  4. Select and run the Ubuntu810.bat file inside the Ubuntu810 folder and follow the onsreen instructions.
  5. Once the script has finished, restart your PC and set your BIOS or Boot Menu to boot from the USB device, save your changes and reboot.

If everything goes well, you should now be able to test the LiveCD version of Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex and even install it. This method is non-persistant so it won’t save any changes you make while running Ubuntu in the LiveCD mode.

Thanks to PendriveLinux for the tutorial.