How-To: Install Linux Risk Free, With No Formatting or Repartitioning Required, Part 2

February 25, 2009

4. Install Ubuntu Without Formatting or Repartitioning Your Drives


Your Live CD contains a new feature that can be accessed from the autorun menu in Windows called Wubi (Windows Ubuntu Installer). This interface will allow you to install Linux to any drive on your PC and the option of booting from any OS each time you start your machine. A key advantage here is that since we are installing Ubuntu from within Windows, it can be uninstalled at any time using the Add/Remove Programs utility.

Despite what many people believe, however, this install is not a virtual machine. It works more like a disk image creating a block of data on the drive. This carries a little bit of a performance penalty, but nowhere near what you encounter when you run an OS within an OS. At this point you can simply follow the installer.

Setup Options:

1.) Installation Drive – Which hard disk you wish to install to. If you choose the “C” drive, for example, the image will be located under c:\ubuntu
2.) Installation Size – It is important you pick the size that you think will suit you needs. If you only intend to dabble in the OS, 4 to 8GB should be enough.
3.) Username / Password – Make sure you write this down. Once the OS is installed you will need this to log in.
4.) Click “install”. The amount of time required to complete this step depends very much on the speed of your internet connection, since many of the install files are downloaded on the fly. Upon completion, you will be asked to reboot, after which you’ll be greeted with a new boot loader on startup that’ll give you the option to pick Windows or Ubuntu.

5. Update the OS

Just like a clean install of Windows, one of the first things you will want to do with your fresh copy of Linux is check for updates. This can be accomplished by clicking on System, Administration, Update Manager. Available updates should quickly populate your list. After you have reviewed your options, click Install Updates. If you fail to receive any updates, try launching Firefox by click on the icon along the top to verify a working internet connection. You will want to make sure you are connected to the internet through a wired Ethernet connection since wireless networking may require you to hunt down and download additional wifi hardware drivers first.

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