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How to change the default OS in an Ubuntu dual-boot setup

The GNU Grand Unified Bootloader, a.k.a. GRUB. The GRUB boot menu is a familiar sight to anyone who dual boots.

The boot menu for the GNU Grand Unified Bootloader, a.k.a. GRUB. The menu is a familiar sight to anyone who dual-boots.

Although Linux is great, there are still reasons to keep Windows hanging around on your hard drive. Maybe you can’t live without iTunes for your iPhone/iPod, or perhaps you’re a gamer and still want to play titles that aren’t available on Linux yet. Whatever the reason, dual-booting is a reality that many of us live with.

Ubuntu installs a bootloader called GRUB that allows you to choose which OS you’d like to boot when you start your PC. You’ve probably noticed that Ubuntu is the default OS that boots after you install it in a dual-boot setup. By default, GRUB is configured to automatically boot Ubuntu after 10 seconds, giving you the opportunity to boot into Windows if you so desire.

However, if you want to boot Windows by default, you can easily change GRUB’s default behavior. You can also change GRUB’s timeout length if you simply don’t want to sit around for an additional 10 seconds each time your computer boots. It involves a little under-the-hood tinkering, but by following the steps in this guide, you should be able to change the appropriate settings in just a few minutes. Read the rest of this entry

Installing Lubuntu: A step-by-step guide to dual-booting

Once you’ve downloaded Lubuntu and burned it to a CD, you’re ready to install it onto your computer. For this guide, I’ll be showing you how to install Lubuntu alongside Windows on your computer, something known as dual-booting. One advantage to dual-booting is that you can always switch back to Windows without losing any data if you find you don’t like Linux.

Before starting, make sure your computer is plugged into a power source. I would also highly recommend that you connect your computer to the Internet using an ethernet cable as opposed to relying on a wireless connection. This won’t be an issue for those with desktops, but most people using laptops rely on a wireless connection. Unfortunately, your wireless connection more than likely won’t work out of the box with Lubuntu, which will prevent you from downloading updates during the install. If you have a wireless router, simply unplug the ethernet cable from the router and plug it into your laptop to ensure you’ll be connected to the Internet.

Insert the CD containing Lubuntu into your computer’s disc tray and reboot. If all goes well, the computer should automatically boot up using the CD. The disc will take several seconds to load, and shortly you should be presented with the following screen: Read the rest of this entry