NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, April 2009
What The Heck Is A WUBI?

By Jim McKnight, Director,
Los Angeles Computer Society, CA

jim.mcknight (at) lacspc.org (click to email author)

This article has been obtained from APCUG with the authorís permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other uses require the permission of the author (see e-mail address above).

The Windows-based Ubuntu Installer (WUBI) is a program that allows you to install and remove Ubuntu-Linux from within Microsoft Windows (98, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7). WUBI automatically creates a dual boot option that lets a Microsoft Windows user try Ubuntu without risking any data loss due to disk formatting or partitioning. Normally, installing Ubuntu or any version of Linux on a system that is also running Windows Is intimidating and very risky. Total failure to boot Windows is a common result.

WUBI to the rescue: The WUBI installer is now included on every Ubuntu Live CD and easily installs Ubuntu INSIDE of windows (all versions), and in the same partition (drive letter) as Windows if you like. The install process is like any other program installed in Windows. Installing this way is sooooo easy. Also, when you want to remove Ubuntu, you just go to Add/Remove Programs and remove it like any other program running under Windows.

Dual-boot: After the installation, a new (dual) boot option screen appears right after power up, allowing you to select whether you want to run either Windows standalone or Ubuntu standalone.

Wow, what a great way to play with Linux/Ubuntu without the hassle of partitioning the hard drive and dealing with those messy dual-boot managers like GRUB or GAG. Yuck (Yes, those are real acronyms. Not the Yuck. It just means yuck).

To start the process, you need an Ubuntu Live (Install) CD that you or a friend has downloaded and burned. You can also go to the Ubuntu website and have them mail you a free CD (10 weeks).

To install Ubuntu using WUBI, just insert the "Ubuntu Install CD" while Windows is running. Do not boot the CD. The CD should start. If not, go to My Computer, open the CD and click on wubi.exe. When you see the opening window, simply select "Install Inside Windows". After that, you answer a few questions about what drive letter, and how much drive space you want to allow for Ubuntu. That's it!

I have tried this under XP and Windows 7 and it is flawless.

NOTES: - Hibernation is not supported when installing Ubuntu via WUBI (for either Windows or Ubuntu).
- Follow these links for detailed WUBI operating instructions: http://wiki.ubuntu.com/ WubiGuide and here: http://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wubi
- Ubuntu 32 bit can run under Windows 32 bit or Windows 64 bit.

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