Step 1

Download an ISO

Go get yourself a copy of Ubuntu from thier website. In case you are un-aware, it's right here. The download is just under a gigabyte, and took me 8-10 minutes to download at an average of 36Mb/s. This could take minutes or hours depending on your connection. If you have a slower connection, I strongly recommend downloading the torrent instead of the direct download from thier mirror sites.

Unless the date is after 2022, you should still be installing 18.* which is thier LTS(Long Term Support). LTS implies that they will continue to write security updates for the packages included with this distribution for 5 years after the release. If you choose to install 2019.4 then security updates cease in January of next year. Making 18.04 your most stable, long term choice in operating systems provided by The Canonical Group.

Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver came out during April of 2018. It featured GNOME 3.28, came with improved boot speed, a minimal installation option, VLC as standard, an updated LibreOffice 6.0, automated security updates, and they removed the 32-bit installer option.

They also provide signatures on thier website so you can verify the contents of your download. We suggest making sure you weren't subjected to a MITM (Man in the middle) attack, just in case one day, you were. You know, procautionary measures.


Step 2

Create boot media

Boot Media, is storage that has a special sector with instructions your devices firmware/hardware need to get the operating system loaded into the hardware.

Depending on the system you are using, to gather your resources from, we have curated instructions for multiple operating systems.

You'll have two options to create boot media from. You can either use a DVD, or a USB Drive. I prefer a flashdrive over DVD. Much less time consuming and less difficult now with Etcher's software.

DVD Option

Follow these official instructions, to burn a DVD copy of Ubuntu for installation to your device.

USB Option

Download Etchers portable windows app, which is good for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. Once it is installed, you've downloaded Ubuntu's ISO from above, and you've plugged in your USB Drive, you will want to open up your new software.

Etcher configuration Etcher will configure and write to your USB device in three stages, each of which needs to be selected in turn:

  • Select image will open a file requester from which should navigate to and select the ISO file downloaded previously. By default, the ISO file will be in your Downloads folder.
  • Select drive, replaced by the name of your USB device if one is already attached, lets you select your target device. You will be warned if the storage space is too small for your selected ISO.
  • Flash! will activate when both the image and the drive have been selected. As with Disk Utility, Etcher needs low-level access to your storage hardware and will ask for your password after selection.

  • Once you've completed these steps, you should have a USB Disk that can be used to jump into Ubuntu on almost ANY hardware. You can proceed to the next step.

Follow these official instructions, to burn a DVD copy of Ubuntu for installation to your device

USB Option

Before trying to write your ISO, you will need to wipe, and reformat your drive using Apple's ‘Disk Utility'.

  • Launch Disk Utility from Applications>Utilities or Spotlight search
  • Insert your USB stick and observe the new device added to Disk Utility
  • Select the USB stick device (you may need to enable the option View>Show All Devices) and select Erase from the tool bar (or right-click menu)
  • Set the format to MS-DOS (FAT) and the scheme to GUID Partition Map
  • Check you've chosen the correct device and click Erase

You too can use Etcher to burn your boot media. You will see a small green button, listing download options. You will be selecting Etcher for macOS.

Etcher configuration Etcher will configure and write to your USB device in three stages, each of which needs to be selected in turn:

  • Select image will open a file requester from which should navigate to and select the ISO file downloaded previously. By default, the ISO file will be in your Downloads folder.
  • Select drive, replaced by the name of your USB device if one is already attached, lets you select your target device. You will be warned if the storage space is too small for your selected ISO.
  • Flash! will activate when both the image and the drive have been selected. As with Disk Utility, Etcher needs low-level access to your storage hardware and will ask for your password after selection.

  • Once you've completed these steps, you should have a USB Disk that can be used to jump into Ubuntu on almost ANY hardware. You can proceed to the next step.

Follow these official instructions, to burn a DVD copy of Ubuntu for installation to your device.

USB Option

You too can use Etcher to burn your boot media. You will see a small green button, listing download options. You will be selecting Etcher for macOS.

Etcher configuration Etcher will configure and write to your USB device in three stages, each of which needs to be selected in turn:

  • Select image will open a file requester from which should navigate to and select the ISO file downloaded previously. By default, the ISO file will be in your Downloads folder.
  • Select drive, replaced by the name of your USB device if one is already attached, lets you select your target device. You will be warned if the storage space is too small for your selected ISO.
  • Flash! will activate when both the image and the drive have been selected. As with Disk Utility, Etcher needs low-level access to your storage hardware and will ask for your password after selection.

