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How to get started with Ubuntu

I've been working with computers for decades but have zero experience with any form of Unix, Linux, or Ubuntu. I keep reading about it, so now I'm ready to see what I need to do to make a bootable Ubuntu CD.
I want to be very careful not to do anything with it to my hard drives. I had a bad experience with a recovery disc for Acronis True Image a couple of years ago that wiped out about 5 partitions, so I just want to make a bootable CD for now, being extremely careful not to do anything with my hard drives.
I've been using UBCD which works well, but it does take its sweet time booting up and it's probably good for everyone since it requires an XP SP1 or later install disc to create.
What do I need to do to get started with Ubuntu?
TIA

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Best Answer

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Re: download Ubuntu
http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop is the place to start.

Then follow the documentation to burn it on an iso, and read the next page, It says:

Put the Ubuntu DVD into the DVD-drive. Restart your computer. You should see a welcome screen prompting you to choose your language and giving you the option to install Ubuntu or try it from the DVD.
As long as you don't install it, it won't touch your hard disk.

Kees
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Thanks, Kees

Went there, did that, and am very happy with the results. I'd been using UBCD which I like, but it requires an XP SP1 install disc to create, and I believe Ubuntu is probably better supported. It's definitely easier to get started with.
I burned it to a CD which works fine, but it takes about 5 min. to boot up, so I think I'll try burning it to a DVD to see if maybe that's faster.

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Answer
Basically, all you need is a computer and the

ability to download Ubuntu

P

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Well now it's not quite so simple

I went to download.com and typed in Ubuntu in the search window. At the top of the list was a PDF converter which I know I don't need. Next is a link to webcraller.com search, so I clicked on that and got a bewildering 9 pages of different places. So I clicked on one that takes me to http://www.ubuntu.com/download . The first thing I see there is a screen talking about replacing my OS. This is precisely what I do NOT want to do!
So would someone who's a little more articulate please provide something I can get started with including how to be absolutely certain that I don't mess up my hard drive, and where to go to download Ubuntu.
TIA

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hey,why don't you burn a disc from umbutu?

you don't have to install it, all you have to do is use it. Stop being so obnoxious and burn it to a disk, and use it and also I'm Very Articulate, so if you are f.... y.... Digger

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Sorry to seem "obnoxious" but

I've never used anything like this before and I don't have a clue about Ubuntu. It may seem simple to you, but it's bewildering and frightening to me. As I mentioned in my OP, I had some version of Linux wipe out 5 partitions a couple of years ago, and I want to be very careful not to have that happen again. I hope that's understandable.
Now I've gone to http://www.ubuntu.com/download and downloaded what is described as the Ubuntu desktop. Is that what I was supposed to download? It's not obvious to a neophite whether it is or not. Anyway I burned the ISO to a CD, and when I put it in the drive, it wanted to run WUBI.EXE and do an install. You say I don't have to install it to use it. Then how do I do that. It's certainly not obvious.
I'm sure if I'd done this hundreds of times, it would seem as "obvious" to me as it does to you, but remember I'm a complete neophite and very weary of having another 5 partitions wiped out like I did once before.

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if it wiped out 5 partitions,

it's because you told Linux to use your whole disc.

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do you really think

unix and linux are the same ? maybe a good poll question of the week...Digger

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you just run the program off of the disc

you do not install it on your hard drive

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I went to the site you linked

and that is precisely where I downloaded my version of Umbutu, I put it on a dvd and use it whenever I want, without installing it to my computer, again I am articulate and so are the mods here.

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again

I went to the site you linked and didn't go through 9 bewildering pages of different places, it asks you if you want to download Ubutu and takes you to the place to do that, I see I keep getting thumbs down but stickin' to my guns...Digger

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Answer
WUBI installer

If you want to dual boot with UBUNTU, use the WUBI installer. There are several ways to use Linux Ubuntu/Kbuntu but the easiest way to dual boot is WUBI.

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