How much computer power do I need for Ubuntu?

Robert Lewis June 13, 2010
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I would like to try Ubuntu. Do you recommend a netbook? I thought it might be limited so I would look for a used laptop. I understand it doesn’t have to be the most powerful with a lot of bells and whistles.

I have a Mac and a PC (not great with either one), but am curious about Ubuntu. I have been reading about it for some time and now it is up to 10.4.

Next question is should I always install the newest version? Is it
always the easiest and best?

  1. Jessica Cam W.
    June 17, 2010 at 8:19 am

    These are the system requirements:
    1 GHz x86 processor
    1 Gb of system memory (RAM)
    15 GB of hard-drive space (although this can be split onto 2 drives, a 5Gb / and a 10Gb /home fairly easily)
    Graphics card and monitor capable of 1024 by 768
    Either a Cd/Dvd-drive or a Usb socket (or both)

    By the way, it sounds like you wish to get a used laptop and dedicate it to the Ubuntu OS. You don't actually have to get another machine to try Ubuntu because there are several painless ways to try the OS on the Windows or Mac computers you already own. Simplest way to try Ubuntu: Order a CD from Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu, that will be shipped to you for free OR burn the .ISO file from to a CD. Restart your Windows machine, pop the CD in and follow the on-screen instructions to "Try Ubuntu Without Any Changes To Your Computer".You could also try it by using Virtualbox, which lets you virtualize lots of Linux distributions, including Ubuntu. Here's a good guide: way to install Ubuntu: If you really like Ubuntu, Wubi is probably your safest bet on your Windows computer. Wubi will install the OS as if it were another piece of software that you can easily remove if you encounter problems. It'll also let you choose Ubuntu or Windows when you're starting up your computer.Other ways to install Ubuntu are described at for your second question, upgrading to the latest version is recommended as there are many improvements, such as better software, better social tools integrated right on the desktop panel, cloud-based backup integration, and more that you can read at

  2. Robinck
    June 14, 2010 at 8:24 am


    I just installed my first Ubuntu, 10.4 like you mentioned ( Karmic Koala)
    Like you i had been toying with the idea for ages and finally got around to it.
    On this site you will find an ubuntu manual .pdf file to help you along.

    What i will say first is that ubuntu is different from windows O/S's thats sounds
    obvious i know but what i mean is, windows pretty much looks after you and does its
    own thing whilst Ubuntu requires you to think a bit harder and answer questions you might be unsure of, especially after the install.
    I would make sure that if you are going to use a wireless laptop or netbook that you doublecheck that the wireless adapter is supported by Ubuntu or at least that drivers have been written for it somewhere, alternatively make sure you have an Ethernet cable standing by so you can get online :) it took me a couple of hours to figure out how to get mine online. I'm using a Dell Inspiron 1545 by the way. The install file will come with a tool to install ubuntu on a flash drive, this is a very cool App as it allows you to run ubuntu from the flash drive without actually installing it on your system, you can then try it out and see if you like it.
    If like me you are a hardened windows user then you may find the experience a little unsettling to begin with as like i said Ubuntu is different
    but DONT let that put you off :)
    When you are happy to you can either install it side by side with windows as long as your pc drive is big enough and supports dual boot or you can format your entire drive and use it on its own.
    My friend has a dead Mini dell 9100, the ssd drive has died and will not recognize windows anymore, but by putting ubuntu on a large enough flash drive, i used 8gb but 4gb would be big enough, it allowed me to run her netbook using the flash drive as the new hard drive.... clever eh! well i thought so hahahahaha certainly cheered my friend up :)
    Karmic Koala comes standard with Firefox so you can get straight on line
    and start enjoying your new O/S.
    other stuff.....
    To begin with by running from flash drive it seems a little slow to boot and shut down, just be patient, after you test it and install it properly its actually pretty fast.

    I think the whole install file is something like 650mb (wow is that all )

    this will, when unpacked on your hard drive take up about 2.5 gb approx.

    So, its quick its small its fun and pretty cool to look at and by far one of my fave

    things about ubuntu is the fact that when you need a new App chances are someone

    has already written one and its free to download!!!!! All open source and free.

    One more thing, lots of ordinary people like you and me work on these projects

    I dont have a lot of money but i do try to donate a little towards these guys efforts

    because they need the support form people like us :)

    did i answer your question, sorry if i waffled on too long.

    Good luck have fun and trust in your instincts when you get it installed