Booting a Dell from an Ubuntu live CD: How?
November 24, 2005 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Given that: 1. I'm a Mac type; 2. I have and want to try out an Ubuntu linux live CD on my home's extra Dell desktop; 3. I don't want to try and figure out the syntax for the startup settings file...

So, uh, how do I do this?

The Dell desktop is some plain vanilla Dimension running XP Home Edition. I think the place to edit how the computer boots up is at Control Panel > System > Startup and recovery

I suspect I have to edit the startup file and add the live CD.

Currently, the start up file looks like this:

[boot loader]

[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn


(Oh, and does Mr. Gates et al. make this difficult so that people will not try out the live CDs?)
posted by docgonzo to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh, and yes, I googled, but I get a lot of crap about how to make a bootable Windows CD. And the ubuntu message boards were surprisingly unhelpful.
posted by docgonzo at 10:43 AM on November 24, 2005

Best answer: docgonzo-you're on completely the wrong track. Actually you just have to set up the BIOS to try to boot from cd first and if unsuccessful, to boot from the hard drive. Just hit del (or a different key, depending on BIOS, it'll probably tell you at boot time). One of the entries in the BIOS setup menu will be "boot order" or the like. Move your cd/dvd drive higher in the boot order than your hard drive. It sounds complicated but it's really simple, you'll see.

Actually, your computer may already be set up to boot from cd, as Dell's recovery cds would depend on that. Have you already tried rebooting with the cd in the drive?
posted by evariste at 10:49 AM on November 24, 2005

Response by poster: Result!

Thanks evariste -- I just hit 'del', got into bios and switched the first thing in the boot order to CD. Ubuntu now seems to be doing its magic...

posted by docgonzo at 10:56 AM on November 24, 2005

You're welcome :-)
posted by evariste at 11:00 AM on November 24, 2005

welcome to linux!
posted by ori at 11:06 AM on November 24, 2005

Response by poster: Okay, so the live CD wouldn't boot; or, rather, it would boot past the obvious stuff (setting filesystem, etc) and then would hang after it started the X-server. So I just went ahead and installed ubuntu over top of the old XP install.

XP won't be coming back. Ubuntu's great!
posted by docgonzo at 2:01 PM on November 24, 2005

Good move. See ya lates, Gates!
posted by evariste at 2:19 PM on November 24, 2005

Ubuntu is great. Please email me if you have any questions. I use it every day at work.
posted by toastchee at 2:45 PM on November 24, 2005

Linux is great - nevermind the BSD naysayers.

Spend a lot of time vim-ing (view to open the files read only,) everything in /etc and /proc to see whats going on.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:00 PM on November 24, 2005

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