Canonical опубликовала инструкцию по переходу с Windows7 на Ubuntu

By vedavrat
*** Инструкция компании Canonical по переходу с Windows 7 на Ubuntu Linux ***

Компания ‘Canonical’ опубликовала краткую и простую инструкцию для перехода с “Windows 7” на “Ubuntu” 

    Компания “Canonical” помогает перевести пользователей на операционную систему (ОС) Ubuntu, что особенно актуально после прекращения поддержки ОС “Windows 7”. Разработчики опубликовали инструкцию по безболезненному переходу на новую ОС.

    Как заявил разработчик компании Игорь Любунчик, эта инструкция поможет даже несильно «подкованным» технически пользователям “Windows 7” перейти со старой операционной системы на “Ubuntu”. Он также напомнил, что эта свободная ОС является защищённой, бесплатной и надёжной.

   На данный момент инструкция включает в себя определения и описания, необходимые для установки “Ubuntu”: названия (номер) версии ОС, принципы нумерации версий, описание различных удобных сред рабочего стола (Desktop Environment — ‘DE’), описание важных приложений и так далее.

   Более того, Ubuntu можно запустить прямо с «флешки» (USB-памяти), а с Windows так не получится. Это позволяет протестировать новую ОС даже без установки на жёсткий диск.

   Первая часть инструкции также включает в себя описание создание резервной копии данных. И хотя в не все данные нужны для перехода, однако некоторые из них стоит скопировать («бэкапить»). Это касается, к примеру, данных браузеров — закладок, истории, логинов, паролей.


   OS “Windows 7” was officially retired a while ago. In the process, many Linux distribution communities took the opportunity to attract abandoned Windows 7 users to use Linux distros such as Ubuntu/Linux.

   Company “Canonical” has released a series of tutorials designed to help “Windows 7’ users migrate to “Ubuntu”. Canonical developer Igor Ljubuncic introduces: «We provide a series of detailed, step-by-step tutorials, that should help less tech-savvy “Windows 7” users migrate from their old operating system (OS) to “Ubuntu”. We start with considerations of the move, on applications and on data backup. Then, the installation of the new operating system follows. And final is Ubuntu desktop tour, post-install configuration and setup.»

  The tutorial is very concise, and the specifics of the installation process are explained very clearly. Novices, who even do not know Linux, can get started easyly for the Ubuntu installation.

   Why use Ubuntu? For «Windows refugees», Ubuntu mentions “system migration”. There are many reasons, such as open source free, safe and reliable, positive and stable, compatible with most Windows apps (if not enough, ‘wine’ can be more compatible) and a good experience. And as we can see, many of the benefits of these releases come from Ubuntu. 


How to upgrade from Windows 7 to Ubuntu – Hardware and software considerations

Rhys Davies wrote a article “Why you should upgrade to Ubuntu”:  

It is a high-level overview of the end of support of “Windows 7” for the typical user, the consideration and advantages of migrating to “Ubuntu” as an alternative, and the basic steps one should undertake to achieve this.

We will provide a series of detailed, step-by-step tutorials that should help “Windows 7” users migrate from their old operating system to “Ubuntu”. 

Start with considerations for the move, on applications and data backup. Then, follow the installation of the new operating system (OS), and finally the Ubuntu desktop tour, post-install configuration and setup.

What are we going to do?

This series will cover the following topics:

  • Preparation for the migration – In the first installment here, we will cover the options available to Windows 7 users, the necessary checklist of steps before the actual migration, and the data backup ahead of the change.
  • Installation of Ubuntu – In essence, Ubuntu is an operating system, just like Windows. This guide will go through the different scenarios by which the Windows 7 users will be able to install Ubuntu on their machine. The operating system installation is not a trivial process, especially for users without prior knowledge in this domain, and we want to make this part of the journey as seamless as possible.
  • Post-install configuration – Once Ubuntu is installed, the user will need to familiarize themselves with the new operating system, the layout of the desktop, the applications, and other settings that form part of the day-to-day desktop usage. For many people, whether they will be able to continue using their apps is a critical one, and we will pay special care to this aspect of the overall experience.


Before we start, it is important to clarify some tech terms of tutorials. Technical terms get thrown about with wild abandon, and often, they are confusing and intimidating to ordinary users. Indeed, each of the articles will have its own table of jargon – to help you understand and navigate the topic effectively.

