You can try Ubuntu without actually installing it on your computer’s hard drive. You can do this by starting up your computer with either an Ubuntu DVD in the drive or a USB stick with Ubuntu on it in a USB port. Here’s how:
Using a DVD?
Put the Ubuntu DVD into the DVD-drive and restart the computer. You should see a welcome screen prompting you to choose your language and giving you the option to install Ubuntu or try it from the DVD. If you don’t get this menu, please read the booting from the DVD guide for more information.
Using a USB drive?
Most newer computers can start up from a USB stick. You should see a welcome screen prompting you to choose your language and giving you the option to either install Ubuntu or try it from the USB.
If your computer does not automatically do this, you might need to change the device from which the computer starts up to the USB. You can usually do this by watching for a message appearing before Windows starts. You should be invited to change the boot device. Once you’ve selected that option, follow the instructions on screen.
Tip: You might be able to press ‘F12’ or ‘Escape’ while your computer is starting up to change your boot device order.
Depending on your computer and how your USB key was formatted, you should see an entry for ‘removable drive’ or ‘USB media’. Move this to the top of the list to force the computer to start from USB rather than the hard disk. Save your changes and continue.
Choose your preferred language and click on ‘Try Ubuntu’.