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Are you new to Linux? Are you a bit afraid of partitioning/Formatting mistakes? You heard about Dual-booting but you are not sure how to do it? Maybe you do not know about different filesystems? Or maybe you do not want Linux to overwrite your current Windows boot-loader? You heard about live CDs and virtual machines but you want a faster more permanent system? If you find yourself in any of the mentioned situations and you are curious about Linux, do not panic! WUBI is there for you.

WUBI stands for Windows-based Ubuntu installer. It enables to install and to uninstall Ubuntu within Windows environment just like any other program you have in Windows. It simply and magically does that by creatinga stand-alone installation within the disk image which it downloads. Thus, you will end up with Ubuntu Ext3 filesystem nested on NTFS (Windows native) filesystem. Below is a small tutorial on how you can have the (pre-installed) Windows 7 and Ubuntu 11.10 running on your PC.

Point your web browser to (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/windows-installer). Click on the big orange download button. Once downloaded follow the on-screen instructions to install WUBI. Then choose your language, installation drive, installation size (the bigger the better), Desktop environment (the default Ubuntu is advisable for beginners), enter your username and password and click the install button. If you are using a slow connection be a little bit patient as the download size is approximately 700 MB. Once finished downloading and installing, reboot your system and there you go, you have a dual-booting system!

Now you can play around for a while to discover your system. However, there are limitations for this kind of installation that you might consider. Firstly, hibernation/suspend might not work properly. Secondly, 30 GB (the maximum installation size) might not be enough for a lot of users. Thirdly, as having a nested filesystems in this installation the reliability of the system and disk speed will be a bit slower than in a proper dual-booting systems where you have a separate partitions with different filesystems (NTFS for Windows and Ext3/Ext4 for Linux). My next Tutorial will discuss how to have a proper dual-booting system.

Author Profile

My name is Amin Salim and I am Sudanese born in Kuwait. I hold a degree in Information Systems (BSC) from the University of Leeds. I have worked as a research assistant for a local expertise and consultancy firm called (SUDEXAM). Then I travelled to Sierra Leone and worked for the project development unit as an Information Systems engineer. My role was doing the financial analysis and the whole editing for the feasibility studies and providing technical support. I am flexible, and a good team player as realized from conducting feasibility studies with people from different backgrounds and qualifications. Afterwards I came back to Sudan and worked as self-employed software engineer and have developed a system by myself from scratch for a charity eye-hospital. The system functionality was to keep track of stock and sales (written in Java). I am very versatile individual as proven from working on different disciplines and always looking to improve my skills.
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