Wubi: Get a taste of Linux without the pain – install Ubuntu like a program in Windows

Windows is a great operating system, but want to know just how green the grass is on the other side? Try Wubi, a Ubuntu installer for Windows.

The cool thing about Wubi is it installs Ubuntu like a program onto your computer, requiring you to perform no dual-booting or partitioning; just like how you would install Photoshop or Firefox. (And it uninstalls just like how you would uninstall Photoshop or Firefox.) Rather, Wubi fools your computer into thinking you are dual-booting and have a separate partition for Ubuntu: When you boot your computer, you have the option to boot into Windows or Ubuntu. Wubi makes a virtual partition that your computer can boot off of, allowing you to enjoy the wonders of Ubuntu without the pain.

With Wubi one can have Ubuntu up and running within minutes. When you first start the program, it’ll ask you for several things:

The first option is where you want to install Ubuntu. Normally, you should just choose C: unless you don’t have enough space on it. (Wubi won’t let you install Ubuntu unless you have at least 3GB of free space.)

The next setting you’ll want to choose is the size of your fake partition; you can give it as little as 3GB or as much as 30GB. When picking a size keep in mind that how much ever you pick now is how much space Ubuntu will have to use (for its programs, files, etc.). If you plan on using Ubuntu a lot, I recommend choosing a large size, but if you don’t see yourself using Ubuntu too much you can choose a small size.  Just be sure to strike a balance between free C: space and installation size space, because you don’t want Ubuntu to take up all your hard drive space with Windows getting none; I used 8GB.

The third important setting is the desktop environments. In the most crud definition of the word, you can think of desktop environments as different versions of Ubuntu; you can select from Ubuntu, Ubuntu Netbook, Kubuntu, Kubuntu Netbook, Xubuntu, and Mythbuntu. If all the previous names mean absolutely nothing to you, you are better off leaving desktop environments to Ubuntu.

(If you are a non-native English speaker, Ubuntu comes in many, many different languages and you can pick what language you want to install Ubuntu in from Wubi – that is the fourth setting.)

Lastly, pick the username and password you for Ubuntu. Make sure you remember the password because the password is extra critical in Linux – you need to type in your password every time you want sudo/administrator access; and you need sudo access pretty much to do anything.

Once you are ready, hit the Install button and Wubi will start doing its thing:

Take note that Wubi downloads and installs Ubuntu for you, a 700 MB download, so it may take a while. Also Wubi automatically selects 32-bit or 64-bit Ubuntu based on your computer specifications.

Once Wubi is done doing its thing, you will need to reboot your computer:

After your computer reboots and gets pass the BIOS screen, you will be prompted with by Windows bootloader that asks you to pick if you want to load into Ubuntu or Windows:

Select Ubuntu and hit enter to load into Ubuntu. Once Ubuntu loads, it’ll finish the installation, while showing off its features.  The installation takes about 10 minutes depending on your computer; it took me around 7 minutes. When Ubuntu is done being installed, your computer will reboot.

Upon reboot you will once again be asked if you want to load into Windows or Ubuntu (you will be asked this on every reboot from now on, until you uninstall Ubuntu). This time, however, after you select Ubuntu from the Windows bootloader like previously discussed you will be taken to the GRUB bootloader screen where you must select Ubuntu again:

(You will be taken from Windows bootloader -> GRUB bootloader every time you want to load up Ubuntu.)

Once you select Ubuntu, Ubuntu will load up and if you see a screen similar to the following, you are good to go:

Log into Ubuntu using the password you set in Wubi earlier. Once you’re logged, you can start playing around with Ubuntu, setting up your Internet connection, playing with the applications, the interface, etc. Learning to use Ubuntu is a fun and daunting task – have fun while learning how to operate your new operating system!

Whenever you want to get out of Ubuntu and load back into Windows, reboot your computer and select Windows from the Windows bootloader screen. And, if you ever want to get rid of Ubuntu, you can just uninstall it from within Windows’ Add/Remove Programs like you would uninstall any other program.

