After upgrading to Ubuntu 9.10 using the upgrade manager from version 9.04, I started running into issues after I made some changes and was unable to boot the system. I believed that the problem was due to several changes I had made over the last few years, I had initially started with Mythbunty 8.04 and changed several settings and configuration files. I was going to run the Ubuntu 9.10 Live CD, but I didn’t have a lot of software or settings that I was afraid of losing so I decided to do a clean install after downloading the CD.
The first thing I needed to do was download the ISO image to get the CD for the install. After spending hours waiting for the upgrade I was prepared to wait a few hours for the ISO, however I realized that there was an option to download from BitTorrent. You can find the torrent information for all of the latest distributions at Ubuntu.com here. If you do not have a BitTorrent client, you will need to install one, I use LimeWire with my Vista PC and the download was complete in under a half hour.
Now that I had the image on my PC, I was able to burn it to a CD. You will need to have burning software that is able to burn ISO’s, I like the free software ImgBurn. Open the software, add the file from your hard drive, insert a CD and write the file.
Once the disc is complete, you are ready to install OS. I have a dual boot, Vista/Ubuntu system, so I made sure to backup all of my Windows items just in case anything went wrong while working with the hard drive to add another OS. The burned Ubuntu 9.10 was still in the disc drive after writing, so all I had to do was restart the system for it to load upon restart.
When the system restarts with the CD, the first thing that appeared was a request for language which was defaulted to English so I pressed Enter. Next a box popped up asking for input on a few setup items. Since I am the only person that uses the computer, I set it to automatically login so I wouldn’t have to enter the information at the login screen each time it starts. The most important question is where to install the OS.
Since the system recognized another OS, it defaulted to installing Ubuntu side by side with Windows using free space to create a new partition. You can also choose to overwrite everything so that Ubuntu is the only OS on the system, if you want to keep another OS on the system make sure that you do not use this option. I wanted to overwrite an existing Linux distribution so I chose the advanced options, selected that partition and chose to overwrite using ext4 and selected the format checkbox to make sure it is a fresh install. Another question that was helpful was the ability to import files from Windows including My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, and some settings which I checked boxes to allow. Answer a few more basic setup questions and the installation will begin.
The installation took about an hour on my Core2 Quad PC, which I thought was fairly quick considering that it is an entire OS. Once the installation is complete, the system will prompt that it needs to restart so I clicked to allow the restart. After the restart which defaults to the Ubuntu distribution during startup, I could see the new Ubuntu 9.10 background. The upgrade manager opened up indicating that there is software that can be updated since the time of the release, so I left everything checked and allowed them to be updated. I also had a message about my restricted NVIDIA graphis driver needing to be updated, so I clicked on the message and selected the new driver to be installed. Once the graphics driver is installed, another restart is required and you are ready to begin using the Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.
I feel that the clean installation was very smooth and after a short amount of time using Ubuntu 9.10, it seems to be very quick and responsive. It was also impressed by the ability of the system to import my Windows documents, music, pictures and some settings. If you want to do a clean install to overwrite an older version of Linux or try Linux for the first time, the process was simple and straightforward and using BitTorrent to download the ISO really helped to speed up the process.