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How to Install Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

Warning: Outdated Version

This tutorial pertains to an outdated version of Ubuntu. While Ubuntu Precise is still supported, a later LTS version has been released. It is recommended that you consider installing Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr instead.

Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin came out on April the 26th of 2012. It features an improved version of Unity, the new Heads-Up Display (HUD), and version support for the next five years. It is completely free to download and install and offers a fast, free, and secure alternative to Windows or OS X.


When choosing how to install, some options will completely erase your drive before doing so. Please read carefully the description of your options below before choosing an install method. If you are comfortable managing partitions, we recommend doing so manually.

How to Install Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin


You can Download Ubuntu 12.04 directly. The file size is just under a Gigabyte and may take anything from a few minutes to a few hours, depending primarily on your connection speed. Downloads will be faster after the first day of release (as less people download).

32 or 64 Bit

A good general rule of thumb is if your computer has 4GB of RAM or more, go for 64bit. Less, go for 32bit.

You might need to know how to find out how much ram you have, if you don't already know, in Ubuntu, Windows, or OS X. You might want to take a look at the pros and cons.

Basically, 64bit is faster.


To install Ubuntu, you must first put the installation image onto some form of media. Your choices are CD, DVD or USB. Most computers can boot from both, unless they lack a disc drive, in which case you can skip the next paragraph, as you'll be using a USB then.

CDs and DVDs offer no real advantage over one another, DVDs may be larger, but the space will not be used, but cost only a tiny amount more. RW means you can write new data again and again, whereas R means once the Ubuntu installation image is on there, there it will stay. It can be used again, but never written to again. As for + or -, + means a computer can treat it like a USB drive, whereas - is a little older and won't. Either + or -, and R or RW will work for this.

USB sticks need to be at least 2GB in size, and be prepared for it to be formatted (everything deleted).

Install Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

Once you've put the image you downloaded onto a CD, DVD, or USB, you will need to shut down your computer. This may be a good time to print this page, or just read through and make notes.

Turn your computer back on, tapping F12 to select a boot device when your screen shows the name of the manufacturer. You can then use the arrow keys, finally hitting enter, to select either USB or Disc Drive.

1. Click Install

Once Ubuntu has booted, you will be presented with a screen that looks like this.

Click Install Ubuntu to install. You can open the installer again later if you choose to try it out, but remember it will be far slower running from a Disc/USB than had you installed it, and nothing you do will actually be saved.

Click Install

2. Check both Boxes

We recommend checking both boxes, but if you don't want to install all updates while installing, or don't want to play MP3 files (music), then you can leave the relevant box(es) unchecked.

If you don't have at least 4.5GB of available drive space, then you can't continue. If you're not plugged in, then plug in before continuing. If you're not connected to the internet, then you'll be prompted to connect when you click continue. You can do it now using the icon to the left of the sound menu to connect. Mine shows two arrows, as I'm plugged in, disconnected it looks different, and a little change again if using WiFi. You can continue without connecting, but you won't be able to get updates, or any language packs you may require.

Check both Boxes

3. Choose How to Install

Yours will probably look a little different to mine here. My hard drive doesn't have anything on it yet, so i can choose either to use the whole disk, or specify partitions manually (surprisingly easy stuff). Yours may have a slightly different first option, and one or two extra.

It may say Delete Windows and Install Ubuntu and Shrink Windows and Install Ubuntu Alongside.

Choosing to install alongside will mean you are presented with a menu with the option to choose which operating system with the arrow keys and enter every time you turn on your computer.

Choose How to Install


In this step you could potentially erase your entire computer. This means all your programs, documents, photos, videos, and everything else could be lost. Be careful, especially if you plan to remove Windows or OS X and use only Ubuntu, or if you are installing to a USB Drive.

Make sure you understand where it is being installed and how it will effect your data. This is the last point at which you can safely cancel the install without potential data loss.

It is always a good idea to make backups.

If you have not done so already, backup your data.

4. Confirm your Choice

After clicking continue, you may be presented with a confirmation screen, much like this, to confirm your choices.

Click Install Now to begin installing.

You'll be asked a few more questions in a second about where you are, what your name is, and how you want your computer set up. These are for time settings, user names, and home folders.

Confirm your Choice

5. Choose your Location

Now you get to choose your location by dropping a pin on this nifty looking map. This is to select your timezone and apply any regional adjustments.

Choose your Location

6. Choose your Keyboard Layout

This is probably the most technical step in the installation, made a lot simpler by the Detect Keyboard Layout. Just click that and follow the instructions on screen.

Choose your Keyboard Layout

7. Set a Username and Password

Now you get to enter your name, the name you want your computer to be (not really important), your username (again, you won't see this much, but it can't have capitals or spaces, best leave as it is made from your real name), a password (if you want, then confirm it, and keep it strong), whether or not to log in automatically, and whether or not to encrypt your home folder (which is where documents, music, and video folder can be found, among others).

I would not recommend encrypting your home folder, as this usually complicates things for you as much as any potential trespassers. It can lead to complications with keyrings, forgotten passwords, and bad data recovery. Only use if it is company policy.

Set a Username and Password

8. Sit Back and Relax

Sit back and enjoy a little slideshow about Ubuntu, all the free, full-version software you've got, and just how great it is to have installed Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin LTS.

You can rest easy in the knowledge that your computer is faster, safer, and simpler to use, now it's running a free open-source system.

Check out if you need any further help.

Sit Back and Relax

Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin LTS!


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