So, to conclude, Wubi is a safe, easy way to get past Microsoft’s cage and into the *nix world. Give it a try, who knows you may end up liking it. You can grab Wubi from the following links:

Version reviewed: The one that installs Ubuntu 10.04.1

Supported OS: Windows 98 and higher, except Windows ME

Download size: Wubi is only 1.4 MB but it downloads Ubuntu, which is 700 MB

Wubi homepage [direct download]

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  • Ozone

    @Red: The reason I want ubuntu hosted in windows is that in the last year they have managed to break my dual external display, my sprint air card(reboot required after single use), and suspend. But I want the five times faster compile times I get from linux. Linux hosted in windows gives me the best of both. And if they ever start focusing on stability again and resolve some of my issues I would love to go back. When everything worked in linux life was better.

  • Col. Panek

    @Chet Morton: You should find an icon that says “Install Ubuntu” that will go through the normal install process. I suggest going to the Ubuntu forums and reading up on dual booting. There are several good guides like https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WindowsDualBoot.

  • Chet Morton

    I’m not sure how I fix it, but I uninstalled Wubi, then reinstalled. It hung in the same place. Rebooted and this time is offered a recover console for Ubuntu. Run the package repair, rebooted and then was able to get it Ubuntu to fully boot up… A little hiccup but it’s running now.

  • Chet Morton

    Installed using Wubi/Ubuntu on my XP machine. Wubi installed fine until it got to the Ubuntu desktop where it just froze. Rebooting and selecting to boot to Ubuntu is stuck in a logic loop. Fortunately, I was able to boot to XP. Glad I backed up before installing.

    What could be wrong with the install? I ran Ubuntu v8 on the computer using the live CD fine….

  • Chet Morton

    I’m wondering if the Wubi partition can be resized later on?

    If you want to copy the Wubi installation over to a traditional partition, is there a procedure to do so?

  • @Todd: @Kevin Larrs: This makes two sets of changes.
    1) A special folder in your computer, C:/Ubuntu. This is where all of your data is stored, including the new operating system. (Another folder, C:\wubuilder, is also created.)

    2) A small change is written to your master boot record telling it that, in addition to booting Windows on C:\, you can also boot Ubuntu at C:\Ubuntu. (A little trickery is probably involved that some smart people had to think up.) (On XP, this boot record is stored in C:\boot.ini, in Vista+, it’s stored in an even more confusing place. This is Microsoft’s doing, not Canonical’s.)

    3) Changes written to the registry include:
    –The one for adding Ubuntu to Add/Remove programs (HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Wubi)
    –That’s all I know of.

    After that, when you start your computer, it will automatically boot Windows… after showing you an operating system selection screen. This screen, which shows for ~15 seconds, lets you choose (using the keyboard) which OS you wish to run.

  • Kevin Larrs

    Like Todd said above, how do you do this so it wont add any traces of itself to my windows install? I don’t want my registry screwed with either! Is the partition deal the way to go?? Put this Ubuntu in a partition? How would a guy boot then?

  • Injeun

    Edit to above post. Make that the windows recovery console. And first try typing the fixboot command. If that doesn’t work, then try the fixmasterboot command. It has worked for me in the past when I’ve messed up my windows boot trying to install different linux distros.


  • Injeun

    @Jeffinprov: I think if you type fixmasterboot in the repair console it will rewrite your boot.

  • Jeffinprov

    This thing has seriously screwed up my computer’s boot process. I am hoping that I can remove all traces of it and that I can get my system fully reverted to normality. Scru Ubuntu.

  • Peter Stern

    I can run Ubuntu in a VirtualBox and it works fine, although a little slow since I have only 2 GB RAM, which has to be shared between Linux and Vista. Using Dexpot, I can even run them simultaneously, with 1 OS on each desktop. Having Linux available is good to test applications for cross-platform capability, as some Windows applications can be run under Wine, and most Java applications should be cross-platform.