PhraseIn WindowsIn Ubuntu
Operating systemWindowsUbuntu (Linux)*
DistributionN/A – the closest analogy is version.The flavor of the operating system. Examples include Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, etc.
Version7, 8.1, 10, etc.Numerical – 16.04, 18.10, typically denotes YY.MM of release. There are also point releases (e.g. 18.04.3), which signify updates from when a specific version was released.Names – Ubuntu releases also have names that correspond to the version number. For example, Ubuntu 18.04 is called Bionic Beaver, so if anyone says Bionic, Beaver, Ubuntu 18.04 or just 18.04, they mean the same thing.
Desktop environmentN/A – the closest analogy for this term is Aero, Metro,  Modern, which define the type of visual styling of the desktop in Windows.The presentation layer that includes the desktop, toolbars, window decorations, other styling elements.The desktop environment also includes usage model (behavior – like single-click, double-click, position of window controls, etc).Desktop environments are usually closely associated with the distribution, e.g. Ubuntu uses the GNOME desktop environment, whereas Kubuntu uses the Plasma desktop environment. Some distributions offer more than one edition, e.g. they come with different desktop environments.

What options do Windows 7 users have?

If you’re a Windows 7 user, as of January 14th 2020, the operating system (OS) is no longer supported, unless you’re paying for extended support. For most if not all home users, this is not a viable option.

Running an operating system that no longer receives updates and security patches can be problematic in some scenarios. Tech-savvy users will have the knowledge and means to maintain their setup working safe, but most folks will not necessarily have the skills needed to continue using an end-of-life (“EOL”) operating system. The most reasonable solution is to migrate to a supported operating system.

Upgrade to a non-Windows alternative – Effectively, this means Linux. The notable advantage of this step is that most Linux distributions are offered free of charge, and do not have strict licensing conditions tied into their usage. This makes Linux a viable option, but it also requires learning new terminology and usage patterns, which can be quite challenging. In this series of articles, we will focus on Ubuntu.

Why you should consider Ubuntu

The easiest way to explain why Ubuntu is to think of smartphones. Operating systems (OS’es) offer certain advantages, and they also mandate their own ways of doing things. There is no fundamental right or wrong here – only what best suits the user’s needs.

Here are some reasons why Ubuntu can be a good candidate for migration from Windows 7:

  • Ubuntu is a free, open-source operating system developed and supported by Canonical. However, parts of Ubuntu are based on other projects (often referred to as upstream), so there is a strong element of collaboration with the wider open-source community.

  • It is a robust, safe operating system. It has a bi-annual release model; every six months, a new version is released (April and October, hence the version numbers 18.04, 19.10). Every two years in April, a new Long Term Release Support (LTS) version is released, which comes with five years of updates and security fixes for home users.

  • Ubuntu is used by millions of users and comes with a rich ecosystem of software – popular applications for many aspects of the typical desktop usage. For example, Firefox, Chrome, Skype, Steam, Spotify, VLC are all available on Ubuntu.

Now, equally, it is also important to mention reasons why one might not be able to migrate to Ubuntu (or any flavour of Linux):

  • They do not have the necessary technical knowledge to install and configure the operating system themselves – if they have a technically adept friend who can help, great, but otherwise, they are not interested in doing any hands-on work themselves. In this case, buying a new computer that comes preinstalled with Ubuntu could be a good idea.

  • They do not have the necessary knowledge or time to learn a new usage model and want to continue using a familiar desktop like Windows. For such users, the migration could be a frustrating experience.

  • They require specific software that is not available for Ubuntu. Just like there are differences in available apps for iOS and Android, so are there for Windows and Ubuntu. There is no parity in the software choice between the two operating systems. With Windows being the most popular desktop (roughly 85% total usage), potential future Ubuntu users will naturally look for Ubuntu-compatible software that matches their Windows needs.

Software considerations

The table below provides an overview of typical software choices, and their availability in Ubuntu. Y means the application is available natively, as in Windows. N means there is no suitable equivalent. P means there is an alternative application available that offers a partial set of functionality, and/or requires different usage to achieve the same results.

ApplicationWindowsUbuntuAlternative & notes
FirefoxYYNo change required
ChromeYYNo change required
OperaYYNo change required
Microsoft OfficeYPUse a free alternative office suite  “LibreOffice”.
OutlookYPUse an alternative mail client Evolution or Thunderbird.
Windows Media PlayerYPUse an alternative media player like VLC.
VLCYYNo change required
SpotifyYYNo change required
SteamYYSome game titles will not be available.
DiscordYYNo change required
SkypeYYNo change required
SlackYYNo change required
Telegram DesktopYYNo change required
Acrobat ReaderYPUse an alternative PDF-reader Evince or Okular.
PhotoshopYPUse an alternative image manipulation suite like GIMP.
PremierYPUse DaVinci Resolve.
LightroomYPUse an alternative image manipulation tool like Darktable.
JavaYYUbuntu uses OpenJDK.
Media codecsPYUbuntu offers a larger set of media codecs by default.

