>> Well Ubuntu is a fabulous bistro of Linux that lets you boot it off a CD in case you're not ready for the fully install. But there's an even simpler way. I'm Tom Merritt from CNET.com. On this edition of Insider Secrets, I'll show you how to try Ubuntu on a Windows machines without partitioning or burning.
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Normally when you want to try Linux, you either have to overwrite your current operating system, pain, or at least burn a CD and boot off that, less of a pain. Thanks to the folks at Download.com for tipping me off to Wubi, w u b i. It lets you try Ubuntu on your Windows XP machine without having to burn a boot CD or partition your hard drive. Let's show you how. First things first, check your system specs. The requirements for Wubi are Windows XP, one gigahertz CPU, 128 megabytes of RAM, and four gigabytes of free hard disk space. Now to something extremely important. Back up your data. I don't care if you use online storage, a removable hard drive or your iPod. Just make sure anything you can't live without is safely backed up. Back up! Did I mention backing up?
>> I did, good. Okay. Time to install Wubi. You can download it Wubi-installer.org or from CNET's very own Download.com. When you run the installer, the first thing you'll need to do is select the language of your choice and your new user name and password. Sounds obvious, but make sure you remember your password. Next, Wubi will download the Ubuntu ISO file, i s o file. This is the same data on the Ubuntu boot disk we showed in our other Insider Secret on trying out Ubuntu. It's pretty much the whole operating system in one big file. You can get the installer to skip this step if you already have the file. Just place your .ISO file in the same directory as the Wubi installer. That'll really speed up the install. The installer then tucks the ISO file in a space on your hard drive and when you boot your Windows machine, you should now see an option to boot into Ubuntu right under Microsoft Windows. The first time you boot into Ubuntu, you'll see a lot of set up activity, formatting virtual disks, configuring DHCP, etcetera, installing base software like Open Office and Firefox. Now you're free to boot into Windows or Ubuntu Linux. No partitioning necessary. And if you ever get tired of Ubuntu taking up space on your hard drive just run the Wubi uninstaller under Windows. That's it for this Insider Secret. I'm Tom Merritt for CNET.com proving there's more than one way to boot a Linux.
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