Install Elementary OS

Install Elementary OS

What is Elementary OS

Elementary OS is a Linux Operating system that is based on the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu. Elementary shares the same software repositories as Ubuntu. Software/packages are installed from the Ubuntu Software Centre. What makes Elementary OS stand out from other Ubuntu based systems is its customised look and feel. Elementary OS uses the "Pantheon Desktop" environment.

Custom core applications have been written to handle Music, Videos and Photos. Elementary uses "Geary" as an email client, "Midori" as a fast light weight web browser. Software such as Libre Office, Brasero and other popular packages can be installed quickly and easily from the Software Centre.

Howto Install Elementary OS - Freya 0.3

Elementary OS can be downloaded from the official site: Download Elementary OS

Initially you are asked to make a donation. You may click on the "Custom" option and choose any amount you wish to give. Next you need to choose between a 32Bit or 64Bit version of the Operating System. In the following example I have used the 64Bit version. Once you have downloaded the relevant "iso" image that matches your systems architecture, you will need to burn this image to a DVD. For software that can do this, search for "dvd iso burning software" in the search box above. Your computer may already have CD/DVD burning software such as "Brasero, K3B, Nero, CDBurnerXP or Roxio". If you are installing into a virtualised environment, simply copy the "iso" file to the relevant directory. Once you have burned your chosen "iso" image of Elementary to your DVD, you will need to leave the DVD in the DVD drive and reboot your system. As your computer reboots, you will need to select the appropriate key to access your system's BIOS settings. On many systems this key will be "F8", "F11" or "F12". Most systems will display the a message indicating which key needs to be pressed. Once you have access to your BIOS settings, you will need to modify the boot order of your system to boot from CD/DVD first. Once you have made this change, you can reboot your system and follow the Instructions below.

Welcome Screen

Elementary will load quickly to a "Welcome" screen giving you several options. Here you must choose the language to use for your system. The two main options from this screen are "Try elementary" and "Install elementary". If you choose the "Try" option, you can try out elementary without having to install any software. If you choose the installation option, elementary will be installed on your system. In this example I have gone with the option to install elementary.

Elementary OS Welcome Screen

Preparing to Install elementary

At this screen you are reminded of any pre-requisites that are required. Ideally you should have around 6.5GB of available space and an active internet connection. You may choose to install any system updates whilst elementary installs. The option to "Install third party software" has been selected as this will install any necessary codecs that are required for the playback of Music and Video.

Preparing to Install Elementary OS

Installation Type

From this screen you must choose your installation options. In this example, I am installing to an empty disk so I have chosen the option "Erase disk and install elementary". You may wish to choose the option of encrypting your data for extra security. You may also choose to use LVM, although this is not necessary. (For more information regarding LVM see LVM Guide) If you would like to manually partition your disk, you will need to select the option "Something else".

Once you are happy with your selections, click on the "Install Now" button in the lower right hand corner.

Installation Type

Write changes to disk?

Next you will need to confirm that you are happy to continue with the installation. If you need to go back to make any changes, simply click on the "Go Back" option, otherwise click on "Continue".

Write Changes to Disk

Where are you?

From this screen you have to select your geographic location. This is normally selected for you automatically. Click "Continue" once you have made your selection.

elementary geographic location selection

Keyboard Layout

At this screen you need to choose the appropriate keyboard layout. This again is normally chosen automatically for you. In the example, "English UK" has been chosen automatically. You may test your keyboard settings by typing into the box provided below.

Keyboard Layout

Who are you?

At this screen you need to supply a name to be used for the first user and also give your computer a name (hostname). You may choose the option to login automatically, however, it is recommended to go with the default setting of "Require my password".

Keyboard Layout


The next phase is the installation of your operating system. Progress is indicated by a notification.

Elementary Installation Progress

Installation Complete

Congratulations, your installation has now completed successfully. You will now need to restart your computer. Please remove any installation media from your drive.

Installation Complete

Elementary Login Screen

You should now see a login screen where you must enter the account details you created in the previous steps. A Guest account is available that will allow users to use the system without making any changes or storing any information.

Elementary Login Screen

Elementary OS Desktop

Congratulations, your system is now ready for use. Applications and system settings can be accessed by clicking on the "Application" menu in the upper left hand corner of the desktop. For quick access, you can use the dock at the bottom of the screen to place your most frequently used applications.

Elementary OS Desktop Screen