Install Ubuntu 12.04 from Windows without repartition

After the overheat problem on Windows 7 I remembered why I liked the Linux operating system. When installed and running and when you don’t change anything, like configurations of services and applications, it runs always the same. By the same I mean that there is no problem such as the system getting old and slow. Of course, the problem of viruses, trojans and worms on Windows is too an argument to use Linux, no antivirus software.

But there were downsides of Linux. I wrote that I usually work on Windows 7 workstation, so I wanted to use the same development environment at home, to avoid getting stuck figuring out how to port my solution from one system to another. I also had some annoying hardware issues, especially with the Nvidia graphics card. Whenever I wanted to switch the output of the video, I had to restart the X server and close running applications. My Ubuntu 11.10 based Linux had Nvidia drivers and they only worked with my laptop in Xinerama mode. There was no TwinView option, I don’t know why, couldn’t get it working. The same problem was when I wanted to connect to a projector via a VGA cable, I had to reboot the computer to get it working.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS was released, I installed it on my VMWare Player. I don’t have a native installation of Ubuntu, so I can’t check whether the graphics drivers from Nvidia were fixed to work better in Dual-Monitor setup.

Recently I watched an episode of Hak5 and Shannon was talking about Wubi. Windows Ubuntu Installer installs Ubuntu in an image file and adds an entry to the Windows 7 boot menu. When you reboot your machine you can choose Ubuntu and boot from the images installed on the Windows hard drive. The Installer does not alter the partition table and it can be uninstalled just like a regular application from Control Panel. I didn’t want to have a dual-boot setup, but the VMWare solution does not allow me to check if my hardware problems are gone. The Wubi allows me to check it, because the system behaves just like it would be installed on the hard drive. You can install new software and change the configuration, after reboot the changes are there, it isn’t like a LiveCD, it’s more like a LiveUSB with persistent data mode.

To install Ubuntu from Windows goto Windows installer for Ubuntu Desktop and download the installer.

Also the installation instructions are there, just follow the link: Installing Ubuntu with the Windows installer.

I followed the instructions and installed Ubuntu on my hard drive. It can be removed from the system via Control Panel.

The Ubuntu images are in the directory, which was provided during installation setup. I created a 20 GB disk.

I booted into the newly installed system and it allowed me to check how does my Nvidia card works. I just did a quick check and the TwinView option was available, so now I could get a lot more from my Nvidia graphic card and avoid frustration setting up Dual-Monitor or external projector.

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