  • Todd

    I want to make sure that when (or IF) I remove Linux from my Vista machine, NO files are left over ANYWHERE on my machine, this includes the registry. How would be the best way to do this? I’m fanatical about keeping all Windows files clean and in order. Wouldn’t it be better for me to make a partition and install Linux in the partition? Thereby, having Windows in “C drive” and Ubuntu in “U drive”? I just wipe U drive if for some reason I’m not wanting Ubuntu (which I am sure I will want to keep anyway, I know Linux is a great OS) Wouldn’t this be the best way, over say VM though?

  • Thanks for the tutorial!

    -Sent from Ubuntu :D

  • Jyo

    @Red: I dual-boot Win7 and Xubuntu. It is great! I’ve recently tried out Lubuntu and it is just as lightweight and attractive. I just might replace Xubuntu with Lubuntu in the near future…

  • Red

    IMHO, Xubuntu is the flavor to select…faster than Gnome (Ubuntu), it has almost the same look. Combine that with VirtualBox running XP (to handle programs that Linux cannot) and you have a *very* good alternative.

    So, why choose Wubi? Ease of use for one…you install it and it takes care of everything. Safety for another; it will NOT damage your Windows installation which can easily happen if you choose a dual-boot Linux/Windows (believe me, I’ve done it, multiple times). Compatability for another: Wubi will recognize all your windows drives…no Samba/networking to worry about.

    Why choose Wubi and VirtualBox running Windows rather than the other way (Windows and VirtualBox running Linux)? VirtualBox works *much* better as a Linux host and Windows guest, especially when accessing shared folders.

    Finally, there’s another alternative: running linux under windows using Collinear (or a Linux distro based upon it). One word: Don’t. The linxu apps are much more limited and the whole thing is waaay too complicated and kludgy.

    Why use Linux at all? There’s nothing you can do in Linux that you can’t do in Windows BUT Linux is a *very* cool environment; perhaps cooler than Win 7. If you haven’t used Linux at all or it’s been awhile (they’ve dramatically improved it in the last several years) give it a try; Wubi makes it very easy. Don’t like it? Just run the uninstall and in about 5 seconds, the whole thing is gone…fully and completely.

  • @PCbasics: It’s my primary OS since my main computer croaked. It’s pretty dang awesome :D

  • I think im finally going to give Ubuntu a try. Been hearing alot about it…….especially from Locu

  • Himagain

    Hi guys,
    Just got here from the Eletter and found this topic on the way….. :-)
    Running the two systems is dead simple if you have a licensed Windows.
    You simply go to virtual machine for one.
    I use Ubuntu for general Netting and don’t need ANY security as it cleans itself as you come out of it.
    Same with Windows – you can install your beloved XP with no security and chase all the porn…. scientific sites you like and again, the miracle of Virtual Machines is that it cleans itself absolutely as you quit.

    The best part is that your VM is current all the time -you don’t reboot, you just hit the vm switch and away you go!
    There ARE tricks to best utilisation of a VM, but you can bypass Wubi et al and simply – it is simple – install a VM and put anything you like inside the Virtual “Box”.
    AND you can have multiple operating systems inside your VM available at a click.
    Here it is:

    It’s a better kept secret than how to cure cancer.


  • Re: running both Windoze and Linux… the options are a virtual machine, or two computers. Well, option B is what I’m doing right now; I’m in a small office with a XP pizza box (doesn’t even have a monitor or keyboard) as a server/backup for everybody. I use the Terminal Server Client in Ubuntu (under “Internet”) to log in to the server with 2 clicks, and then I’m running XP in a window so I can do Windows things. Mainly, there’s one place I have to go on the net that needs Internet Explorer. I also run a Matlab Windows version, and Visio.

