dual-boot netbook

I have an Acer Aspire One which already has a dual boot system - Windows 7 or android - but I’ve never got on with the android side so it’s just permanently set to boot to windows, which I’ve been using for years. What I would like to do is: remove android altogether, and replace it with linux, so that I have a choice whenever I switch on. Then if I can get used to and manage linux I might remove windows altogether. I’ve looked through lots of the topics and threads and realise that while lots of people say they are beginners, I don’t even understand their questions!! If someone could explain to me what to do in plain English (I have never got to grips with the technical language - you’re talking to someone who thought that HTML was something to do with hotmail…) I would be really grateful.
Many thanks
Someone suggested using something called Virtualbox, but when I googled this I couldn’t understand whether linux would work inside windows or windows inside linux and just confused me even more.

Hi nestanic, and welome to the forum :slight_smile:

If your plan at the moment is just to “test drive” Linux, my advice would be to not change your hard drive setup at all (yet), and test drive Linux from a LiveUSB/ stick.
(click the link above if you want to know more about what a LiveUSB is)

If you have a spare >=2GB USB stick (aka. USB memory stick, Pendrive, Thumbdrive, etc), you can create a LiveUSB and boot to it without making any changes to your system … then if you lie what you see, you can use the LiveUSB as the installation medium to do a “proper” installation.

Be aware … a LiveUSB will NOT be as quick as running from a hard drive, but it Will allow you to test drive Linux and get a feel of what to expect.

Booting to a LiveUSB will also allow us to get you to run a few commands that will enable us to see your current setup and advise better on how to go about a “proper” installation if you choose to.

Do you want instructions on how to create a LiveUSB in Windows, and how to boot from it ?

Are you also looking for suggestions on which Linux distribution would best suit your hardware and operational requirements ? … if so, can you tell us a bit about your requirements. eg. general requirements = easy for a beginner, web browsing, word processing, must be able to read Microsoft word .docs’s, play MP3’s, etc.

And preferably how much RAM your AA1 has, and how large the hard drive is … though we can get this info later from a LiveUSB if you’re not sure :slight_smile:


It may also be a good idea to list the make/model of any peripherals you intend to use … printer, scanner, etc.

WOW, that was the quickest reply I’ve ever had! :slight_smile: Sorry for my delay getting back, left netbook in hibernation while I’m decorating…Yes please, I’ve found a flashdrive and cleared everything off it so I’m ready for instructions on creating a liveUSB
My requirements are: web browsing and email, iplayer, skype, word-processing (for my writing, taking notes etc), downloading photos from my camera and listening to music files (I keep my documents (microsoft Word), photos and music on flashdrives to save memory and also on a separate hard-drive as backup) At the moment for office publishing and connection to our (Epson) printer I have to use my husband’s laptop as I only have WordPad starter and the printer won’t connect. The skype connection on mine only seems to work on outgoing calls too. the only game I use is Freecell. I want to keep my igoogle homepage as I have several gadgets that help with my poor memory!
reading from the label beside the keyboard, it says it’s an AA1 D255E,
CPU - Intel Atom N455 (1.66GHz, 512KB cache)
Memory - 1GB DDR3
Battery - 6-cell Li-ion
Storage - 250 GB HDD
Is that enough info?

Everything you’ve listed should be perfectly fine.

For the Word documents you have the choice of using Google Docs, or you install can Libre Office which is basically the native version of Word for Linux but better as it supports a wider range of formats, etc.

There is a native Skype program, but be warned it is pretty unstable since Microsoft took over Skype. It hasn’t seen much development since they took over either. What a coincidence eh? It’s maybe best to go to the stable 2.1 version instead.

Your Epson printer may be the only thing we’ll have difficulty with, but if you could list the model number that would be brilliant so we can check if there are any problem with regards to compatibility.

As your on an AA1, with only 1GB of RAM I would recommend you test drive PeppermintOS Two.

It’s a cloud-based OS, however it is SUPER fast, and there’s always the option of installing local programs if you need them.

You can download PeppermintOS Two from:


You burn it too a LiveUSB by using PendriveLinux:

Mark has kindly written a tutorial on installing PeppermintOS Two on an AA1, so you may want to check that out as well.


Any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask. :slight_smile:

I’d go along with BkS, and recommend PeppermintOS Two for an AA1 … it’s what I use on mine )

Here are some more detailed instructions on creating a PeppermintOS LiveUSB in Windows:
From my tutorial for installing PeppermintOS on an AA1

Only do what’s in the first post (Stage 1) for now … start from where it says:

OK, Stage 1 ..

Downloading the PeppermintOS (Two) ISO image (to a Windows PC) and writing it to the USB stick

We’ll get around to any tweaking after you’ve created and booted te LiveUSB.

DO NOT do what’s in the second posting labelled “Stage 2” yet … we can get around to that if/when you decide to install PeppermintOS to your hard drive … but we’ll need some info from you before we do that :wink:

If you get stuck, or have any questions, feel free to ask