Sanitation Guide: Step-by-step Installation Method


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This brief document describes the process of sanitizing a laptop according to the Simple Method.

[TIPS. If you'd like to get tips on how to collect unused laptops from your local community, please click here. After the laptop gets sanitized, you can click here to learn different ways to package the laptops to make them ready for traveling to a needy school. If in any of these steps you get stuck during the sanitizing process, you can post your questions in the wall of the Labdoo QA Team so that others can help you.]

Sanitation Steps

The current standard process of sanitizing a laptop is as follows:

  1. If the laptop is not already tagged with a Labdoo ID number, please follow the instruction under "tagging a laptop" page. Make sure you print 3 labels and attach two of them to the laptop and one to the AC adapter following the instructions that you will find in the website.
  2. Download the Lubuntu 16.04 release from this link (this is a large .iso image):

    Note. If your computer is powerful enough and has more than 1GB of memory RAM, you can instead download Ubuntu 16.04 which provides better graphics but requires more computing resources:

    Note. If you prefer to download the previous 14.04 Lubuntu version, you can do so from this link:

  3. Burn the downloaded file into a CD. Make sure you burn the downloaded file as an ISO image. If you don't know how to do that, you can follow the instructions from any one these links depending on the type of computer your are using to burn the CD:
    (Note: you can either use a CD or a DVD, the burning process is the same. We recommend to use a CD because some older computers do not accept DVD.)
    - Burning a CD using a Windows computer.
    - Burning a CD using an Ubuntu computer.
    - Burning a CD using a Apple/Mac computer.
  4. Insert the Lubuntu CD into the laptop you intend to sanitize and boot the laptop from the CD. Upon booting the laptop with the CD, you should see the Linux installation menu. If you don't see it, you need to enter into the bios of the laptop and change the booting order of your computer to make sure it first boots from the CD. For more information on how to configure the bios, see this page.
  5. Upon seeing the Lubuntu installation menu, start by selecting the installation language; for instance, choose “English”.
  6. Select “Install Lubuntu”.
  7. Select the language to be installed in the laptop. If you don't know the destination country, select “English”. If you know the destination country, select that country's language.
  8. In the "Wireless" screen, if you have internet connection, you may select the network you use from the list and enter its password. Otherwise, leave it as default.
  9. The next window is just to confirm the laptop fit into the minimum Hard Drive requirement. Hit "continue" once.
  10. Now we are going to do a small trick to ensure we completely remove any previous private data from the computer. Please press at the same time the keys 'Alt + CTRL + F3'. This will take you to a terminal window. In this terminal window, please enter first the following command: sudo apt-get install coreutils
    [press enter]. Once this command is executed, run this other command: sudo shred /dev/sda -f -v --iterations=2 [press enter]. (If this second command does not work, you can try with 'hda' instead of 'sda', like this: sudo shred /dev/hda -f -v --iterations=2.) This second command launches a process that will run for about 1 hour or so, and overwrites the disk with random values. After this process is done, press at the same time the keys 'Alt + CTRL + F7' to continue the installation process and go to the next step. (Please see the video in this page for a complementary illdustration of this step.)
    Note: If the above does not work, an alternative method is to reboot the computer and select the option "Try Ubuntu" to boot Ubuntu in trial mode. Then once Ubuntu is booted, open a terminal by pressing the keys [Ctrl+Alt+T] at the same time. In this terminal, type the same 'shred' commands described in the previous paragraph. Once the shred process is completed, reboot again and redo all the installation steps again but omitting this step.
  11. Select the destination country. If you don't know it, pick the country you are located.
  12. Where it says “detect keyboard”, say “No”.
  13. In the next screen, pick the country of origin of your keyboard.
  14. When it tries to configure the network, press “cancel” (there is no need to do network installation since you have the CD and the updates are installed later).
  15. When it asks for the “Your name”, please enter the word “labdoo”.
  16. When it asks for the “Your computer name”, please enter the word labdoo with it's Labdoo ID number (eg. labdoo_000003454).
  17. When it asks for the “username”, please enter the word “labdoo”.
  18. When it asks for the “password”, please enter the word “labdoo”.
  19. When it asks for the “Confirm your password”, please enter the word “labdoo”.
  20. Select any time zone you want if the system asks you.
  21. When it says “Partitioning method”, please say “Guided – use entire disk”.
  22. When asked for HTTP proxy information, please leave it empty and just press “Continue”.
  23. When it says “Install the GRUB boot loader”, please say “Yes”.
  24. When it says “Is the system clock set to UTC”, please say “Yes”.
  25. This completes the installation of the basic operating system. Next, reboot the machine and log into the Lubuntu system using the username “labdoo and password “labdoo”. Once you are into the Lubuntu system, Make sure also that the laptop is connected to the Internet, via Ethernet cable or via WIFI. Finally, type ALT+CTRL+t to open a terminal window, and in it, type the following commands:

    sudo apt-get update [and press ENTER]
    sudo apt-get install edubuntu-desktop libreoffice [and press ENTER]
    sudo apt-get upgrade [and press ENTER]
    The last two commands could take from a few minutes up to an hour or so to complete.

  26. Install the Labdoo logo as a background image in your desktop to give it a friendly look. You can download the Labdoo desktop image from this page and then by right-clicking on your computer desktop you can select the option 'Desktop preferences' and install the image.
  27. Now, you can install the additional educational software (such as an offline version of the Wikipedia, and more educational applications) by following the instructions in this page. This step is not mandatory as the laptop at this point already has a good number of educational applications, but it's a good thing to do.

What to expect next

Congratulations! You have now successfully completed your laptop drive campaign and sanitized your laptops, so they are now ready to be packed and travel. Please go to the Packaging the laptop for travelling section to learn how to get the laptops ready for dootrips.

  • If you are traveling yourself to a school project, you can bring the laptops in your luggage. Try to distribute as many laptops to as many people traveling with you as possible because some countries have a limit on the amount of laptops that can be carried per person.
  • If you are not traveling, then get in touch with one of the Labdoo hubs (for instance, one which is closest to you) from the hubs list. The Labdoo hub will help you decide which school your laptop should be sent to and it will also help you get in touch with the travelers going to that school so the laptops can be picked up from you.

Continue reading to the next page:
Post-Installation Configuration

Go back to read the previous page:
Sanitation Guide: PXE Over the Network