Installing Ubuntu on a PC

1,678
50
Hi PF!

I'm trying to run Ubuntu on a Dell with Windows 10. I followed the instructions on the Ubuntu website, but I'm not getting the screen suggested here: https://tutorials.ubuntu.com/tutorial/tutorial-install-ubuntu-desktop#2

What I've done: downloaded Ubuntu from here: https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

and copied it to an external hard-drive. Plug hard-drive in to PC. Disable SECURE BOOT on PC. Restart PC pressing F12 as suggested here: https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln301754/how-to-install-ubuntu-and-windows-8-or-10-as-a-dual-boot-on-your-dell-pc?lang=en#BIOS

The screen I receive at start-up is attached. But if I click on boot manager or UEFI I do not get an option to run Ubuntu. Any help on what I'm doing wrong is greatly appreciated.
 

Attachments

10,334
3,865
I'm not sure whats going on here, have searched on your specific computer and ubuntu to see what issues exist? Someone must have reported a similar issue already and you'll have your answer.

I had a case once where Ubuntu updated itself and I lost access to my screen completely. Later I found that they had changed some option in the kernel. I was able to reboot and select an older kernel to get back a usable system. A couple of kernel iterations later it came back on its own and has been fine ever since.

If you're only casually using Ubuntu then you could install docker and run an Ubuntu image in it. The nice part is you would have access to windows at the same time.
 
1,035
160
... and copied it to an external hard-drive.
That won't work, you cannot make an external hard drive bootable that way. Follow the instructions on the page you linked to install from a USB drive or a DVD instead.
 
1,035
160
If you're only casually using Ubuntu then you could install docker and run an Ubuntu image in it. The nice part is you would have access to windows at the same time.
If you only want to use Ubuntu 'casually' (although I'm not sure what that is?) the Windows 10 Ubuntu app is an even easier option.
 
1,678
50
I want to use it with the program OpenFOAM and paraFOAM (it's post-processing software). Do you know if the windows app supports this (or why it shouldn't?)
 
10,334
3,865
By casual i meant to learn about linux and its commands but use windows for your real work.
 
1,035
160
I want to use it with the program OpenFOAM and paraFOAM (it's post-processing software). Do you know if the windows app supports this (or why it shouldn't?)
I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but if you just want to get OpenFOAM working under windows then follow the instructions for Windows 10 here (this uses the Ubuntu bash app I mentioned) https://www.openfoam.com/download/install-windows-10.php, or for other Windows versions here (using a docker container like Robbie mentioned) https://www.openfoam.com/download/install-binary-windows.php.
 
523
215
Hi PF!

I'm trying to run Ubuntu on a Dell with Windows 10. I followed the instructions on the Ubuntu website, but I'm not getting the screen suggested here: https://tutorials.ubuntu.com/tutorial/tutorial-install-ubuntu-desktop#2

What I've done: downloaded Ubuntu from here: https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

and copied it to an external hard-drive. Plug hard-drive in to PC. Disable SECURE BOOT on PC. Restart PC pressing F12 as suggested here: https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln301754/how-to-install-ubuntu-and-windows-8-or-10-as-a-dual-boot-on-your-dell-pc?lang=en#BIOS

The screen I receive at start-up is attached. But if I click on boot manager or UEFI I do not get an option to run Ubuntu. Any help on what I'm doing wrong is greatly appreciated.
On that screen, windows boot manager is the first option listed under UEFI, so, per the instructions at top of the screen, you can use the +- keys to change the order.

But the USB drive has to be bootable, and that requires more work than just copying the iso file to the external hard drive. The file you downloaded is a .iso file. It's about 2GB in size, so it will fit on a DVD or flash drive. You need to burn it as a bootable image; not just copy the file.

For further information, please answer the following:
Does your machine have a DVD drive?
Is it write capable?
Do you have a spare flash drive (if not, you probably should)?

To see where this is headed (starting out steps), you can read: https://tutorials.ubuntu.com/tutorial/tutorial-burn-a-dvd-on-windows#0
 
1,678
50
Sorry everyone, I ended up installing the Oracle virtual box, where I then installed Ubuntu through.

However, and I am happy to post this a a new thread, but nothing seems to work in the VM. The host key CTRL + Right does nothing, and I can't even open Firefox when clicking on it. Any ideas?
 
523
215
Sorry everyone, I ended up installing the Oracle virtual box, where I then installed Ubuntu through.

