Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wubi - Ubuntu Windows-Based Installer

Wubi is an Ubuntu installer that lets you install and run Ubuntu from Windows. It is a simple, safe, and painless way to install Linux for users who want to preserve their Windows system without having to perform any potentially hazardous hard disk partition operations to free up space and create new hardware partitions for Ubuntu. Wubi is already integrated into the Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop CD. Using Wubi, you do not have to create a separate partition for Ubuntu. A file created on your Window system functions as a virtual disk, and Ubuntu is installed on this virtual disk, which operates like a hard disk with a Linux file system installed on it. The Windows boot loader is modified to list a choice for Ubuntu, so when Windows starts up, you can choose to start Ubuntu instead of Windows.

The Wubi installation of Ubuntu is fully functional in every way. Though it uses a virtual hard disk, it is not a virtual system. When you start Ubuntu, you are running only Ubuntu. It differs from a standard install in that the system is installed on a file, rather than an actual hard disk partition, and the original Windows boot loader is used instead of the GRUB boot loader. As far as usage is concerned, operations are the same, though with slightly slower disk access. You can find out more about Wubi at Check the Ubuntu WubiGuide ( for detailed information about installation and management issues such as boot problems, virtual disk creation, and details of the Wubi installation for Ubuntu.

To install Ubuntu with Wubi, insert the Ubuntu Desktop CD into your CD/DVD drive. The Ubuntu CD Menu automatically starts, giving you the option of performing the standard install (restart and possibly partition your drive) or installing inside Windows (use a Wubi virtual hard disk file on Windows). The Learn More option opens the Ubuntu Web site.

The Setup screen will prompt you for the drive on which to install the virtual disk file; the installation size, which is the size for the virtual disk file; the desktop environment (Ubuntu); the language to use; and a username and password. You then click the Install button to download and install Ubuntu. Clicking the Accessibility button opens a dialog where you can specify accessibility install options such as Contrast, Magnifier, Braille, and On-screen Keyboard.

Wubi then installs the standard Ubuntu desktop. Your language, keyboard, partitions, and user login have already been determined from the Setup window. Wubi will first copy over files from the Desktop install disk and then prompt you to reboot. When you reboot, your Windows boot menu is displayed with an entry for Ubuntu. Use the arrow keys to select the Ubuntu entry and press enter. Ubuntu will then start up. The first time it will complete the installation showing just a progress bar on the desktop, formatting, installing software, detecting hardware, and configuring your system. You do not have to do anything. Once installation tasks are finished, you reboot and select Ubuntu again to start it up. Ubuntu is fully functional. You can configure your system, install hardware drivers, and set preferences just as you do for any Ubuntu system.

Wubi sets up an ubuntu directory on the hard drive partition on which you installed Ubuntu, usually the c: drive. Here you will find boot and disks subdirectories. In the disks subdirectory is your virtual hard disk where Ubuntu is installed. You will also find another virtual hard disk file for your swap disk. Your Ubuntu virtual disk will be named root.disk, as in c:\ubuntu\disks\root.disk. Keep in mind that Ubuntu is installed as a file on your Windows system. Be careful not to delete the ubuntu directory. Should you reformat your Windows partition for any reason, you, of course, would lose you Ubuntu system also. You can uninstall a Wubi installed Ubuntu system using Window’s Add or Remove Software applet.

Source of Information : McGraw Hill Ubuntu The Complete Reference

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