Windows XP has officially died today as Microsoft pulls the plugs that leaves millions of users as juicy targets for crackers and cyber criminals and there will be massive attacks on these systems so it’s extremely important for Windows XP users to move away from this dead OS. There are two options for such users – either they upgrade to heavily criticized Windows 8 (which may not even work on their current hardware) or they simply move to Linux.
As I wrote in this article, depending on their needs there are so many Linux choices for Windows users. I talked about openSUSE in the previous article and in this article I will talk about another good operating system called Kubuntu which can be a perfect answer to all the problems of Windows XP users. In this series Windows to Kubuntu, I wil try to deal with as many problems as a typical Windows XP user may come across.
Kubuntu uses KDE Software, which has quite some resemblances with Windows XP interface, a user won’t have to re-learn things. At the same time it is extremely customizable so a Windows XP user will be able to customize their system with greater ease. We will talk more about KDE and Kubuntu in the next article.
Kubuntu will work on most hardware however in order to ensure smooth installation your system should have at least 2 Ghz processor, 2GB of system RAM, at least 5GB of free hard drive, DVD drive or USB ports. You need to check if your system supports booting from USB or DVD from the BIOS settings.
It’s very easy to enter BIOS, each motherboard has dedicated key for it which could be any of the function keys, Delete or Esc keys. You can check which is the key for your motherboard or PC. Once you are inside BIOS you may see ‘Boot’ menu (if you don’t then go through each menu and look for Boot). There you will find the name of supported boot devices; if you see ‘USB or Removable Storage Device’ that means your PC can boot from USB. Now change the boot order and choose USB or DVD as the first boot device, depending on whether you are going to use DVD or USB for installation. I would suggest USB as it is faster than DVD.
Preparation before installing Kubuntu
It’s extremely easy to install Kubuntu on your machine. In this tutorial we will install Kubuntu in a manner that you will be able to keep your Windows XP as well so you will be able to switch between Kubuntu and Windows on your system. Before we perform the installation we have to do some preparation. The most important thing to do is back-up all your data because the installations are always tricky and you may lose your data. Then boot into Windows and de-fragment your hard drive so it’s clean for installation.
Create LiveDVD or LiveUSB of Kubuntu
First you need to download Kubuntu (32bit) from this link. Though I recommend using USB for installation, in case your system doesn’t support booting from USB you can create a LiveDVD of Kubuntu (What’s LiveUSB/DVD). Open the Nero Image Burning software (or any other such program you have) and select the option to burn the image and select the ‘.iso’ file that we just downloaded. If your system does support booting from USB, then download a small program called UNetbootin for Windows and follow these steps:
- Open the application and select Kubuntu
- Browse the .iso file of Kubuntu.
- Select the USB drive which you want to use and click on “Create” button.
Once your bootable USB or DVD drive is ready you can use it to install or test Kubuntu.
Booting from Kubuntu
Put your DVD in your DVD drive, or if you are using USB plug into your system, and then reboot the system. Since we already configured to boot your it will boot from that device into Kubuntu. Once you are in Kubuntu you can use the ‘Try Kubuntu’ option to try it out without installing it on your system. If everything works out fine again reboot your system and this time select ‘Install Kubuntu’ option. The first option would be ‘Preparing to install Kubuntu’ where you can see if everything is fine (you can leave the two boxes unchecked). If you have Wifi enabled on your system Kubuntu may show you Wireless network so you can connect. The third step is the most important one – here you is the partitioning of your hard drive takes place. Kubuntu should show the first option as ‘Guided – resize (name of the hard drive). It means that Kubuntu will automatically resize your Windows partition to create Kubuntu partition. At the bottom it will show you current status of your hard drive and the partitioning structure after Kubuntu resizes it. You will notice an arrow (slider) which you can move to resize the hard drive. I would give 50% to Kubuntu.
Kubuntu will take care of everything, just hit the ‘continue’ button. In the next window it will show you the world map so you can choose your location, click ‘continue’. On the next window you will be able to choose your preferred language and keyboard. In third window you will have to create your user name and password which you will use to log into your Kubuntu system. If you don’t want Kubuntu to ask password at every boot, you can check the option called ‘Log in automatically’.
Just hit the ‘continue’ button and wait for it to install. Once the installation is finished, Kubuntu will ask you to reboot the system. Remove the USB/DVD and reboot the system. When it boots again, you will see the option of choosing Windows from the menu; by default it will boot into Kubuntu. You can use the up-down arrow key on the keyboard to choose Windows or Kubuntu.
In next article I will give a quick introduction of Kubuntu, similarities with Windows XP so you get the best out of it.