So had an interesting morning...
The laptop i'm using for this is an aged Toshiba A100 with a ram upgrade to 2gb and a new screen and upgraded wireless card... So its nothing spesh but my old uni workhorse of all 1.86ghz core duo (nope not core2duo, core duo so no 64bit for me)
The install and windows wipe took less than an hour, which gave me basic 12.10 ubuntu and a very laggy screen. The install of ubuntu is way more professional, and i think quicker than a win7 install would take. Granted its still a hdd and not an ssd and when i installed win7 last it was ultimate, and not basic or home pro like i should have...
For those temped or not knowing, ubuntu can live boot from disc, so you can setup to dual boot or wipe entirely, or just play to see how it feels. There is no need for authentication (bit more on that later) and no internet required until you get it all installed. Which is nice. You will also setup your username and passwords here, dont forget them, you will need them.
afterall you have a normal OS screen, mine has oriented the dashboard on the left hand side of the screen, here i was looking for two things, an access to terminal and ubuntu's nifty software center.
Terminal isnt readily accessable, to find it hit the dash home button with its ubuntu symbol and type in terminal, I have been using X Term, just good ole Terminal will do fine, but you can pin Xterm to the dashboard for handy clicking and using, and none of that keyboard shortcut bs....
FYI Terminal is about the handiest thing, you can do everything in it, you just have to know the right commands, which will lead to you having to input your password for user rights (uac for linux) before doing its merry thing...
Once i got xterm sorted i moved onto the Ubuntu Software Center, which brought about my lack of internet which i had to setup, since im using wireless here, it was a few clicks away, as ubuntu had found and installed what it required for the wireless to work, nice and easy. Following connectivity you may have to sign into USC inorder for it to track and recommend products for you, pretty similar to itunes/android market place.
Im a graphics person and so, my next point to call was to check that the system has properly recognised that my gpu is in fact there and working, previously this has been an issue as nvidia and AMD linux drivers werent the easiest things to work with. Times have changed and you can readily download and install the drivers for nvidia (i am hearing AMD's support is a tad sketch, but functional) this led me to my first commands via terminal and the reboot to go along with it.
Mostly everything you will do on linux has already been done, and probably atleast in 6 different was, as such the internet is your greatest tool, knowing this, for nvidia drivers i hit up google and came up with THIS
result, which delightfully worked for me, I'll add together all the coding at the bottom of the page in a hidden, but for the nvidia drivers download and installation all respect to MANIVANNAN over at http://www.howopensource.com
Upon install and update i was greeted with my first error, nvidia control panel wasnt happy, this was via the command 'sudo nvidia-settings' This would bring up the installed nvidia control panel but the issue it was having was looking for settings, all this required was a reboot 'sudo reboot' and the system was able to identify the mighty Geforce Go 7300...
next was onto grabbing steam itself and beginning the download and installation. so back to the USC to grab steam. Upon download from the internets, and hitting the install button i came across the next problem, steam could not install due to not being able to find or have installed the following package: jockey-common
Thus back to internets and this time,the helpful steam forums
where user "[dirrty]gsharp" points out the way to obtain this package (again, check the hidden!)
greatful awesome, steam is installing! hurray!
next is the sign in and all the fun times of getting steam to accept my username and password and authenticate the system, until finally, that familiar screen...
Im currently downloading beathazard and tf2 to give them a whirl, im not aiming for super duper playability but if it works, it works.
It was a lot less daunting than i expected, ubuntu has been polished a whole lot since i last dipped my toe in, and im glad to say, its a whole lot refreshing to be able to do things a bit more simply. The USC is pretty interesting, just going to have to find the things i need and a few more (like a media player and wireshark
The more hardcore version for those looking for a bit more can be found on the ubuntu/valve wiki
The following is from howopensource.com props to manivannan, this is for Ubuntu 12.10
the following commands add PPA to ubuntu, update and install nvidia drivers via terminal, you will need your password and the ability to hit the y key and enter
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sudo apt-add-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings
If you get an error regarding xconfig or settings files not being located, try a reboot and then use 'sudo nvidia-settings' again
AMD/ATI users there is a similar way of doing things and some pretty great documentation out there, just have a look around for it
Next was the steam install
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sudo apt-get install jockey-common
running this will allow you to finish off the good ole click to install via the USC for steam.