Windows

Run Ubuntu from inside Windows with Wubi

The cutesy-named Wubi is an Ubuntu Linux installer that runs inside Windows just like any application.

It sounds like what a three-year-old would call their ratty, old teddy bear, but Wubi is actually an application that allows Ubuntu to be installed from within Windows -- an alternative to running a virtual machine or running from a Live CD version.

The application they developed, known as Wubi, is an Unbuntu Linux installer that runs inside Windows and looks to Windows like just another application. Most of the files Wubi uses to load and run Ubuntu Linux reside in a single folder; the installer does not modify a system's disk partitions, bootloader, or any other vitals; and the whole affair uninstalls just as quickly and painlessly. (bmighty.com)

I hadn't heard of this before, but if you're trying to get Windows users to give Linux a chance, it might be a good training-wheel option. Has anyone else heard of this or tried it out?

In a related story, Michael Horowitz is explaining to Windows users, "Why you want (and need) a Linux Live CD." Horowitz is suggesting Live CDs as useful tools for troubleshooting and recovering files from Windows when it won't boot or gets infected with malware. Linux to the rescue!

About

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

13 comments
mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

I went through all the trouble to learn how to setup a partition and dual boot Linux and now you take away all the fun..... Right ON! this is how Linux will move ahead of Winx on the desktop.

Alzie
Alzie

The article makes it sound like Wubi is a program that runs inside Windows like a virtual machine. It doesn't. I installed Wubi on an XP box about a year ago (7.04) It set up a Grub menu so that I had the option of either a Windows or an Ubuntu environment. I did have access to my Windows files from Ubuntu but not the other way around. As I understand it Wubi creates a virtual drive for Ubuntu to run on but it acts like a "real" installation and programs are saved to your hard drive in a Wubi file and if you decide you don't want it, it can be easily uninstalled from within windows. It was a positive experience for me, I have since installed Ubuntu in a dual boot with XP. Comparing Wubi to a virtual machine, If you have enough memory and are comfortable with a VM that's fine, Wubi is for the rest of us.

ireaneus
ireaneus

I installed Kubuntu 4.0 from the wubi installer and it seems to run great, I might reinstall it with version 3, I am not really ready for 4.0 yet. I was more comfortable with 3.0 KDE. Kubuntu is running nicely on my machine and it easily accesses files from your windows side.

mitzampt
mitzampt

Well I haven't tried it because I am already using a virtual machine and a "physical" installation of linux. The thing I am expecting anxious is to appear a real Windows LiveCD .... did you know there are several pirate versions of it? Well they're awful, and the best answer I got from several WindozeLiveCD devellopers is to make one of my own...

badwalb2
badwalb2

sounds cool i haven't tried linux yet because im too lazy for the whole cd thing but i'll try this Thanks!

walterhtx
walterhtx

There is no better sales tool than taking a car out for a drive - the same can be said for a live boot CD...or better now...WUBI. This is a fantastic opportunity to make some serious in-roads into the computing-public-at-large.

bsaffin
bsaffin

This sounded great. I ran Wubi to install Ubuntu. When I rebooted I chose to boot to Ubuntu, used the id and password I had specified to log on. The desktop was completely blank. Did I miss a critical step? It didn't seem like there were many options during the install process.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

But I could be wrong. Even if there was an MS-issued Win LiveCD, there would be several legal hurdles to clear before it could include non-MS applications. I'm not sure what the advantage of Wubi is over a virtual machine. Maybe someone who has tried it can enlighten me.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You're willing to download, install, and potentially uninstall Wubi, but too you're to lazy to try a LiveCD any Linux advocate will give you for free?

badwalb2
badwalb2

It's great for test driving it. You can also install Kubuntu and Xubuntu for older machines. there are some other options as well... cuz i couldnt decide between Ubuntu and Kubuntu.

Editor's Picks