Are you a Windows user who is curious to try Linux (Ubuntu in particular) ??
There are two ways to use Linux on a Windows computer.
- Install the full Linux OS alongside Windows.
- Run Linux virtually with making any change to your existing Windows setup.
(Note. You’ll be able to test drive Linux but without changing a single file on your Windows computer)
Let’s look at some of the easiest ways to use Linux on a Windows computer.let’s focus on the desktop edition of Ubuntu, perhaps the most popular and actively developed Linux distribution.
A: Test-Drive Linux Online as a Web App
Perhaps the easiest way to try Linux on your Windows Desktop is inside your web browser. Go to edubuntu.org, fill that simple form and within a minute,
you’ll have the full version of Ubuntu Linux running on your desktop inside a Java applet.
There’s absolutely no need to download or install anything on your computer.
B: Run Linux from a USB Stick or a CD
The most popular option to test-drive Linux on Windows is a LiveCD. Though it says “CD,” you can also use a USB Flash Drive as a LiveCD (without having to burn a CD).
To get started,
- Download the latest version of Ubuntu to your desktop.
- This is an ISO file (also known as a CD image) that is around 650 MB in size.
- If you don’t have a great Internet connection, you can always borrow the Ubuntu CD from a friend (yes, its perfectly legal) or order a readymade live CD from OSDisc.com.
- Once you have Ubuntu ISO image file, grab an empty USB disk and use UNetbootin to quickly turn that USB drive into a bootable Ubuntu disk for Ubuntu without having to burn a CD.
- Insert the bootable USB flash drive into your Windows computer and reboot.
- If this doesn’t work, go to the BIOS boot menu and change the boot sequence.
- You should see an option at the boot menu that says “Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer” – choose that and you are good to go.
- Once inside Linux, you can install new programs, create files and everything else that you normally do at a computer though your changes won’t be written to the disk.
The Ubuntu portal has more details on creating and troubleshooting a LiveCD.
C: Run Linux in a Virtual Machine
you may install Linux on a Windows 7 machine using virtualization software.
To get started,
- Download and install the free VMware Player on your Windows desktop.
- Then download the VMware image for Ubuntu and extract the zip file (I use PeaZip).
- Now double-click the Ubuntu.vmx file that you just extracted and the Linux virtual machine will load inside the VMWare Player. Simple!
- Technically, Linux will be the “guest” operating system while “Windows” will be considered the host OS.
- And other than VMware, you may also VirtualBox to run Linux inside windows.
- The VirtualBox installer and the Ubuntu Linux images for VirtualBox for can be downloaded for free from oracle.com.
D: Install Linux like a Windows Software
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could install Linux like a native Windows app – something like Microsoft Office?
- Meet Wubi – short for Windows-based UBuntu Installer – a tiny utility that will help you install Ubuntu Linux alongside any other Windows application.
- Run the installer, choose a password for your Linux environment and the software does the rest.
- It will download the necessary Linux ISO from the Internet and will install it on your machine.
- Alternatively, if you have previously download the ISO, you can just place the .iso file in the same folder as Wubi and it will pick it up.
- Now the next time you restart / reboot your computer, it will offer you a choice of Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows.
- This is a real Linux installation and thus the overall performance should be good as well.
- If you ever want to uninstall Linux, simple boot into Windows, go to the Add-Remove problems and uninstall Wubi.
E: Run Linux inside the Web Browser
If you are just starting to learn Linux and are looking for an easy way to practice the variousLinux commands, check out the very-impressive JSLinux project.
This is an emulator that lets you use Linux inside your web browser.