Beginners' Guide

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Also see: Post-Installation Guide
Visual summary of the steps to getting going with UberStudent.

This guide will explain how to get going with UberStudent, which consists of four or five steps, depending upon how you've obtained the UberStudent installation medium. The steps are

  1. Get a pre-made UberStudent disc of USB drive — OR — Download the UberStudent ISO file
  2. Burn the ISO as an image to a blank DVD disc OR install it to a USB drive. NOTE: Skip this step if you purchased a disc or USB drive.
  3. Place the disc into your computer's drive and boot in to it.
  4. Explore around a bit and then click the "Install UberStudent" icon on the desktop and walk through the steps.
  5. Use it!

Enlarge the image to your right for a quick overview.

What follows will explain in simple, step-by-step terms. You'll know exactly what to do.


A Quick Note About Hardware

Most but not all hardware will work with UberStudent. The following briefly discusses the matter.

Desktop computer hardware is much more standardized so there are rarely issues. Nevertheless, if you're thinking about buying a desktop computer, we recommend you browse this list of known 100% supported desktops.

With laptops and notebooks, that hardware is less standardized. If you want to make completely sure that a system you are thinking about buying will be fully supported, browse this list of known 100% supported laptops.

Those lists are not meant to be exhaustive. More than likely everything will work fine on your desktop, laptop or notebook—yes, even on your Macbook. If you have issues, please post in the UberStudent forums.

Getting an UberStudent Disc

If your computer does not have a DVD drive, go to Alternative: Placing the ISO File in to a USB Thumb Drive.

Purchasing a Pre-Made Disc

The preferred method of getting an UberStudent disc is to get one pre-made, so you can avoid the annoyance and occasional issues involved with downloading a DVD-sized file. The discs are cheap (US $6), can be shipped anywhere, and are guaranteed to work. Plus, you don't need to bother with the optional step of checking the downloaded ISO file and the non-optional step of burning it to disc.

If you have access to only very slow Internet access, getting a pre-made disc or drive is your only option. If you're in India, get them at Zyxware.

Making Your Own Disc

If you have a pre-made disc, skip to the section Booting into UberStudent

If you choose not to get a pre-made installation disc, you can make your own. It's pretty straightforward, as this section explains.

Download the ISO File

Advanced Linux users can simply run the following line in a terminal to get the latest default release of UberStudent:
wget -c --content-disposition

An ISO file is a file type that is an exact image of a disc. When you burn it as an image (not as data) with common disc burning software to a blank DVD disc that you purchase, you thereby create the UberStudent installation disc.

UberStudent ISOs are available at SourceForge. Always choose the latest version for best results, unless you have some special reason not to.

Choose the ISO file with an architecture that matches your computer, either 32-bit (i386) or 64-bit (amd64). You can find your computer's architecture by consulting your computer's manual, or doing a simple web-search using your computer's manufacturer and model. When in doubt, get the 32-bit version, the one with "i386" in the file name.

The size of UberStudent ISO files is around 2.5 gigabytes. You should consider using a download manager. It will handle the large download with excellence. The Firefox extension DownThemAll works across platforms, is free, and is a good option. First install Firefox if you need to, obviously.

Verify the ISO File (Optional Step)

Although not essential, it's a good idea to verify the integrity of your download. To do that, you'll need to check the ISO file with its MD5 file, the latter which contains a data string that matches the ISO. If the string matches, the download went perfectly; if not, you'll need to download the ISO again or have a pre-made disc sent to you so you can avoid having to download the ISO file again.

Skip to "Burning the ISO File" to keep moving along; otherwise, Verify an ISO File will show you the steps to take.

Burning the ISO File to Disc

In general, use any disc burning utility to burn the UberStudent ISO as an image, not as data.