  • Once you've completed these steps, you should have a USB Disk that can be used to jump into Ubuntu on almost ANY hardware. You can proceed to the next step.


Step 3

Graphic Installation of Ubuntu 18.04.2

Intro Screen for Live Boot Media

Power off your machine, and insert your USB Device. Depending on the BIOS, it may require a hotkey, or sequence before shutdown to be able to boot from media other than its normal boot device. Most will automagically dectect a boot device in the usb slot. If your machine just boots into it's normal enviroment instead of getting a black screen with text asking for you to make a choice between trying or installing Ubuntu, then look for a hint on your POST screen (The splash screen shown before the operating system loads.), sometimes they read "F12...Setup" or "Press DEL to Enter Setup"

If you continue to have trouble getting it to boot from removable media, check out this page. Follow the instructions replacing "CD/DVD ROM" with "Removable Media" if you chose to use USB. Otherwise you chose to create a DVD Disk and can follow them as they are.

Provided you opted for the "Install Ubuntu" option at the main menu not try ubuntu, your first step will be selecting a default language for the system.

Select your default language, ours is English.
Select a language.

The next step will give you the option to connect to a wireless network if you aren't hardwired in. Provide the installer your SSID and Passphrase to connect. This will lessen the wait time after the installation of the OS, and ensure the system doesn't sit with vulnerable software till you are ready to take care of it (Which could be never...just sayin...).

After providing your credentials for network access you are given more choices. The next menu lists options about the install asking if you would like to "Download updates while installing" (Click this, yes, you do want to.), or enable the universe or multiverse repos. Fancy ways of asking if you would like access to more packages or software thats eligible to install on Ubuntu. JTsToolbox uses some packages only available in those extra repositories so we check those boxes as well. You will have to decide if you need them. If one day you do, they can be activated later through the GUI, should you prefer it, or you can just check them now. They have special licenses associated with them, so please look into that prior to deciding.

Select your Respositories...
Repository Selection

Next up is disk configuration. The first option "Install Ubuntu Alongside Them" is usually very complicated and can go screwy if you don't know what you are doing. We suggest the next option "Erase Disk and Install Ubuntu". We don't encrypt the drive, or use LVM for performance reasons. JTsToolbox just doesn't need it. If you do, or if it gives your the warm and tinglies to encrypt your disk, go for it! (We just can't cover that on this page yet, sorry.)

DANGER! Carefully select an option. You could lose all your DATA!
Select how you want Ubuntu to handle your Disk Drives.

Locale is the next step.
     Choose the correct timezone for your Ubuntu System. Most people choose thier timezone based on the machines physical location.

Choose your timezone
Select your timezone. We will be using a very popular default of New York -5.

Keyboard Region is the next menu.
     Choose the correct keyboard layout for your Ubuntu System. Most people choose thier settings by utilizing the test input below the choices. You can check characters that may be swapped based of the choices picked from above in the figure below.

Choose your keyboard layout
Select your timezone. We will be using a very popular default of New York -5.

First User setup
     Choose the name of your machine, and the first user. This user will have sudo priviledges. Make sure you select a strong password as hackers nowadays can crack 50 charactor passphrases in mere minutes utilizing cloud computing power.

Choose a username, password and machine name. Choose a STRONG password.
Here you will set up the main Ubuntu User. Until further configured, this is also your hostname.

Congratz!!
     You have installed Ubuntu. You will soon be instructed to reboot the system. After that you will be prompted to remove the boot media (USB or DVD) and restart the machine.

GRATZ!
Good job. Now you can begin your journey into Free and Open Source Software.


Step 4

Initial Setup & Configuration Changes


Update & Upgrade your system on a regular basis

Once you have restarted the system, and loaded into Ubuntu you will need to verify your system is up to date, and continue to update/upgrade it on a regular basis. This will help to keep your system secure. Security patches are rolled out to packages almost instantly once developers and package maintainers have had time to test thier works.

To complete this action, we will need to have a terminal open. CTRL+ALT+T to get there, followed by sudo su. After we have have escalated our priviledges in this terminal, we can run the line of code below.
time(apt update && apt dist-upgrade -y) && reboot now

Edit & Source .bashrc to colorize output, and list files in a more useful way

JTsToolbox likes to tweak the .bashrc file located in each home directory, set up root passwords, etc. Some things we like to install in addition to the normal packages that come preinstalled with Ubuntu. We will start at the .bashrc file.

