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My experience installing Ubuntu in a low ram system.



I have always wanted to try linux for a change. I came to know about ubuntu from my friend Shital. He told me that ubuntu comes free. They even ship it free yes you heard me right totally free. I asked him to get me some and some he did. Back then Ubuntu used to come as 2 cds. First one was leveled live cd and second was installation cd. I did not have any idea about which way is up back then. So tentatively inserted the live cd on to my cd player and let it boot. Because it was the first time ever i was getting something other that XP run in my box i was completely at sea.Fiddled around with the menus and nothing more. After few months of inactivity i thought what the hell and i installed it. I duel booted both the ubuntu and XP. But i never got the hang of this thing called ubuntu. After few days I wiped the partition out using partition magic. And that was it then. I did not know nor did i wanted to know how to fix the grub thing though and ended up wiping the whole Hard disk and reinstalling XP again. To be fair this adventure ended due to my lack of interest to learn.

This time around I have a Hard disk that is disintegrating by the day and I got hold of a new Ubuntu 7.10 cd in my hand.A perfect recipe i guess but there was a little problem. With the time my box has grown a few years old lost its youth days. I wondered if i could get this new one linux distro to mate my old pal box. Some Viagra yeah that was the answer to my problem a dose of viagra but can u buy one with empty pocket? Viagra in this case would be increment of memory in the slot. I have a 256Mb of ram but the cd says

"To use the live Cd, you must have a PC with at least 384MB of RAM. To install Ubuntu, you should have at least 4 GB of disk space."

I put the cd in and booted but this led to nowhere blank screen for 10 minutes and i got impatient and pressed the reset button. Tried it again and again after few more trials a finally got into the ubuntu desktop.Tried to install but everything was so slow.I then turned to google for the help(had to switch back to my XP installed hard disk).Typed in "installing ubuntu in a low ram machine" and hit the jackpot. The first article talked about how creating a swap partition in the pen drive would solve this porblem. Well i will try to explain what i did to get the ubuntu running.

First of all I booted from the CD and then inserted my pendrive into the usb port. Soon my pendrive was shown in the desktop.

Then i pressed Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get to the command line environment.

After that i become root by typing "sudo su -" without quote and with space.

You can type "free" without quote to view your memory and "mount" to view which drives are mounted.

Then I create a 200MB file on the USB stick:(Here MangalMan is the name of my drive change it to your drives name)

cd /media/MangalMan

dd if=/dev/zero of=swap bs=1M count=200

After that I turn this file into swap by typing

mkswap swap

And finally activate it by typing

swapon swap

here if you type "free" again you will notice addition of swap space.

I pressed Ctrl+Alt+F7 to get back to the Desktop and then double clicked the install icon the installation went without a hitch this time.Now I am using Ubuntu as operating system these days. There are limitations because of my low ram. I can't change the visual effect to aesthetically pleasing one that is perfectly all right for me though. Next in my priority is to get my existing modem to work with Ubuntu system. I have made it work with my netodragon (smlink chipset) but the connection gets disrupted way too often. I don't think this is because of the drivers rather it might be because my ISP does not like ubuntu to be connected to their server.

  1. Sameer

    April 4, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    thanks for sharing the information about Ubuntu linux. I had used Red hat linux before. But after my hard disk was crash because of power fluctuation then I haven’t use it actually now I don’t have its cd and downloading online it takes lot of time. I haven’t try Ubuntu but heard lot about it. I am interested in fedora do u use this before or not! if than how the comparison between fedora and Ubuntu do u know? Which one is best?

  1. MangalMan

    April 4, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    I have no experience with installing feroda but i have played a little with it as it was my college server couldn't even mount a pen drive in it back then.But it was because of lack of interest in my part.

  1. MangalMan

    April 4, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    oh about easy i think ubuntu is the one if you are starting linux in your own.I consider myself a good power user these days in ubuntu. Afaain Mapaii he he he.Start with ubuntu they ship it free to you too.

  1. deepa

    April 12, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    Bhai is RAM ne to meri bhi halat kharab kar hu hai office main. By the way where r u brother long time no see….?

  1. MangalMan

    April 14, 2008 at 5:35 PM

    been busy doing nothing that's all.

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