Hello. I am a newbie but know just enough to be dangerous.

I am trying to align my partitions for a linux install. My problem is:
-- I know of no way to install Ubuntu, Linuxmint, etc.. other than to burn their install-cd and booting it up.
-- I know of no other way to align partitions other than to run the fdisk command in the terminal.

So my question is this: Can I install like I normally do but do the partitioning part of it using fdisk commands. (bypassing the live cd partitioner)

Ive tried to use fdisk first and then booting from the live cd, but when I get to the partitioning part, I don't see the exact same partition setup as I had set up using fdisk. (Close to the same but off by about .5GB). Do I have to run other commands in the terminal to make sure the kernel knows of my new partitions? Does anyone have a tutorial on this subject?

From what I understand, all of your partitions should start with a sector number that is divisible by 512. This is what I mean by 'aligning' my partitions.

Any help would be appreciated!