One popular Linux distribution is Ubuntu.
Download the desktop edition iso image and burn a CD.
Dont' forget to plug in the network cable before you continue, Ubuntu will detect the network and configure the packet manager Apt-Get and Synaptic to use the online package repositories.
The Ubuntu installation is very simple. Just make sure from the BIOS setup that you will be able to boot from the CD Drive.
Hard Drive Partitioning
When asked on how to partion the hard drive, choose "Guided partion, use entire hard drive". The computers you get from system support may have something installed etc but you don't worry, you can ignore this. NOTE: if you install on your private computer you probably want to handle the partiton differently.
If you are lucky, you will have a working internet connection after the installation. You can check this by launching the web browser Firefox or by open up a terminal console (Applications --> Accessories --> Terminal) and give the following command as in the example above:
If you have a working network connection, you will get something like this:
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:08:74:A7:74:9B inet addr:22.214.171.124 Bcast:126.96.36.199 Mask:255.255.255.0 inet6 addr: fe80::208:74ff:fea7:749b/64 Scope:Link UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1 RX packets:70431 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0 TX packets:38523 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0 collisions:0 txqueuelen:100 RX bytes:71855834 (68.5 MB) TX bytes:5552125 (5.2 MB) Base address:0xecc0 Memory:ff8e0000-ff900000
If you don't get a working network connection, the response from ifconfig will look similar to this:
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:08:74:A7:74:9B UP BROADCAST MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1 RX packets:70854 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0 TX packets:38765 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0 collisions:0 txqueuelen:100 RX bytes:72170440 (68.8 MB) TX bytes:5605212 (5.3 MB) Base address:0xecc0 Memory:ff8e0000-ff900000
The difference compared to when you get a working network connection is that the network card will not be assigned a network address, ie, the lines
inet addr:188.8.131.52 Bcast:184.108.40.206 Mask:255.255.255.0 inet6 addr: fe80::208:74ff:fea7:749b/64 Scope:Link
The most likely reason for not getting a working network connection: For security reasons, you can not just plug in an arbitrary computer to the wired network. Before you will be allowed to use the network you must report the hardware address (MAC) of the network card to the system support. In the output from ifconfig you will see the hardware address:
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:08:74:A7:74:9B
To report the MAC-address you should file one support request in Bugzilla and collect the following information for all the project computers:
- The MAC-address of the network interface (HwdAdress as reported by for example ifconfig.
- The UpUnet-S user id of the student signing out the computer.