Saturday, May 1, 2010

Install Ubuntu 10.04 On A Windows Partition With WUBI

Installing Ubuntu on a Windows partition means that you are performing an install of Ubuntu on an existing Windows partiton as opposed to installing one on a new Linux partition which is more difficult and risky to do. It's a case of which one is safer for a Linux newbie. ;)

On a technical knowhow needed of 1 to 5, with 1 being the easiest and 5 being the hardest, this is definitely a 1, as all you have to do is to click. No need terminal commands, as was the case in the past.
If Linux has put you off because you previously failed miserably installing or configuring it, you should look at it again now with new eyes. ;)
I have the whole installation process documented here minus some boring screens in-between. Scroll downwards to the pictures and have a look at how easy it is. See? It is no longer as scary as before! :D

What is WUBI?
WUBI stands for "Windows-based Ubuntu Installer" and comes standard on the Ubuntu Desktop CD.

Requirements:
OS: Windows 7/Vista/XP/2000/98
Memory: 256 MB
Hdd Space: 5 GB available

WUBI Installs the Ubuntu file system to "c:\ubuntu\disks\root.disk",
and a swap file to "c:\ubuntu\disks\swap.disk".
These are virtual containers and you don't get to see the inside of the containers which is a good thing as they won't mess up your Windows file system.

The downside of using WUBI as opposed to a real Linux filesystem on a separate partition is that Hibernation is NOT supported. I think of that as NOT YET so I won't be too worried about it. By the time you get used to Ubuntu and Linux, hopefully, someone will have perfected the Hibernation part. If it's a big issue for you, you can always install Ubuntu in its own partition later.

Another limitation that you must bear in mind, should you be unable to boot it up one day is - Ubuntu is configured as a container file (root.disk) in Windows, so if one day it happens that that file is "unclean" as a result of a hard shutdown (ie Windows crashed and burned!), you will need it to pass Windows disk checking (chkdsk) before it can boot up as the file has been corrupted in Windows NOT Linux. That means there are 2 layers of disk checking that you
should be aware of.

And now Ladies and Gentlement, the part you've been waiting for ...

Installing Ubuntu 10.04:
1. Start by going to Ubuntu's download page and decide on which version you want:
For ordinary users and Linux newbies, you will want to have the Desktop version, it's easier to use. Also regardless of whether your machine is running on a 64-bit capable CPU, if you prefer to run 32-bit applications, you will want to get the i386 version, NOT the AMD64 version. If you don't know what this means, just trust me on this one and get the i386 version. :)
So we have now decided on going for the i386 Desktop version, which if you search for it, leads us to something similar to this file here: ubuntu-10.04-beta2-desktop-i386.iso (which at the moment of writing this hub is the most current version).
Netbook users will have to look for a netbook version; there are 3 different versions depending on the processor on your netbook.
2. Right click and save the file to your computer. Depending on how fast your broadband is, make yourself a nice cup of mocha or go do some work. ;)
*You might also want to consider getting the torrent version, if you know how to download it and especially if your connection is prone to being cut off. Believe me, you don't want to lose the download somewhere near the 600MB mark. -_-
**If on the other hand, you're reading this cause you have forgotten how to upgrade, you might one to check out this other hub of mine which made use of the ALTERNATE version.
3. Ok, you're back! Which means, you have managed to get the file. :)
Now follow the instructions at the picture gallery below:

Ubuntu 10.04 Installation: Visual Guide

Put the CD in the drive and double click "wubi.exe".
Put the CD in the drive and double click "wubi.exe".
Here you can click on "Install Inside Windows" OR choose
 "Demo and full installation" to have a tour without 
installing anything. Be warned that choosing Full Installation during 
the tour means that you will be installing Ubuntu in its own partition.
Here you can click on "Install Inside Windows" OR choose "Demo and full installation" to have a tour without installing anything. Be warned that choosing Full Installation during the tour means that you will be installing Ubuntu in its own partition.
The most difficult part of the Install process. What's my password
 gonna be this time? Nah, think I'll just recycle my Windows password. 
;) By the way, try and make 6GB space available (5GB install) as a 
minimum, so that you won't get low space warni
The most difficult part of the Install process. What's my password gonna be this time? Nah, think I'll just recycle my Windows password. ;) By the way, try and make 6GB space available (5GB install) as a minimum, so that you won't get low space warni
"Installing Ubuntu 10.04 Please wait". Here we go! (Rub 
hands). ;)
"Installing Ubuntu 10.04 Please wait". Here we go! (Rub hands). ;)
"Completing the Ubuntu Setup Wizard". We're finished 
with the Windows part. WUBI didn't mention it anywhere here but upon 
restarting you're supposed to choose Ubuntu ...
"Completing the Ubuntu Setup Wizard". We're finished with the Windows part. WUBI didn't mention it anywhere here but upon restarting you're supposed to choose Ubuntu ...
Choose Ubuntu at the Windows Boot Manager.
Choose Ubuntu at the Windows Boot Manager. 
 

And finally, ta daa ... the Ubuntu 10.04 desktop!

Upon Ubuntu's boot up, after some uninteresting screens (which I 
cannot capture), we finally see Ubuntu's desktop. :) Notice the Wireless
 Icon at the top right, which means I already have Wifi working properly
 - just need to key in AP password.
Upon Ubuntu's boot up, after some uninteresting screens (which I cannot capture), we finally see Ubuntu's desktop. :) Notice the Wireless Icon at the top right, which means I already have Wifi working properly - just need to key in AP password.

Conclusion, and some words about penguins

You're done! Pat yourself on the back and sip some more mocha! :)
More to be added later. Like how to configure Ubuntu 10.04. And like this tutorial, it's easier than before. As you can see in the Ubuntu desktop post-installation picture, I already have the Wifi and sound icons, and that means those are already working out of the box. So it's more like tweaking Ubuntu to suit your needs rather than configuring hardware drivers.