As the title of this post states, this is a quick and easy five-minute method for you to leave Windows or Mac operating systems behind. Perhaps you are here because of Windows 10 OS alt-OS lockout issues (as Windows 10 would keep you from using other operating systems from boot), or because Windows XP has long since reached end of life, or any number of Windows-related issues. Perhaps you are just done with Apple, the way it handles your data, or are not in agreement with Apple’s ban of certain apps relating to bitcoin or other decentralized virtual currencies. In any event, this post is intended as a non-technical way out for you that is fast and simple. You’ll end up with an operating system that is free, open source, and much more secure than your previous arrangement. Ubuntu is chosen for this “quick-and-easy” approach (and because it comes with a perfectly functional Office replacement that is compatible with your existing files, and other nice things), but other operating systems are offered at the bottom of this post for you to consider. And now: The five-minute method!
2. For Windows users, you’ll want to act before Windows makes the transition to Windows 10. (At the very least, don’t follow Windows into Windows 10.) This very likely means that it would have been ideal to transition off Windows before January 9, 2018, which is the end of support for Windows 8, but there is no time like the present. If you are on Windows with your desktop or laptop, and want to preserve all your files intact while making a quick transition to a new operating system (in this case, Ubuntu) with the option to select either your Windows system or Ubuntu any time you start up, an easy way to do this is through the Ubuntu ‘Wubi,’ which is developed for those transitioning out of Windows. This is 64-bit, and is good for Windows XP, Vista and 7 users. Should you need a different way to transition from your Windows system, use this guidance or go here. Enjoy!
Wubi usage notes [important for later!]:
3. If you are on a Mac OS, please review this guide to transition to Ubuntu. This will help you to keep your Mac OS and run it in the future if you want to, so that you can use either Ubuntu or your Mac OS. You’ll be able to gradually get accustomed to the open source Ubuntu in this way. Here’s more information on the dual-boot option for Mac OS users. If you’re done reading about it and want to get started, it’s easy: Just link here and follow the instructions that walk you through the process for your desktop or laptop. If you are on 10.6 or higher, or an iPad, look at the Ubuntu One page first. Have fun!
4. Share what you learn with others. Share this five-minute method using your social media. (You can easily share this with others using the buttons at the top and bottom of this post.)
Help your friends and relatives do what you just did. (Thanks – nice work!)
5. If you are interested in other open source operating systems and you would like to get a detailed look at each of them, please see the previous post which covers this in detail. (Long read, but worth it.)
end notes: To check OpenSSL version or address Heartbleed concerns after you install, here’s an excellent resource.
(August 15, 2014 post edit: If you’ve gone through the steps above, have used Ubuntu for a while, and are now receiving a suggestion in your Updater to update / upgrade to 14.04, go ahead and do it, but first, read this guide I’ve posted to help you with that process!)