Simply boot the Live CD and check that you can launch applications, open example files and browse the web.
Having booted the Live CD successfully, install it to the hard drive using the option to erase the entire drive. Make sure to take backups of anything valuable before using this option! Some testers like to swap in a spare hard drive for this purpose, or to run this test in a virtual machine.
As above, but using the resize option to resize an existing partition before install. This is a bit safer than erasing the whole disk, but backups are still a good idea if you care about what's on the disk.
This option may not always be offered, depending on the circumstances. If you don't see it, don't worry too much about it. In order to get this option, you need:
- hard disk partition tables, fewer than four primary+extended partitions if there are no logical partitions yet, and a resizable partition next to an existing extended partition if there is one (yes, hard disk partition tables are nasty)
- a resizable partition with at least 3GB free (less than that and it isn't worth it)
Choose "Do something else" to use the manual partitioning tool to customize your disk partitions before installing.
Install to the hard drive using the option to erase the entire drive. See above.
Install using the resize option to resize an existing partition before install. See above.
Use the custom partitioning tool to manually set up your partitions before installing.
Expert mode is accessed by pressing F6 in the boot menu, to access "Other Options", and then F6 again to be presented with another menu. In this menu the first choice is "Expert mode". This causes the installer to ask questions about virtually everything it does. It's supposed to be powerful rather than friendly, so the developers don't pay a lot of attention to UI warts in this mode; however, it should at least work to the point where you can complete an installation. If you like, you can try playing around with non-default answers to the questions it asks, and make sure its responses are appropriate.
Rescue mode is accessed by choosing the "Rescue a broken system" menu item.
Test erase disk and LVM setups for server, along with normal server setups like LAMP.
On the first CD boot screen of all CDs there is an option to Check CD for defects. This will check the integrity of the CD and will take a few minutes.
Download the minimal CD, boot and install a distro flavour via the net.
Test out the ARM builds for ubuntu on supported hardware.
Check and ensure the core pieces of ubuntu used in all images do not contain errors.