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How to install Ubuntu on netbooks

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How to install Ubuntu on netbooks: Your netbook with Windows goes quite slow. So, have you decided to replace the Microsoft home operating system with a Linux distro – Ubuntu, to be precise – but you don’t know how to do it since your laptop does not have a DVD player? Don’t worry, just make a USB stick with the operating system files and install the OS via the latter, instead, than with the classic diskette. I know, apparently it may seem complicated but, you have to believe me, it is actually an extremely simple operation to perform, even for those less tight in terms of information technology and new technologies.

Now let’s see how to do it, but before taking the action I want to give you some advice: instead of the standard version of Ubuntu, try Lubuntu : it is a modified version of Ubuntu based on the LXDE desktop environment, much lighter and faster than this last: just ideal for netbooks!

So, can you know what are you waiting for to find out how to install Ubuntu on a netbook to have it immediately on your laptop? Position yourself comfortably, take some free time all for yourself and start focusing on reading the instructions on what to do below. I am sure that in the end you will be able to say that you are happy and satisfied with what you have learned. How about we bet?


How to install Ubuntu on netbooks

Before getting to the heart of the tutorial and, therefore, going to find out, in concrete terms, how to proceed to install Ubuntu on a netbook , let’s see what “tools” you need to be able to perform the operation in question. Here they are.

  • A computer that meets the minimum requirements of Ubuntu or Lubuntu , which you can check by connecting to this web page .
  • A USB flash drive with a capacity of at least 2 GB.
  • An Internet connection , so that you can download the operating system installation file.
  • A program to create the pendrive with the Ubuntu or Lubuntu installation files (in the following lines you will find the tool used for the purpose which in my opinion you would do well to appeal to).

Preliminary operations

Having taken stock of the situation regarding what is needed to proceed with the installation of Ubuntu on the netbook, before carrying out the operation in question there are some preliminary steps that in my opinion you would do well to put into practice to make sure that everything goes in the right direction. To find out more, read on.

Back up your data

Considering the fact that on your netbook on which Windows currently “houses” you will certainly have saved files and data of various kinds and considering the fact that proceeding with the installation of Ubuntu these will inevitably be lost (as the hard disk of the computer will be formatted), before taking the action I strongly recommend that you make a nice backup of everything of interest.

If you don’t know how to do this, you can read my tutorial on how to make a backup of your PC to find out immediately how to proceed.

Disable the Secure Boot

Another operation that you must necessarily perform on your netbook before proceeding with the installation of Ubuntu is to disable the Secure Boot , which prevents unsigned software from starting (and therefore does not allow you to correctly start the procedure installation of the new operating system) in order to avoid the execution of malware when the computer is turned on: this is a feature only of computers equipped with  Windows 8.x or Windows 10  that have a new generation BIOS, otherwise known as  UEFI .

Below you will find, therefore, indicated what are the steps you need to take in order to proceed with the deactivation.

  • If you are using a netbook with  Windows 10 , click on the  Start button (the one with the Windows flag located on the taskbar ) and presses the gear icon in the menu that opens. In the window that appears on the desktop, select the  Update and security item , then the  Restore item  from the left sidebar and click the Restart now button   located under the Advanced startup item  . Then, go to  Troubleshooting>  Advanced options>  UEFI firmware settings , press the Restart button  and wait for the computer to restart.
  • If you are using a netbook with Windows 8.x , click on the Start  button  (the one with the Windows flag located on the taskbar ), look for the term  settings  in the screen that opens and select the PC Settings icon   from the search results . In the screen you are now viewing, select the word  Update and restore  (in the left sidebar) and click on the Restart now button   which is located under the Advanced startup item  . When the computer restarts, go to  Troubleshooting>  Advanced options>  UEFI firmware settings and click the Restart button  .

Regardless of the version of Windows used, when the UEFI configuration panel appears, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to reach the Security tab  , select the Secure Boot item   and set its value to  Disabled . Finally, and save your changes, select the entry  Save and Exit (save and  exit) .

Note: The UEFI management panel is not the same on all computers, so you may find yourself with slightly different menus or options than the ones I just indicated to you. However, if you feel you need more explanation on what to do, I invite you to refer to my tutorial on  how to enter the BIOS .

Turn off quick start

Among the operations that should be done before installing Ubuntu on a netbook, there is also the need to  disable the quick start function included in Windows 8.x and later versions. The functionality in question, in fact, allows you to speed up the system startup times when you put the computer in stand-by but when enabled it can prevent the correct start of the support for installing Ubuntu.

To disable it, press the Start  button  (the one with the Windows flag ) on the taskbar , search for the  Control Panel  in the menu that opens and select the corresponding result.

