resurrection: IBM Networking PC

i'll bet you don't hear this one every day:i've got this old IBM model, acquired from the local university computer salvage a few years ago. i'm going to be using it in a public-display Kiosk, so i wanted to put something lightweight on it because it's not the fastest PC in the house (P3 466Mhz - 640MB RAM)-- but she still chugs along.its former life was in a room w/ 20 or more other PC's as merely a node of the "computer lab" network. this thing is crazy looking under the hood--  and it's gotta weigh 40 lbs if it weighs one. whacked out multiple main-boards setup, "sideways inverted" HDD bracket, "upside-down PCI slots"... unusual from what i'm used to-- even in old-school terms!anyway- so, surprise surprise but the BIOS is all weird on that system. i don't recall if i ever had it booting from CD back in the Win days or not, but i can't seem to make it happen this time around. so, i used another PC to put ubuntu on a hard drive which i then swapped back into this old IBM machine. it boots up okay but doesn't want to lauch the X windows, so all i've got is command line. i don't really want to spend too much more time fooling w/ it (wish i could just get that darn CD-ROM boot happening so i could install Ubuntu from the disk-- i even went as far to put two cd-rom drives in there-- one as slave one as master, thinking that maybe it would kick-in the boot-time recognition-- but she seems to only boot via "Network device", or HDD or floppy-- and i can't find a BIOS setting to change it. blah blah..)so-- my thoughts are: why not try using the software update. but, i've never run an Ubuntu system before (only Fedora), so i'm trying to find the command for Ubuntu which is equivalent to "yum -y update" in Fedora. -- or if you have another recommended command-line update function?thanks!!

Ubuntu is Debian-based, so

Ubuntu is Debian-based, so it uses APT. If networking is functioning, sudo apt-get update will update the package lists on your computer and sudo apt-get upgrade will upgrade any packages for which new versions are available.

Having installed onto the hard drive already, I think it's probably your X server that isn't working. Find out what kind of graphics chipset you have, what resolutions it supports and so on, and run sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg .