Wubi (Windows-based Ubuntu Installer) is amazing. It’s one of those tools that should make 100s if not 1000s of people to try out Linux right away. But I am not sure if this tool is making as much noise as it should. If last time you tried to install Linux was 5 years ago and the thought of installing Linux on a separate partition along side your existing windows installation gives you nightmares, this tool is for you.
We are not asking you to abandon windows OS; we are encouraging you to try Linux without any risk.
How to install?
- Download wubi.
- Select Installation size, Language, Username & Password.
- Reboot. Install. Done.
No terminal commands, disk partitioning or disk formatting is needed. The best part is that the installation itself takes about one hour (it took me 30 minutes on avg).
How does it work?
wubi is not a virtual machine, which means there is no hardware limitation. You get to use the same hardware available to a window installation without having to share them, since you are not running two OS simultaneously. wubi creates a standalone installation within a disk image, without disrupting the host windows installation. wubi also adds an entry to the windows boot configuration, so when you boot up your computer you get to choose which OS you want to boot into. If you already have a Ubuntu ISO on the same folder as wubi, wubi will try to install it from there, if not, wubi will download the ISO and install it.
Nothing. But there are two known user-generated problems. One is that if you don’t shutdown your computer properly, like just pulling the plug from the socket or turn off the power (why would you?), your computer won’t boot to Linux next time you try it. You have to properly boot in to windows and properly shutdown your computer in order to boot in to Linux. This is not a problem with the system, but a problem with the user. :) The second thing is that on some occasions your Linux installation will have performance issues due to disk fragmentation on your windows installation drive, since wubi install over NTFS, the more fragmented your windows disk drive is the more performance issues you will have on your Linux installation. To solve this issue, which is inherited from Widows disk fragmentation, I install wubi on a separate partition. Again, you don’t have to do this, just make sure your windows install is regularly defragmented.
wubi, as of now, only installs Ubuntu line of distros (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu). I am sure there are ways to make this work with other distros, but it hasn’t been done yet (AFAIK), and shouldn’t be much of an issue since wubi is just an installer, not a Linux distro by itself.
Ok, I have tried it. But I want to Uninstall it. How?
Very easy, you would uninstall wubi the same way you would uninstall any program in windows. Just go to add/remove and uninstall.
Give Linux a shot, I am confident, you won’t regret it. :)