May 09, 2007
How does Wubi work?
Wubi adds an entry to the Windows boot menu which allows you to run Linux. Ubuntu is installed within a file in the windows file system (c:\wubi\harddisks\ubuntu.hd), this file is seen by Linux as a real hard disk.
Is this running Ubuntu within a virtual environment or something similar?
No. This is a real installation, the only difference is that Ubuntu is installed within a file as opposed to being installed within its own partition. Thus we spare you the trouble to create a free partition for Ubuntu. And we spare you the trouble to have to burn a CD-Rom.
What are the system requirements?
If you can run Windows XP, you will have no problem running Ubuntu, since Ubuntu has lower system requirements than Windows XP. As for disk space, the installation requires a minimum of 3GB. This space is mostly used by the virtual hard disk file.
What platform is supported?
For the moment Wubi will only run on Windows XP, but the back-end is quite flexible and it can support multiple platforms as hosts and guests (provided they are debian-based).
What is the performance?
The performance is identical to a standard installation, except for hard-disk access which is slightly slower. If your hard disk is very fragmented the performance will degenerate.
Can I run the images within an emulator?
Yes, but you will have to use other software to do that. The intended use of Wubi is to provide an installation which is as close as possible to a standard one with minimal fuss for the user.
Anyway, for those of you interested in as painless a test drive of Ubuntu as possible, this might be the way to go. Check out Wubi.
Update: However, if you're dead set on moving away from Windows, here's an article which will take you through the move, step by step, up to and including suggestions on porting your emails and making your Open Office files compatible with your Windows compatriots.
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