4 Installing GNU/Linux

20190509 One of the simplest approaches for users of Windows 10 is to deploy Ubuntu as a native application using the Windows Subsystem for Linux. This Microsoft product, available through the Microsoft App store, will provide a shell and with a little more setup, an X Windows environment. See Section 4.4.

Another option is to install Ubuntu as a virtual machine within Windows’ Hyper-V which also comes with Ubuntu available out-of-the-box. Running Ubuntu on virtual machines in the cloud (e.g., Digital Ocean, Azure, AWS, or GCP) is also popular and is covered in Section 4.2.

The common option though is to install GNU/Linux desktop on your own local computer. Many distributions have simple installation procedures which include the auto-detection of available hardware and installation of appropriate drivers. A bootable USB drive will often boot a computer into an initial live GNU/Linux session without requiring installation. This allows the system to be tested without installation. See Section 4.1.

In this chapter we review the installation process for a variety of scenarios suiting any situation. Consider, for example, the Windows 10 option where Microsoft provides Ubuntu out of the box through the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Virtual machines in the cloud that instantiate supported Ubuntu instances are a great option for running servers and for cost effective super computers. In this chapter we provide a quick start guide to installing Ubuntu on your own hardware.

Examples of actual installations on different platforms are provided in Chapter 38.

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