However, and I am happy to post this a a new thread, but nothing seems to work in the VM. The host key CTRL + Right does nothing, and I can't even open Firefox when clicking on it. Any ideas?
Please don't be discouraged. You've completed a lot of the steps toward the attainment of your goal of a working Ubuntu system. But the path you've chosen isn't the simplest way to enable alternating between Win 10 and Ubuntu on a single system.

You were originally asking about running Win 10 and Ubuntu alternately using 'multiboot', with Ubuntu residing on a 512GB external HDD, and had at the time of your inquiry here, not yet converted your 2GB .iso image into a bootable installer.

Because you now have 3 OS layers (1. the OS on which Oracle virtual box is running, 2. the Oracle virtual box 'control program', 3. the Ubuntu system), you have to make sure that your top layer is mediated adequately to your bottom layer, and vice versa. Ubuntu's drivers may not be able to see your devices, because Ubuntu can only see what the Oracle VM system presents to Ubuntu. Similarly the Oracle virtual box program can only present to its guest OS, Ubuntu, what Win 10 presents to the Oracle system.

You'll have to go back over your install procedure step-by-step, and think about the decisions you made at each decision point. We can't tell you much about the results without knowing more about how you got to the resultant states.

Regarding Firefox not working, assuming you're referring Ubuntu's instance of Firefox, you should first verify that Ubuntu is able to access your internet connection.
 
Last edited:
1,493
601
I would recommend not installing Ubuntu alongside your Windows but instead running it as a virtual machine. This should especially be the case because you're not used to Linux and you might want the safety of being able to ghost and revert the entire machine quickly. I use Ubuntu on a regular basis at work, it runs inside of Oracle VirtualBox.
 
523
215
I would recommend not installing Ubuntu alongside your Windows but instead running it as a virtual machine. This should especially be the case because you're not used to Linux and you might want the safety of being able to ghost and revert the entire machine quickly. I use Ubuntu on a regular basis at work, it runs inside of Oracle VirtualBox.
Your recommendation looks reasonable to me; however, the original intent was to run Ubuntu from a separate external HDD; not "alongside" his Windows 10 system as a bootloader option. That's why I put the single quotes around 'multiboot'. The OP was showing that he wanted to implement different boot options in the BIOS; not from the HDD boot sector. To do the former, he wouldn't have to do anything at all to his Win 10 installation or to his primary HDD.
 
1,678
50
Yea, sorry
Please don't be discouraged. You've completed a lot of the steps toward the attainment of your goal of a working Ubuntu system. But the path you've chosen isn't the simplest way to enable alternating between Win 10 and Ubuntu on a single system.

You were originally asking about running Win 10 and Ubuntu alternately using 'multiboot', with Ubuntu residing on a 512GB external HDD, and had at the time of your inquiry here, not yet converted your 2GB .iso image into a bootable installer.

Because you now have 3 OS layers (1. the OS on which Oracle virtual box is running, 2. the Oracle virtual box 'control program', 3. the Ubuntu system), you have to make sure that your top layer is mediated adequately to your bottom layer, and vice versa. Ubuntu's drivers may not be able to see your devices, because Ubuntu can only see what the Oracle VM system presents to Ubuntu. Similarly the Oracle virtual box program can only present to its guest OS, Ubuntu, what Win 10 presents to the Oracle system.

You'll have to go back over your install procedure step-by-step, and think about the decisions you made at each decision point. We can't tell you much about the results without knowing more about how you got to the resultant states.

Regarding Firefox not working, assuming you're referring Ubuntu's instance of Firefox, you should first verify that Ubuntu is able to access your internet connection.
Thanks. What I mean by Firefox not working is it won't even open the browser to an error page. As I said before, the home command doesn't work. Also, when I try to enlarge the screen sometimes it will but then sometimes the entire screen goes blank. I installed virtual box and then followed the procedure here:


Any idea what I can check to see what the issue is? It just feels very buggy, and VERY slow.
 
Last edited:

Svein

Science Advisor
Insights Author
1,923
579
Your recommendation looks reasonable to me; however, the original intent was to run Ubuntu from a separate external HDD; not "alongside" his Windows 10 system as a bootloader option. That's why I put the single quotes around 'multiboot'. The OP was showing that he wanted to implement different boot options in the BIOS; not from the HDD boot sector. To do the former, he wouldn't have to do anything at all to his Win 10 installation or to his primary HDD.
Yes. That is the sensible way. Did it once (with Mint, not Ubuntu, but anyhow). Told the installer to use an empty HDD. It proceeded to install Linux boot files on all my hard drives (not only the empty one). Had a devil of a time to get rid of the Linux boot sectors etc. So - if I do it again - I need to disconnect all my Windows drives physically. IMO, it is not worth the trouble.
 
