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Do I need to install any software on Win XP computer to learn UNIX?

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bobc4012

Linux is essentially a Unix clone. You will find the way most things run under Linux is the same way the run under Unix. There a Linux distros like Ubuntu, Linux Mint (an Ubntu/Debian derivative) and others. Burn the iso to a CD (or DVD). You will find an ".exe" file named "wubi.exe". Running this file will install the Linux distro into a Windows directory (like installing any other Windows application). It also provide the uninstall. Under XP, it will add to files to the C: root and append a line to the "boot.ini" file. The next time you boot your PC, you will see the option to boot into XP or Linux. This is similar to creating a Virtual Machine (VirtualBox is an easy way to run a Linux distro as a VM). It (and VM Ware) is an alternative if you choose a Linux distro that does not allow for a "Wubi" install. Ubuntu 12.04 still allows for a Wubi install, but the Desktop environment has changed since Ubuntu 10.10. The same holdds true for the latest versions of Linux Mint. If you can find on the intenet, Ubuntu 10.10 (or earlier), you can download, burn to a CD and either run it off the CD (Live CD) or do the Wubi install. You will find the Desktop Environment more closely resembles your XP Desktop. Ubuntu switched to a different D.E. in 11.04 and would be more like a "tablet" GUI rather than like an XP GUI. BTW, when you install Ubuntu 10.04, you will get a message that it is no longer supported. You can "close" the message and ignore. You will still get updates for any of the applications that run, just not updates for the Canonical support (the Ubuntu developer). You can replace the Desktop Environment in 11.04 and later, XFCE is one example that would be closer to XP. Gnome Classic is another. Prior to 11.04, Ubuntu used Gnome 2 for the Desktop Environment, but in 11.04, it switched to the Unity D.E. Again, if you download a different distro and don't have "wubi.exe" on the CD, then you can get VirtualBox (its free) and run the Linux distro as a VM.