Open up a terminal using CTRL+ALT+T

It should load up to your home directory. The home directory is dynamic and is based on your Username and the Machine Name. So if during the install you gave your system a machine name of 'machine', and selected a username of 'user' (don't), It will show you a prompt resembling:
user@machine:~$

If you type the command sudo su and hit Return, you will see the username display by the prompt change to
root@machine:/home/user/#

Caution:

You have now escalated the priviledges of this terminal, and can do some very harmful things by simply mis-typing commands. Acting as the Root user, some warnings will disappear from some programs, like cp or rm. You won't recieve the friendly advice that could warn you of impending doom. A Root users should know what they are doing.



In this case, /home/user/ would be your Home directory. You could also use echo $HOME; or pwd to display this info without escalating your priviledges, but we need to able to copy our .bashrc file after we edit it, to the /root/ directory.

To open up .bashrc in an editor, type the command
nano /home/user/.bashrc then hit Return
Press CTRL+w
this will allow you to search inside of .bashrc, we are trying to find #force_color_prompt=yes.
You'll notice the difference in colors, and the # symbol, indicating this is a comment. Removing the # charactor from the beginning of the line, will enable the setting. Change this line from #force_color_prompt=yes to read:
force_color_prompt=yes

Section you are looking for.
See the green cursor position? That's your point of focus.

The next line we are looking for contains alias ls='ls --color=auto'
Press CTRL+w followed by alias ls=  then press   Return
Here we will edit the line to read alias ls='ls -la --color=auto', which means you will need to add "-la" into the center of it.
Another alias I like to add is "cls", under the line we just edited to add in -la, add a new line, followed by:
alias cls='clear && clear'

Section you are looking for.
Again, look to the green cursor and directly underneath it.

Once you have edited this file, and are happy with your results, close the file using the HotKeys CTRL+X, after which it will ask if you would like to save the changes you made. Select yes by pressing "y" followed by your Return key.

If you have followed along to this point, you should now have a machine that will display with a color prompt, and an easier to follow and more useful as you can see in the figure below.


Using username "alpha".
Authenticating with public key "rsa-key-SELFxSIGNED"
Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.15.0-55-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:  https://help.ubuntu.com
 * Management:     https://landscape.canonical.com
 * Support:        https://ubuntu.com/advantage

 * MicroK8s 1.15 is out! Thanks to all 40 contributors, you get the latest
   greatest upstream Kubernetes in a single package.

     https://github.com/ubuntu/microk8s

 * Canonical Livepatch is enabled.
   - All available patches applied.

0 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.

Last login: Fri Jul 26 10:44:15 2019 from 86.919.323.491
alpha@wrench:~$ sudo su
[sudo] password for alpha:
root@wrench:/home/alpha# cd ..
root@wrench:/home# ls
total 12
drwxr-xr-x  3 root   root   4096 Dec  9  2018 .
drwxr-xr-x 24 root   root   4096 Jul 22 10:46 ..
drwxr-xr-x 23 alpha	 alpha  4096 Jul 25 22:56 alpha
root@wrench:/home#


Below, I've attached a script you can type up yourself, set the permissions, and use it as if it were a built in command. The permissions needed to run it, are 754.
You can create the new script with sudo nano /usr/local/bin/update, copy and paste the below script into it, and exit and save the new script as "update". Without the quotes. Change the permissions using chmod 0754 /usr/local/bin/update
Now you have a script to safely update your package lists, and update the OS to its current stable version, without upgrading into a different version of the OS (18.04.2). If you have followed my instructions, you now can call update from anywhere inside your terminal, and it will run the update and upgrade commands.

#!/bin/bash
#Setup variables
ROOT_UID=0
# Run as root, of course.
printf "\u001b[31mChecking privilege level...\n\u001b[0m";
if [ "$UID" -ne "$ROOT_UID" ]
then
  printf "\u001b[31mPlease run command as root.\n\u001b[0m";
  exit $E_NOTROOT
fi

printf "\u001b[35mUpdating system package list...\n\u001b[0m";
apt update;
printf "\u001b[33mUpgrading packages...\n\u001b[0m";
apt dist-upgrade -y;
printf "\n\u001b[32mRestart Stack Completed Successfully\n\u001b[0m";
printf "\n\u001b[0m";
reboot now;

To log out of the machine from the desktop click the top right menu, near the sound icon, and click the power symbol to list your options. You can Log Off, Restart, or Power off your system from this GUI menu. In the terminal, you have two choices, shutdown now or reboot now. You can alter these to provide warning to your users that the system will disconnect soon, but if you are following this tutorial, you aren't at that point anyway. If you are, the man pages will help you understand the syntax for that.