523
215
Yes. That is the sensible way.
There are many sensible ways, but not as many as the myriads of screwed-up ways.
Did it once (with Mint, not Ubuntu, but anyhow). Told the installer to use an empty HDD. It proceeded to install Linux boot files on all my hard drives (not only the empty one).
The Mint install process will detect and list all of your physically connected disks that are made available in the BIOS setup or are dynamically connected (e.g. via USB), and will allow you to select any or all of them as boot sector write targets. I think it's obnoxious when an install process makes it too easy to accidentally select for boot sector overwrite disks other the one intended as the target for the OS install. But I've installed Mint on a single USB device before without encountering such a problem.
Had a devil of a time to get rid of the Linux boot sectors etc.
I can relate. There are utilities available that can make it much easier to repair an overwritten Windows boot sector. I imagine that finding at least one of them was part of your bitter experience.
So - if I do it again - I need to disconnect all my Windows drives physically.
That's the surest way to avoid unwanted overwrites, but in a laptop, for example, it's much easier, and almost as safe, if you temporarily mark them in the BIOS as not installed.
IMO, it is not worth the trouble.
That's up to you.
 
1,678
50
Okay, so after talking to some people, I've decided to clear windows from my machine and run Ubuntu. I have the Ubuntu iso saved on a flash drive. I'm following instructions here:


where I am following from the "Setup the Ubuntu Install" section. But when I restart the PC and type F12 repeatedly, I am not presented with a window that says "boot from USB or Boot from CD/DVD Drive", which is what step 3 states I should see.

Instead, I have the option to select "UEFI BOOT" where I can either boot via Windows Boot Manager or UEFI: Partition 1 OR I can select "Other Options" which lists "Bios Setup", "Device configurations", "BIOS flash update", "Diagnostics", and "change boot mode settings".

If I select "BIOS flash update" I can select the ubuntu iso file, but cannot proceed. The toggle "begin flash update" is not allowing me to select anything. There is one input area titled "Options" but I do not know what to write here.

Please help!
 
523
215
Okay, so after talking to some people, I've decided to clear windows from my machine and run Ubuntu. I have the Ubuntu iso saved on a flash drive. I'm following instructions here:


where I am following from the "Setup the Ubuntu Install" section. But when I restart the PC and type F12 repeatedly, I am not presented with a window that says "boot from USB or Boot from CD/DVD Drive", which is what step 3 states I should see.

Instead, I have the option to select "UEFI BOOT" where I can either boot via Windows Boot Manager or UEFI: Partition 1 OR I can select "Other Options" which lists "Bios Setup", "Device configurations", "BIOS flash update", "Diagnostics", and "change boot mode settings".

If I select "BIOS flash update" I can select the ubuntu iso file, but cannot proceed. The toggle "begin flash update" is not allowing me to select anything. There is one input area titled "Options" but I do not know what to write here.

Please help!
DO NOT select/attempt BIOS flash update!. That's for firmware updates to the BIOS. If you follow that path, and do it wrong, you could hose your machine so that it would be completely useless until someone re-flashes the BIOS with exactly the right firmware.

It would be fine for you go to Other Options > Bios Setup, though -- please read on.

In the screen you showed in post #1, your UEFI device Partition 1 was a 512GB HDD -- presumably, that was the external HDD you had intended to use for Ubuntu.

First, I suggest that you should make a backup of your Windows HDD, just in case, sometime after wiping it out, you wish you hadn't.

You said in post #1 that you were running a Dell, so the following is predicated on that:

Plug in your bootable USB device, or, if you're installing from a DVD, put the DVD in the drive (before you exit Setup, which the next sentence will tell you how to enter).

Immediately after the Dell splash screen, instead of pressing F12 to get the boot menu, press F2 to get into Setup.

Then navigate to the boot order options, and move USB (or DVD) to the top of whatever list it appears on (if you say your Dell model number, I could be more specific).

Then press F10 to save and exit.

The machine should now boot from the available devices in the order you chose in Setup.

You should see the new device order if you press F12 during a reboot.
 
Last edited:
1,678
50
Got it! Worked. Thanks so much! Ubuntu ready! Thanks all!
 
523
215
Ubuntu will now be able to do its own low-level hardware detection, and will install precisely correct drivers, and they should function perfectly.
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"Installing Ubuntu on a PC" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top