  • @lol768: I’m going to cover Unetbootin too. Don’t give anything away! :P

  • lol768

    @The Living Spirit: I’ve never tried Linux Mint but I might try it sometime, it sounds quite good. Unetbootin will make live usb sticks from an ISO file, but it also gives you a list box so you can choose the distro and it will download the iso.

  • Ritchie

    running Linux on Win using VMWare means: your harware has to feed them both. (RAM, CPU,..)
    As far as i understand Wubi uses the Win-bootmanager? Just makes one more entry there? Does not delete others? Means: GRUB is “behind” Win-bootmanager? This may be a small advantage.
    I am using Linux Mint as second OS on my HDD. Very fond of it.

  • Robert from Boston

    I must be up WAYYY too late (allmost 5am here now) — some of this is not making sense to me….

    For instance…. aside from not having to create a separate Linux partition to install Ubuntu on, it seems that there really isn’t any other particular advantage to using Wubi as opposed to just installing the regular Ubuntu distribution, is there?? A person still has to re-boot to switch from using Windows to using Ubuntu and vice versa, right??

    A second question: after you install Ubuntu via Wubi, and your Windows boot screen presents you with the choice of booting Windows or Ubuntu, are any OTHER choices that were previously on the boot screen still present, or does the Wubi installation wipe them off?? I’m thinking here of the “Recovery Console” choice that is on my particular Windows boot menu in addition to my regular Win XP OS, but perhaps someone else has some additional Windows OS’s listed on their boot menu also. Do those choices get wiped off, or do they remain after Ubuntu installation??

    Third question: in the discussion between Locutus and Dan about the possibility of running Linux inside a Windows virtual machine (and thus run both Window and Linux “at the same time”)….. I have NOT run any virtual OS’s, ever, but just from what I have read in various places, I had the (very strong) impression that a person could run Linux inside a host Windows OS using VMWare with no problem. Am I imagining things here?? As I said, at this point I easily could be imagining this, but I don’t think I am….

  • @Locutus: LOL LMAO!!!

  • ..and it’s kind of heading that way anyhow, what with Windows becoming graphically more like Linux and Linux kind of straddled between Windows and the Max interface right now..maybe a time will come..sooner than we think..when somebody come up with an OS that appeals to all camps..with little enough difference between them all to make it a viable option.

    Just my thoughts on this.


  • @Dan: Hahahaha. “I support xyz’s multirun software because it’s open source.” “Well I think that abc’s is better because it has more features.” “But it’s not open source! Geez!”

  • @Locutus:

    Bummer! :- (

    Mind you..it’s an idea some future Bill Gates might be toying with right now..the perfect PC to end all software wars.


  • @Dan: That would be perfect… but unless you know how to write a processor-level virtual machine program, it ain’t happening. :(

  • @Locutus:

    I’m talking about “A” above more than likely..rather than two different computers. But can you have both XP and Ubuntu running at the same time and dip into each when you need to..without having to turn one off before going into the other?

    If you could, then that would be the perfect set up, wouldn’t it?


  • @Dan: A. Virtual machine. B. Two computers.

    Nuff said.

  • I should clarify the above by saying I mean being able to have the two running at the same time and being able to go back and forth between the two at will, without having to shut down or re-boot into the other.


  • By the way, is there a way to run both XP and Ubuntu together at the same time? I’m guessing it can be done somehow using different partitions..but can you switch between the two of them while they are running, as if you were just switching between the C drive and, say, a USB?

    Just wondering, as it would be great to have one running for business and the other for personal stuff at the same time.


  • @Locutus: LOL..I wish I could “make it so”..and, hopefully, I will.


  • @Dan: “Resistance if futile–you know your way through a computer”? I don’t know, that one’s hard.

  • @Locutus:

    Thanks for that, Locutus..I’ll give it a go and let you know how I get on.

    By the way, I was trying to work in something about resistance being futile, but everything I came up with was crap, so I didn’t bother in the end..or maybe this counts?