Hardware considerations

By and large, Ubuntu has good, broad support for hardware, and often you will not require to make any manual modifications, like installation of drivers, to fully initialize and use your hardware. There can be exceptions, and in some cases, your particular hardware kit may not be fully supported. For instance, some printers may not have drivers for Ubuntu. Unfortunately, there is no definite list that can cover all the available scenarios.

However, one of the great advantages of Ubuntu is that it can run from live media, like DVD or USB thumb drive, without having to install it to the hard disk. This means you can fully trial Ubuntu on your computer to see whether you like the look & feel, test the applications, and check the hardware support – all without making any modifications to your computer! If you find something you don’t like, you can simply try a different Linux distribution.

We will cover this in the second article of this series.

If you do want to purchase a new computer that comes preinstalled with Ubuntu, there are various commercial offerings available on the market. For instance, Dell ships XPS 13 Developer Edition preinstalled with Ubuntu, including optimized drivers specifically tailored for the laptop and its hardware.

If you feel the information provided above sounds like a practical, useful course of action to explore, then the next step is to begin the migration journey. Before we do anything with Ubuntu, we will back up the data in Windows 7. This is the most critical step of this entire process. If something goes wrong, your personal files will be intact.

Backing up your data

Broadly, there are two types of data:

  • Personal files like photos, videos, documents, and others.
  • Application settings, which include things like browser bookmarks, application interface layout configuration, themes, wallpapers, and other components.

In Windows 7, personal data may reside anywhere on the disk. For example, you could keep your files in the default locations (like Documents, Pictures, etc), or you could have a custom folder, something like “C:\Files”, or even store them on a separate drive, like “D:\Data”.

Application settings are stored inside the AppData folder inside your user folder. For instance, if your username is Igor, then the application settings will reside under C:\Users\Igor\AppData. By default, AppData is a hidden folder, and will not be visible in Windows Explorer. You will need to change the view options to see hidden files and folders.

Inside the AppData folder, there will be multiple sub-folders containing application settings. For example, your Firefox or Chrome profile, or your Skype settings and saved conversations will be stored here. Some of this data may not necessarily be required or relevant for the migration from Windows 7 to Ubuntu, but it is very useful to create a backup, should you ever need it.

The table below lists default locations for some popular applications:

Software nameLocation

* ‘XXXXXXXX’ is a random combination of strings and letters, e.g. ‘4c3M6y7i’.

Later on, after we install Ubuntu, we will demonstrate how to use the saved application data to restore the Firefox profile. This means you will have all your bookmarks, your browsing history, even cookies and saved logins.

Backup options

You have multiple options available for how to backup your data:

  • Local backup – Create a copy of your data on another hard disk. Preferably, this will be an external drive that you can remove, so that you don’t accidentally delete anything during the installation of the new operating system. You can also burn data to DVD.
  • Network backup – Store a copy of your data on another computer on your network. If you have more than one device available, you can copy/sync data between them. Again, if anything goes wrong, your data is intact.
  • Cloud backup – This option may not necessarily be available or desired for all users. But it may be a suitable backup method in some cases. For instance, you could be using a cloud backup service like OneDrive or Dropbox to periodically sync your data into your cloud account. You could also save files in your Google Drive. Signed-in Chrome users can sync their browser data to their Google account. Similarly, if you set up Firefox Sync, you can keep an online backup of your Firefox data. Other applications may offer similar settings.
  • Replace your hard disk – In addition to retaining your existing data from Windows 7 on the old hard disk, this gives you an opportunity to upgrade to a larger device or faster storage (like SSD), and then use the disk with Windows data with a USB connection, for instance.

Create local or network backup

You can manually copy the data or use a dedicated utility to help you with the data move:

  • Copy files using Windows Explorer.
  • Copy files using a replication tool like Karen’s Replicator.
  • Create an archive (zip or 7z) file of your files. This allows you to place numerous files and folders into a single archive, which makes it convenient if you need to copy or move data around. You will also benefit from compression, making the size of your total data set smaller. Furthermore, you can also create encrypted archives, to protect your data from accidents (especially if you intend to store your files online). You can use software like 7-Zip to create archives with a password.

Creating a password-protected archive in 7z format (zip is also available).


Having to change the operating system on your computer is not everyone’s idea of fun. In some cases, it is a prudent, or even necessary activity. The end of support for Windows 7 creates uncertainty for many users, but it may be possible to work around them with minimal disruption – and perhaps even have some fun in the process.

Hopefully, this tutorial provides a good overview of what lies ahead – the questions around hardware and software, the expectations of what you will have once you install Ubuntu, and how to keep your data safe. The next step is to install Ubuntu, which we will cover in the next part of this series.


*** Инструкция компании Canonical по переходу с Windows 7 на Ubuntu Linux ***

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