In the window that will open on the desktop at this point, click on the item  Hardware and sounds , then on the  Change behavior of the power buttons attached to the Power saving options section  and select the wording  Change the options currently not available .

To conclude, remove the check mark corresponding to the Activate quick start item  and click the Save changes button  located at the bottom right, in order to confirm and apply the changes made.

Download Ubuntu

How to install Ubuntu on netbooks

At this point, I would say that we are there: you can finally take the first real step in order to install Ubuntu on your netbook: download the ISO image of the operating system on your computer.

For what concerns the download of Lubuntu , connected to the Internet site of the OS and click on the Download lubuntu button  (Intel x86)  which is located in the center of the page, to start the download procedure of the operating system.

As for the download of Ubuntu , connected to the OS website , click on the Download it now button ! placed at the top, choose, from the drop-down menu attached to the next page, whether to download the 64-bit version or the 32-bit version of the OS and click the Start download button located on the right.

In both cases, keep in mind that the ISO file you are going to download weighs just under 2 GB, so the download may not be really immediate, especially if the Internet connection you are using does not reach speeds, say, astounding .

Create a USB stick with Ubuntu

How to install Ubuntu on netbooks

After downloading Ubuntu, you need to get UNetbootin , the program that I recommend you use to transfer the operating system installation files to a USB stick. It’s free and in addition to working on all Windows OS, it can also be used on macOS and Linux systems.

Then  connect to the  software download page and click on the green Download button to download the software on your computer.

When the download is complete, insert the USB stick you want to use to install the operating system in the PC and start, by double-clicking on it, the unetbootin-windows-xxx.exe file just obtained. Then click on the Yes button  in the window you see to confirm the opening of the program.

In the UNetbootin window that at this point you will see open on the desktop, put the check mark next to the Disc image item  located at the bottom and click on the  adjacent […] button to select the previously obtained Ubuntu ISO image.

Select, therefore, the drive of the USB stick on which to copy the installation files of the operating system from the Unit drop-down menu and click on the OK button to start the data transfer. The operation will last 10-15 minutes and will erase all the contents of the stick.

Install Ubuntu


Now that you have your USB stick with Ubuntu files ready, you can move on to installing the operating system on the netbook. To do this, insert the USB stick on which you have just copied the OS to your netbook (if you previously created it using a different computer, otherwise leave it still connected) turn on the computer (or restart it, if the computer you are using is always the same) and wait for the operating system desktop to appear.

If Ubuntu does not load but normally starts the operating system installed on the netbook, it enters the computer’s BIOS / UEFI and configures the USB drive as the primary boot device . I explained how to do it in my guide on how to enter the BIOS .

At this point, proceed as follows depending on the version of Ubuntu that you have chosen to install on your computer.

  • If you have chosen to install Lubuntu , double click on the Install Lubuntu icon  and select Italian from the menu for choosing the language located on the left (in the window that opens). Next, click on the Next button , put the check mark next to the options Download updates during installation and Install third-party software if you want to download updates and third-party software from the Internet before installing the operating system and go to the step next by clicking Next. Indicate, therefore, your will to format the netbook hard disk and install Lubuntu, putting the check mark next to the item Erase the disk and install Lubuntu , then click on the Install (direct installation) or Next (partition setting) button and complete the initial configuration of Lubuntu indicating the city where you live, the keyboard language , and the data of the user account you want to use to access the system.
  • If you have chosen to install Ubuntu , select the Install Ubuntu item from the menu that you see appear and wait for you to be shown the initial screen of the operating system. Choose the Italian language from the left sidebar and click the Install Ubuntu button to start the installation procedure. You therefore consent to the download of the latest updates of Ubuntu and third-party software by placing a check mark next to the appropriate items and click on the Next button . Then indicate your willingness to replace Ubuntu with Windows and presses the Install and Next buttonsto continue. Specify the geographic location to set the correct time zone, choose the language to use for the keyboard layout and set a combination of username and password to access the operating system, always clicking Next .

Subsequently, both in the case of Lubuntu and Ubuntu, the installation of the operating system will start on the netbook which will go on for about 15-20 minutes . When finished, you will be asked to restart your computer and finally you can get your hands on your new super-fast and super-light operating system. Ah, please: remember to disconnect the USB stick used for the setup.

Finally, I would like to point out that, if you wish, you can install Ubuntu on a secondary partition of your netbook’s hard drive, in order to use the OS without necessarily having to delete Windows (or any other installed operating system). To find out how to do it, you can refer to my tutorial on how to install Ubuntu through which I proceeded to explain it in detail.