In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I installed Ubuntu 8.10 in my machine via Wubi. Before that, I was playing around with some *nix distros with the help of VirtualBox which ran on Windows XP in my machine. Wubi was very helpful in installing Ubuntu side by side with Windows XP which still is my primary operating system. So if you are new are still a Windows user but pondering to try linux in the safest possible way, Wubi is probably the simplest choice available. If you haven’t already tried it, I encourage you to go for it. You won’t be discouraged.
After playing around with my Ubuntu 8.10 installed inside a virtual harddisk, courtesy Wubi, I felt that I should go for a full installation. Though Wubi gives you a perfectly working Ubuntu system, it should not be compared to a full fledged installation. For example, certain features like “Hibernation” are not available when you install Ubuntu through Wubi. Wubi’s primary objective is to encourage Windows users to try and enjoy Ubuntu. At the end, when you are comfortable with Ubuntu, it’s time for a complete installation. And that’s exactly what I did.
I have attempted for a full installation before but I was always scared whenever I come across the “partition” page. And being a Windows user, I never understood terms like “dev/sda1”, “/home” etc. But after playing around with VirtualBox and Wubi, I felt comfortable enough to go ahead.
So I looked around for some guidelines regarding the partition and found an excellent tutorial called “Partitioning Windows and Ubuntu“. The author of the article suggested many nice options regarding the partitions and the one which excited me the most was “Windows-UbuntuHome-Ubuntu-UbuntuSwap“. I eventually followed his suggestions but added one more dedicated NTFS partition for my Windows XP data rather than sharing an “ext3” partition. In this manner, I can switch between my Windows and Ubuntu systems without much trouble.
Armed with this plan, I booted into the LiveCD and proceeded with the installation. My objective is to have a dual boot system with Windows XP and Ubuntu 8.10. So I went ahead with the installation and stopped at the partition page. I was pleasantly surprised to see a wonderful “visual option” called “Guided Partition” where by you can resize your existing Windows partition and make some room for Ubuntu. Great! What’s even better is that there is a nice graphical visualization as well. So you can exactly see how your partitions will look like before and after installing Ubuntu. Really an impressive work. This will really make installing Ubuntu a much easy task.
I resized my existing partition where “Windows XP” was installed and made some room for Ubuntu. Note that the Ubuntu installer will automatically create a dedicated “ext3” partition for Ubuntu as well as a swap partition. Later when the installation completed, I booted into my Ubuntu 8.10, installed Gparted and then created another “ext3” partition for my “home” directory and other data.
This is how my partitions look like now: (Looks like a pretty ol’ system, right?)
In the above picture,
– “/dev/sda2”, “/dev/sda5” are “ntfs” partitions that I use when I boot Windows XP.
– “/dev/sda6”, “/dev/sda7” are “ext” partitions that are used when I boot Ubuntu.
I expected installing Ubuntu via the LiveCD to be more complex than installing Ubuntu via Wubi. But to my surprise, it was really very easy. Ubuntu and Ubuntu installation especially have evolved a lot and has proved time and again that it indeed is “Linux for human beings”. And thanks to the simplified Ubuntu installer, I now have a working dual-boot system with Windows XP and a fully functional Ubuntu 8.10. I eagerly long for the day when Ubuntu (or any other linux distro I like) will eventually throw Windows into “trash” attleast in my machine. Has anyone of you have thrown Windows away from your machine? Will be nice, if you can share your experience as well!