Linux is extremely easy to install especially with Ubuntu. I have installed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in few different desktops that is built for windows 7 or 8.
First of all you need to create a bootable USB or CD. If you are installing on newer hardware bootable USB is better but if you are installing on older hardware then you must have CD.
Boot your machine from bootable USB or CD. Normally, the Linux will automatically detect what to do with windows partition and automatically creates disk partition. However, if you have only one disk with windows, then you need to “shrink” your windows install from disk utility and create a space for linux to reside. This will preserver your windows. There are many examples on the net on how to do. However, if you want a clean install, then let the Linux installer rip through.
Pitfalls on Ubuntu install –
# wireless setup/configuration
Ubuntu install is very similar to OS X install with one difference OS X install works. Having said that when Ubuntu ask for WIFI configuration during or beginning of the installation process either skip it or just do your minimal setup. This setup actually creates a Wireless Access Point rather than accessing your wireless network.
So, if your wireless is not working after the installation, delete the wireless and re-configure/setup your wireless. It will work seamless.
# VPN Configuration —
In Ubuntu, you will need to add few packages such as OpenVPN and related packages. Once installed follow your long hand setup of VPN that is server and group user and password. It should work without any issue.