Before installing any Linux distribution we recommend that you test it first.
This can be done by simply downloading the .iso file and creating a bootable disc.
Most distributions such as Ubuntu are supplied as a live system.
This means you can run Ubuntu from a disk or usb, as a live system, without installing.
First you will need to download Ubuntu.
Then you will need to will need to make a bootable CD or USB using the downloaded ubuntu.iso file.
You can use many programs (including right click in W7) to burn the ubuntu.iso and create a live bootable CD / DVD.
You can also use programs such as Unetbootin or Linux Live Usb Creator to make a bootable Live USB.
Once you have your bootable live media, connect or insert it in to your computer and shutdown.
Then start your computer and press ESC, F2, F8 or F12 (depending on your computer) to change the boot order.
Select boot from USB or CD depending on your media type and press enter.
If you are not sure about accessing the bios or changing the boot order please look at our Bios guide.
You will then be presented with the option of 'testing' or 'installing ubuntu', select test / try without installing.
Assuming all went well your computer should be booting from the disc or usb.
You may have a few questions to answer at this point such as language etc.
Dont worry if it takes 5 minutes to load, a live disc will have to probe the entire system and select drivers for it.
Once that is done, and Ubutnu is loaded, things may be a bit slow as your system is running from a CD.
When you reach the desktop, you can begin testing and looking around.
We know that the graphics are working by now, so thats one test done.
Next thing is to set up your internet connection and make sure it works.
We would also like to hear a sound at this point to make sure that is working too.
Click on 'System Setting's on the launcher at the left side of the screen, then click the 'Sound' icon.
Next click 'Hardware', then 'Test speakers', and test your speakers by clicking on 'front left' and 'front right'.
If you used a USB to load Ubuntu then try a disc in the DVD drive, if you used a CD try connecting a USB drive.
Excellent we should have sound, graphics, internet, mouse, keyboard, DVD and USB working.
You can now have a good look around the system and connect other items like printers and dongles.
When you are finished looking around you can shut down by clicking the cog in the top right corner.
You can also install the Ubuntu by clicking the install icon on the desktop.
We recommend having a read through our guide on installing Ubuntu first though.