GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
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, a X Windows environment.
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., Azure, AWS, or GCP) is also popular.
The common option though is to install a bootable Gnu/Linux distribution. 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.
There are many options available for using GNU/Linux. We concentrate on Ubuntu, a derivative of Debian, primarily because of its ease of setup and it being widely available,
Ubuntu is generally the most straightforward install and can replace MS/Windows altogether or can be installed beside Windows (for a dual boot option). Ubuntu installation instructions are available from Canonical at https://tutorials.ubuntu.com/tutorial/tutorial-install-ubuntu-desktop. We can easily become familiar with the installation process by trying it out once or twice—it doesn't hurt to practise!
In this chapter we review installation process, beginning first with a Windows 10 option that provide Ubuntu out of the box, then virtual machines in the cloud that instantiate supported Ubuntu instances, and then a quick start guide to installing Ubuntu on your own hardware.
Examples of actual installations using a number of platforms are provided in Chapter 39.