Installing Ubuntu
January 25, 2007 12:07 PM   Subscribe

OK, just built a new system (AMD 64 bit Vista). Also installed a smaller hard drive for the purpose of optional dual boot to Ubuntu. I downloaded the alt. install disk, but it will not auto boot. When exploring the disk there is no executable file. What am I missing?
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal to Technology (12 answers total)
What's this 'alt. install disk' you're referring to?

Generally downloads of Ubuntu come in ISO image format. You need to burn the .iso and then instruct your BIOS to boot from the CD you create from it.
posted by owenkun at 12:09 PM on January 25, 2007

I should also mention that the Ubuntu disc isn't going to have any executables (in a Vista-appropriate format, at least) on it.

Generally the CDs are set up to autorun a help HTML file, but that's about it.
posted by owenkun at 12:13 PM on January 25, 2007

Response by poster: The alt install is the one for the AMD 64 system. I burnt the iso as reccommended
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 12:19 PM on January 25, 2007

Owenkun, Ubuntu has something called the "alternate install CD" for installing servers, CLI-only systems, and a couple of other variants, as opposed to the regular LiveCD that also allows installation.

Yer-Ol-Pal, is your optical drive SATA? There have been problems with the install CD not including 64-bit SATA optical drive drivers; I don't whether this applies to the latest release.

You could try the 32-bit release. (That's what I'm running on my Conroe Core 2 Duo, having been scared off by all the things that weren't yet working right with 64-bit Ubuntu (and 64-bit Linux in general.))

As Owenkun says, you shouldn't expect a .exe on the disc.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2007

Response by poster: Both hard drives are indeed SATA
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 12:24 PM on January 25, 2007

Response by poster: Are there any versions of linux stable at 64bit?
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 12:28 PM on January 25, 2007

Most computers have a function where you can hit 'F8' or some other key on boot to choose to boot from an alternative drive, even if the boot order is set to hard disk, cdrom, floppy, or something like that. Figure out what that key is and use it. If/when you get an error message, you'll have a lot more to go on.

It may be that you just got a bad happens sometimes.

I don't quite get why you need the alternate CD, as both Dapper Drake and Edgy Eft have AMD64 live cds...
posted by wierdo at 12:28 PM on January 25, 2007

well i dont know, i've been using FC5 on amd64 for quite some time now. its pretty stable, though under heavy i/o load the stock kernel was locking up. 2.6.18 though has been rock-solid.
posted by joeblough at 12:34 PM on January 25, 2007

I've found Fedora Core 4 and Ubuntu 6.06 LTS 64 bit versions to both be stable on AMD64 machines. Sempron 64 3000+ and X2 3800+ respectively. Both machines SATA, and installed without trouble. "Stable" means they compile software for days on end without any problems -- "while make -j3; do make clean; done" is one thing I do when burning in a new system.

In answer to the original question, if the only "file" shown on the CD is a ".iso", then the disc is burned wrong. Otherwise, the key is to find out how to make the CD first in boot order. I suspect SATA is a red herring here.
posted by jepler at 1:24 PM on January 25, 2007

If you can boot any CD, the issue isn't boot order. If you have any other bootable CDs around, this is easy to test.

That there was a problem burning the CD sounds most likely to me.

Note that I wasn't talking about whether the hard drives are SATA, but whether the optical drive is. And even if there were a problem with the driver, the CD should still at least visibly begin to boot.

If you don't have any driver issues and don't need any binary-only apps that are 32-bit only, 64-bit Linux should be fine for you.

If you want to use ndiswrapper around a 32-bit driver for a wireless card, or run Flash Player 9 without jumping through hoops, 32-bit would be better.

If you don't have more than 4G of memory, there isn't a huge payoff for using 64-bit over 32-bit.

(In my own case, the deciding factor was that edgy out of the box didn't support my motherboard's ethernet chip, and I had another 32-bit machine lying around on which to modify and compile the driver. So far as I know, it should be perfectly possible to compile to a 64-bit binary on a 32-bit machine, but I don't know how, and decided trying to run a 64-bit machine wasn't worth that much more effort.)
posted by Zed_Lopez at 2:07 PM on January 25, 2007

Get thee to the Ubuntu Forums, if you haven't already. I can almost guarantee someone else has worked this problem out on there. (and if not, there are tons of helpful people to ask)
posted by chrisamiller at 2:32 PM on January 25, 2007

I get the impression from the way your question is worded that you're expecting the disc you burned to autoplay when you put it in the CD-ROM drive while Windows is already running, and that you're surprised to find that (a) it doesn't do this (b) there is no obvious setup.exe to be found on the disc. If this is not the case, what follows is going to sound intolerably patronizing and I apologize in advance.

What you need to realize is that Ubuntu is a complete operating system. It's the same class of thing as Windows itself. It's not an application suite that runs under Windows. The Ubuntu installer won't co-exist with a running instance of Windows; Ubuntu wants total control over your machine, just like Windows does.

What you need to do is actually boot your machine from the Ubuntu CD-ROM, not from the hard disk. If it boots from the hard disk, you'll just get Windows again.

In the best case, this will just involve making sure the Ubuntu CD-ROM is in the drive when you start up the machine. If that doesn't work (you just get Windows again), you will need to choose the CD-ROM explicitly as the boot device.

To do that: start up your machine, and examine the boot splash screen carefully to see if it mentions a function key you can use to activate a "boot menu" - common keys for this are F12 and F8. If it does, tap the appropriate key repeatedly as the machine is starting up, and you should get into a menu that lets you choose the CD-ROM drive to start up from. If you have a Microsoft keyboard with a "Function lock" key, you will have to tap that first to turn on the "F lock" light before any of the function keys will work properly.

If there's no boot menu option offered, you will need to tap Del or F1 or Alt-F1 or Ctrl-Alt-Esc or whatever other combination of keys gets you into your BIOS's setup menu; then navigate through that menu until you find a reference to "boot order" or "first boot device" and use that to set your machine up to try booting from CD-ROM first.

If the instructions above are, in fact, what you needed to clear up your problem, I would strongly recommend that you use a standard Ubuntu desktop CD rather than the alternate installer.
posted by flabdablet at 2:52 PM on January 25, 2007

« Older Am I stuck with one electric company?   |   Please advise my girlfriend about overcoming her... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.