    Thanks again for the help and advice..much appreciated!


  • @Dan: Software compilation is easy to do… unless you run into dependencies. Dependencies are the bane of my existence.

    It may have something to do with not the computer, but with the fact that it’s Linux: both OSes you’ve used are both Linux based. I’ll see if I can get it to work on my laptop, but in the mean time try this: http://tazbuntu.blogspot.com/2008/11/new-video-converting-and-audio-ripping.html
    Found it with a Google search.

  • Well, just wanted to say thanks for bringing this to us! I’ve been playing around with it now all day and have it up and running without any issues..aside from a small one..on two PCs at home.

    The first thing I noticed right from the start is how much faster it is than the two other OS that it replaced..XP and Jolicloud: XP on a TOSHIBA Satellite Pro and Jolicloud on a Acer Aspire One Netbook.

    Even the Netbook is running much better and that is with the full desktop version of Ubuntu, but I am thinking of downgrading to the Netbook version, as it can only be a matter of time before the system starts to slow with use.

    The laptop is flying like a dream..much better than it ever has been with XP on it..and I am a solid XP fan, so that’s saying how much this has impressed me! It is a far cry from the old days of Red Hat, when I turned my back on Linux out of frustration over all the code you needed to know in order to just get something up and running (..that brings back memories of the early days and DOS on the old Dragon 32!).

    Anyway, everything has worked out fine and the installs went smoothly. In fact, the only problem / issue I seem to have run into is a common enough one..and that’s with getting the firefox add-in “Download Helper Converter” to work on the Netbook. Mind you, it didn’t work under Jolicloud, so I doubt it has much to do with Ubauntu..more to do with the Acer itself.

    I have installed and re-installed both lame and ffmpeg with no joy..so next step I think will be to build / compile the ffmpeg file from scratch..something I know nothing about and am not looking forward to..but I would like to get this working for obvious reasons.

    Over all, I think I have found a system that I actually like using and look forward to jumping into..or maybe it’s the newness of it..time will tell, I guess.


  • @Anson: You don’t need to pre-download the distro as it will download it for you as part of the Wubi installation. However, if you already have the ISO of the distro you want to use, and it matches the name of the distro you are trying to install through Wubi, you can place it in the same folder as Wubi and it should automatically detect and use it, skipping the download process. I know because I’ve done it, although lately it doesn’t seem to work as often as it used to…

    @Ashraf: To each, their own.

    Can’t say I’ve really found a distro up to now that I could say for definite was my favourite… Although Kubuntu was good until they ruined it with KDE 4.

  • Ashraf

    @The Living Spirit: I gave Linux Mint a go, too, bad in my day. Never really liked it as much as Ubuntu, though.

    @Loo Voon Ming: Go with Ubuntu Netbook.

    @Jamster Mc: Are you sure? Sometimes it has happened to me that I looked away from a short while and the boot screen came and went, and I didn’t even notice. Otherwise, try uninstalling it an reinstalling.

    @Anson: You just download Wubi, and during installation Wubi will download Ubuntu for you.

  • Anson

    Hi Locutus,
    After click on the Direct Download link, we just download Wobi, right? Then when we will download Ubuntu which is 700 MB? Do I need to download separately Ubuntu from the Ubuntu homepage? How about If i have the Ubuntu 10.04 installation disk? will it help in the installation?


  • Jamster Mc

    Hi, guys decided to try it out seen as it seems to be okay, downloaded all seemed to go fine, untill i had to reboot in which it started windows again and there was no option nor an option in the boot menu

  • Loo Voon Ming

    I have a HP netbook with indow 7 starter, do I select Ubuntu or Ubuntu netbook? Which is better? Thanks.

  • @Ashraf: Everything you said in Comment #1 exactly mimics my own experiences with Linux as well. I’ve actually known about Wubi for a long time, but haven’t used it since Ubuntu 9.04 because I stopped seeing the reason to use Linux when all my work was so reliant on Windows.