In Windows 7 and 8
1. Insert a blank DVD into your drive
2. Right click over the ISO image, as shown below
Windows7 right.jpg
3. Click "Burn"
Windows7 burn.jpg
In Other Windows Versions
1. Insert a blank DVD into your drive
2. Download Free ISO Burner
3. Double-click on the icon for it. It will run without the need to first be installed and look like the below
3. Click "Open" and navigate to the UberStudent ISO file, and then click "Burn."
In Mac OS X
1. Launch Disk Utility (Applications → Utilities → Disk Utility)
2. Insert your blank DVD
3. Drag and drop the ISO file in to the left pane in Disk Utility. Both the blank disc and the ISO file will be listed there
4. Select the ISO file, and then click on the Burn button in the toolbar
Macosx disk-utility.jpg
5. Ensure that you tick "Verify burned data". You may need to first click on the disclosure triangle to see it.
6. Click "Burn." The data will be burned and verified.
Macosx disk-utility burn.png

Alternative: Placing the ISO File in to a USB Thumb Drive

If your computer does not have a DVD drive, you can get UberStudent on a bootable USB drive, or else use a special program that turns a standard USB drive in to bootable medium that can run and install UberStudent. To make a bootable USB drive yourself, we recommend:

NOTE: You cannot just copy the ISO file on to a USB drive. You must use a program that makes the contents of the drive bootable.

Some people may simply prefer the USB drive option because, for example, it's faster.

Overcoming a dirty USB drive

In some cases, there may be junk on your USB drive's file system that is causing issues. In a Linux system, do one of the following steps if you are initially unsuccessful making an UberStudent USB installation medium.

  • Install uberstudentstick and run the USB Stick Formatter; then, try to make the bootable USB drive again.


  • Install gparted, if it is not already installed on your Linux-based system.
  • Insert your USB drive and wait a few seconds to let it mount so your system recognizes that the drive has been plugged in.
  • Run gparted from the entry in your applications system menu. If you can't find such and you are on a recent Ubuntu-based Linux system, hit Alt+F2 on your keyboard and type in gparted-pkexec and run it, and then input your password as gparted opens. On other Linux-based systems, you'll need to run gparted from a terminal as the root user.
  • In gparted go to the USB drive. Delete the partition, everything on it; then format it to FAT32 and exit gparted.
  • Then run the program you've chosen to place the ISO in to your USB drive.

Booting into UberStudent

Once burned to a disc or placed on a USB drive with appropriate software, UberStudent becomes a bootable medium. This means that you access it by booting into it, just as you would any other operating system. To do that, follow the steps for your platform:

In PCs
  1. Place the UberStudent installation disc in to your drive
  2. Reboot
  3. Your computer should automatically detect the disc and boot in to it
Note: Rarely, some computers are not configured to first check the drives for a bootable medium. In this case, you will need to continually press the F11 or Esc key (depending on your machine) on your keyboard while rebooting. This will bring up a menu in your machine's firmware. Select your DVD or USB drive as the boot medium and press Enter on your keyboard to boot from the disc. If the firmware does not come up with F11 or Esc, your machine must use some other key. Try F10 or F1, and if that fails, consult the documentation for your machine to find out the required key to press.
In Mac
  1. Place the UberStudent installation medium in to your drive
  2. Reboot
  3. Press the C key on your keyboard as your computer reboots

Your machine will then boot in to UberStudent.

Since an entire, full-featured operating system is being unwrapped when you boot in to it, it may take a good while, depending on the speed of your drive and processor; and, don't expect UberStudent to run fast from a disc drive. It's running from just a disc, after all.

Installing UberStudent

Most people will want to install UberStudent on to a machine that also has Windows or Mac on it. Fortunately, that is normally very easy to do.

Since UberStudent uses the same installer program used by Ubuntu, ubiquity, all you have to do to install UberStudent is follow the same directions for installing Ubuntu.

On a Machine with Windows 8 (and sometimes Windows 7) Preinstalled

If your machine came with Windows 8 preinstalled, first disable secure boot. Do the same if your Windows 7 machine has EFI.

Many good videos are avaiable to show the installation proccess on a Windows 8 machine with UEFI. While the videos show installation of Ubuntu the steps are exactly the same in UberStudent.

NOTE: On machines with EFI, you will only be able to install one Ubuntu-derived operating system. For example, if you install UberStudent in to an EFI machine that already has Ubuntu or Linux Mint on it (or vice-versa), your system will not boot. If that happens, boot in to the UberStudent live medium and from the Applications > System > Admininistration menu run Boot Repair. This limitation is related to how operating systems install in to EFI machines.

In Oracle VM VirtualBox

VirtualBox is a good option for some people, especially if they are just wanting to initially try out UberStudent. UberStudent 4.1 full editions are pre-configured to run at full screen in Oracle VM VirtualBox—guest additions are pre-installed.

UberStudent is known to run in other virtual machine softwares, but they have not been tested by UberStudent developers.

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