Once the installer starts, you will be greeted with an initial screen. Press Enter to boot, or read the instructions for other boot methods and parameters (see the section called “Boot Parameters”).

After a while you will be asked to select your language. Use the arrow keys to pick a language and press Enter to continue. Next you'll be asked to select your country, with the choices including countries where your language is spoken. If it's not on the short list, a list of all the countries in the world is available.

You may be asked to confirm your keyboard layout. Choose the default unless you know better.

Now sit back while the installer detects some of your hardware, and loads the rest of itself from CD, floppy, USB, etc.

Next the installer will try to detect your network hardware and set up networking by DHCP. If you are not on a network or do not have DHCP, you will be given the opportunity to configure the network manually.

The next step is setting up your clock and time zone. The installer will try to contact a time server on the Internet to ensure the clock is set correctly. The time zone is based on the country selected earlier and the installer will only ask to select one if a country has multiple zones.

Now it is time to partition your disks. First you will be given the opportunity to automatically partition either an entire drive, or available free space on a drive (guided partitioning). This is recommended for new users or anyone in a hurry. If you do not want to autopartition, choose Manual from the menu.

If you want to customize the partition layout, choose Manually edit partition table from the menu, and the next screen will show you your partition table, how the partitions will be formatted, and where they will be mounted. Select a partition to modify or delete it. Remember to assign at least one partition for swap space and to mount a partition on /. Appendix C, Partitioning for Ubuntu has more information about partitioning.

Now the installer formats your partitions and starts to install the base system, which can take a while. That is followed by installing a kernel.

The base system that was installed earlier is a working, but very minimal installation. To make the system more functional the next step allows you to install additional packages by selecting tasks. Before packages can be installed apt needs to be configured as that defines from where the packages will be retrieved. The Standard system task will be selected by default and should normally be installed. Select the Desktop environment task if you would like to have a graphical desktop after the installation. See the section called “Selecting and Installing Software” for additional information about this step.

Partitioning is followed by setting up user accounts. By default you will need to provide a password for the root (administrator) account and information necessary to create one regular user account.

The last step is to install a boot loader. If the installer detects other operating systems on your computer, it will add them to the boot menu and let you know.

The installer will now tell you that the first stage of installation has finished. Remove the CD and hit Enter to reboot your machine. It should boot up into the newly installed system and allow you to log in. This is explained in Chapter 7, Booting Into Your New Ubuntu System.

If you need more information on the install process, see Chapter 6, Using the Ubuntu Installer.