    @Anyone who found this article interesting, as well as Ashraf: You may also be interested to know that the makers of another Linux distro, Linux Mint, have developed a modified version of Wubi known as “Mint4Win”, which allows you to install Linux Mint in Windows just like Wubi does for Ubuntu.

    Linux Mint is another Linux distribution that is based on, and fully compatible with Ubuntu, but is much more elegant, modern and simpler to use. In fact, according to those behind the project, the purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use, and where everything works out of the box with no hassle – and apparently, it does it well, although I have only used Linux Mint briefly myself (I did find myself liking it more than other distros I’ve tried though). I’m not sure if there is a working version of Mint4Win for the latest Linux Mint, since there’s apparently been incompatibilities. But in any case, thought I’d put that out there.

    I’ve heard that lately there’s another program on the net which allows installation of various Linux distros to a USB Stick, haven’t researched this yet myself though…

  • ablaze

    I have a question that if I decide to use it as I am using Windows (Vista at the moment) i.e., using internet browsing, emailing, etc etc., I suppose that I should install all the security softwares also, such as antivirus (I am using Avast at the moment), firewall (using comodo), anti-spywares (using spybot search & destroy, and spyware blaster)? If so, can these softwares be installed on this linux version?
    Thanks in advance

  • Ashraf

    @Ed: As far as I know, installing Ubuntu with Wubi will not work on your external. If you want Ubuntu on an external hard drive, you need to install it a different way – you can’t use Wubi for that.

  • Ed

    @Locutus: I’m very sorry for asking so many questions. I’m a bit slow today. So this WILL work if installed on an external? My internal can’t handle something that big right now. (Once again, sorry for the stupid questions XP

  • Leslie

    @Dan: I suppose it depends upon what you think is easier. I do not like the way Ubuntu confuses things by making a million and one packages on offer. For example, Wine appears in the list twice, version 2 and 3 but you need to do research elsewhere to realise that V2 is the one to install because it is what is called a stable beta.

    So, I know this is going to sound strange coming from someone who has been in the IT industry for 25 years, but Linux seriously needs to lose its Geek image. It is trying very hard and things have improved but Windows still leaves it for dead. IMO, The problem is that Linux tries hard to use as many unpronounceable terminology and naming conventions to sound as complicated as possible. Its like they are saying “look how clever we are”. In other words, the naming conventions are rubbish and will frighten off any normal user – it scared me and I am not “normal” as it were.

    The other obvious problem I forgot to mention is that some clever person (see previous paragraph) decided to move the minimise, maximise and close button to the top left by default. This can be easily changed but again is another sign of IT geekdom/arrogance. To change something for the sake of it is simply stupid.

    But yes, I still say give it a go – but remember it is not Windows (even though you can dress it to look like it).

  • @Ed: It installs like a program–to a directory on the C: drive (C:\Ubuntu if you must know). Of course there are other ways to install Ubunt that involve putting it on its own drive. That is not what this is.

  • Ed

    @Locutus: I’m sorry, but do you mean that I can’t install to external, or that it won’t install anything extra?

  • Leslie

    @Locutus: Well I like it. Firstly because its about $500 cheaper than Windows, and secondly because its faster.

    To balance out the story though, I do prefer the Windows XP/7 user interface – but that also provides another cool factor -skinning at the desktop level.

  • @Ed: Yes, this works on Windows 7 64-bit. Also, this does not install anything to an external hard drive. It installs it to your internal hard drive.

  • Ed

    Will this work fine on Windows 7 64 bit? Will it work fine if installed on an external hard drive? I found something like this before but it had problems with both of the above.

  • Ashraf

    @Mark: If you are a regular to dotTech, you should be used to misspellings and typos by now… my misspellings and typos. :-P

  • Mark

    @Mark: I need to proof read my posts. Spelling Wubi wrong 3X ftw!

  • @Locutus:

    Thanks for the quick reply, Locutus..boy, that was fast!

    So I guess it’s “idiot-proof”, compared to how it used to be?..and you say it comes with the OS?..this could be my lucky day! LOL


  • By way of an add-on to my post above..I just wanted to apologize for all the typos in it. Been out earlier tonight (..it’s now nearly 5am here)..and had one vino too many. :- )

    Perhaps I better leave the installing part of all of this until the morning..or even better still, tomorrow afternoon.


  • @Dan: It’s a thousand times easier to install software on Ubuntu than it is on Windows. There’s a single, unified installer, and it comes with a nice “software store” that is basically beautiful front end to APT.

  • Guys..can anyone tell me if they have made it as easy to install software on Linux systems as it is on Windows?

    I haven’t tried Linux in years, even though I love the whole idea of it to bits. Back in the day, when I tried it last, you nearly needed a degree in programming just to get something installed and running..and although I can find my way around under the PC hood ok..and even know enough to tinker with the registry, but I never did seem to learn who to speak to one in code, no matter how much I tied..just don’t have the aptitude of it I guess.

    Anyway, a relitive of mine told me a while back that things are a lot better now, when it comes to installing stuff on a Linux system, but we never got to go over it in detail. I think he said there is some kind of utility that is used to just click and install stuff now, instead of coding things in like before..can anyone tell me just what this is..where to get it..and if, so, can it be used with this installation?

    Thanks in advance, as always.


  • @hangdawg: That’s next on my list :P

  • hangdawg

    how about a using unetbootin on a usb stick and when you set it up making it making it persistent
    that way any changes will stay the next time you boot from the stick it works real good better than a live cd because you cant save the changes you make while using a live cd

  • @Leslie: Isn’t Ubuntu cool? :D The networked drive thing is a major issue.

  • Leslie

    Here is a summary of my Linux experience:

    I originally started out my career on a UNIX Pyramid mainframe back at the start of the 80’s and apart from an unimpressive experiment with Red Hat Version 5 about 10 years ago, I had not thought about Linux again until about 2 months ago when I got a Ubuntu 10.04 disc sent to me.

    So, I decided to perform a serious experiment. I got two identical machines – each with 1 Gb of RAM. On one I installed Windows 7 and on the other Ubuntu 10.04.

    The Windows 7 machine was not too bad – faster than Vista and probably slightly slower than XP would run. Mind you this was not intended for gaming. I installed Office 2007 and Firefox for browsing.

    The Linux Machine runs very well indeed. I am not a fan of the standard Gnome Desktop so I downloaded and applied a Windows 7 theme – to a layman it looks and behaves like Windows 7.
    I also installed firefox and even more impressive was that I could also apply the exact same addons I use on the Windows version. I also installed Wine which allows Windows Software to be installed – and it works very well indeed – except it has a File Manager that reminds me of Windows 3 rather than Windows XP Explorer.

    In fact the linux setup ran so well it made the Windows 7 sister machine looks slow. So, I reduced the Linux machine’s memory to 512 Mb and increased the Windows 7 box to 1.5Gb – the linux machine does not really miss that extra memory at all. The Windows 7 machine really needed that extra memory but is still ever so slightly slower than the Linux box.

    My only complaint regarding Ubuntu 10.04 is that it keeps dropping the Windows LAN connection. One minute I can navigate to shared drives then next it has gone. The internet connection does not drop out ever and in fact downloads are faster on the Linux box – probably because I did not have any antivirus software running on it. I do not dare risk browsing the internet on the Windows machine without it – so it has got Avast Home v5.

    One last point, is that Wine does not yet handle connecting to mapped drives so this has to be setup before loading Wine.

    Overall, I am more than impressed with Ubuntu and if you have a spare machine lying around (even a low spec one) – I strongly advise you give it a go.

  • Ashraf

    @Haakon Aas: Actually Locutus wrote the article, so credit to him.

  • Haakon Aas

    Thanks Ashraf :-)
    I have been like so many others….. using Linux editions on and off.
    I did not have the time or energy to read the comments…
    Almost ALL Linux editons can be run from CD or DVD!
    When doing so you can easily save your work on a small dedicated partition so the next time you boot from the CD or DVD all setting will be saved…or NOT..all up to you to decide.
    When my Windows OS act up or fail I usually use a Linux OS to restore the Windows :-)
    (can only be done if you made a full copy of the OS partiton :-)
    Why dont I use Linux as my main OS??…same reasons Ashraf dont- compatiliby (and being lazy)

  • Ashraf

    @Locutus: It makes sense in my head xD

  • mukhi

    LOL. LMAO. Ashraf is not sure that he is confident…

  • @Ashraf: Just that you’re using the word “probably” after “confidence”.

  • Ashraf

    @Locutus: Yeah… what is wrong with that? :-/

    @mukhi: Well not exactly. I had to black out my face from the reflection on the screen, so the blacks are an edit I did.

    @Mark: Yeah 64-bit compatability is one of the reasons I dont use it. I do wish Wubi – non CD – version allowed users to select which one they are installing.

  • Mark

    I have tried Wobi in the past and it is a great way to be introduced to Linux. The only issue I had was as you said, Wobi will detect if you are using 32bit or 64bit system, but it does not let you pick the 32bit install if you have a 64bit system. (I later discovered you can chose which one you prefer if you install Wobi using a Ubuntu disc you can burn). Linux 64bit suffers from the same issues that Windows 64bit has, namely the incompatibility of many programs that will work on 32 bit will not work on 64 bit. I wish developers would make their programs more compatible with 64bit systems. It’s so frustrating sometimes I think about switching back to 32bit.

  • mukhi

    now that i can run winxp like a window in my win7pro64, another cool thing to know that i can do that for linux as well! when can OSX be run that way? or mr. jobs will keep us craving and starving forever with his EULA? LOL (with sarcasm).

    wait! nexus S is taking pics like that? wow.

    BTW, i dual-boot my lappie with baishakhi (my language based OS made using ubuntu) and i also have splashtop quick boot. more OS? LMAO.

  • @Ashraf: “I can say with confidence that you probably won’t wreck your PC with Wubi.” Nice, confidence that he probably won’t? :|

  • Ashraf

    @chuck: I can say with confidence that you probably won’t wreck your PC with Wubi. Wubi is about the most safe thing you can get. I was an idiot and restarted my computer while Windows was loading – I was in a rush to get to Ubuntu – and that is why the problem occurred for me. The problem was easily fixed, though, with a system restore.

    Don’t let my story scare you.

  • chuck

    OK Ashraf-now you got me scared – I’m “this close” to installing this on my old XP test box,but it runs so good (better than my 7 comps) that I’m afraid to take the leap.Seems like the perfect way to jump in,but I don’t want to wreck the best running PC in the house !!

  • Ashraf

    BTW, I just want to let everyone know that I am currently running from Safe Mode because my computer is getting BSOD’ed after installing Ubuntu using Wubi. However, I am 99.9% sure it wasn’t Wubi/Ubuntu that has caused the problem; it was a dumb mistake I made that is the issue.

    Just thought I should put that out there.

    EDIT: A system restore and I am now as good as new.

  • Ashraf

    If I remember properly, Wubi was how I first got into Linux; it was my door to a world of distros. Back in my Linux days I think I switched distros every couple of days, haha.

    Eventually, though, I ended up ditching Linux and going back to Windows because I realized one thing: While playing with Linux is fun, it impedes work if your job/college require computer usage and they work in Windows. It is just a pain trying to keep up with everyone at your job/college that run Windows – too many compatibility issues.

    (Oh, and yes, I took those last three screenshots by with awesome new Nexus S. =D)