Installing Ubuntu as a Windows Application

Just a while before, a few weeks probably, my friend texts me “I did something stupid. Please save me, you’re my only hope!” Before you go on digging into it, let me explain. She tried to install Ubuntu on her Laptop. She wished to run it in parallel with Windows 7. What she was trying to do is make a new partition on windows, boot through Ubuntu CD and install Ubuntu on that partition. But she was unaware that both (Windows and Ubuntu) use different file system. As a consequence, she ended up converting all of her Hard Disk from Windows file system to Linux file system, lost all data and called for help.

This is a very common situation, happened to many. So here is a post that’ll guide you through Ubuntu installation and will keep you away from troubles. Ubuntu can be installed (in parallel with Windows) in many ways.

  • A fresh install on a part of your hard disk (i.e. you convert the file system of a part of your hard disk to Linux file system)
  • Using Live Disks
  • Installing it on a Portable Drive (like a Thumb-drive or a USB Hard Disk)
  • Or Install it as a Windows program (Yes. As a Windows program, safest way)

In this post, you’ll learn how to install it as a Windows Program (fourth in the list above). Before I tell you how, let me make a few things clear:

  • When I say, as a windows program, I mean to say you can install and uninstall it through windows i.e. without any trouble. Clean uninstall.
  • To run Ubuntu, you’ll have to follow the same procedure as you’d do for a normal install i.e. Select Ubuntu in the OS Select menu that’d be displayed when you boot into your computer.
  • You need not dedicate and convert a part of your Hard Disk to Linux file system.

I hope there are no confusions anymore. So let’s see how to do it.


Before you can install Ubuntu, you must have it first. You’ll need a copy of Ubuntu which you can download from here. Click on the big, orange, Start download button (saying Ubuntu Desktop Edition 10.10, 32-bit) and complete the download.

You’ll now have to get a copy of WUBI (Windows Installer for Ubuntu Desktop Edition). You can get it here. Again, click on the big orange button to download it.


Now that you have the files, you need a place to put the files in. Through WUBI, you can simply install Ubuntu in an existing partition with free memory space of at least 7-8 GBs. You need not create a new partition. But I’d recommend you to create a new partition of a minimum 10GB and install Ubuntu there.

In case you do not know how to create a new partition, my next post will guide you through it. If the post isn’t there yet, you can always Google it out.

So, I am expecting, you now have files named “ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso” & “WUBI Installer” (wubi.exe, a windows installer file) and a dedicated partition (within windows file system and at least 10GB of free space). If not, please go through the process again and you can always contact me in person if you face any trouble (look at the about me page for contact details).


Step 1: Create a folder on your desktop named “Ubuntu”.

Install Ubuntu: Step 1

Step 2: Copy both files you downloaded to this folder.

Install Ubuntu: Step 2

Step 3: Run wubi.exe. Step 4: On the window that pops up, select the installation drive (the drive you just created, in case you are going to install it on a separate dedicated partition. If not, just select the drive in which you wish to install it).

Install Ubuntu: Step 4

Step 5: Select the amount of space you wish to allocate to Ubuntu, your Username and your Password. Leave the rest to their default. I’d suggest you to dedicate a minimum of 10GB. Note: Do not forget the password that you type here. Step 6: Click on the install button. That’s it. You’re done. Rest of the process will be completed on its own and the next time you boot into your computer, you’ll have two doors waiting for you.


For a detailed documentation on WUBI, you can check out the guide here. As I mentioned before, we are installing Ubuntu as a windows application, so if you wish to uninstall it, all you have to do is go to Uninstall a program (from control panel), select Ubuntu from the list of installed applications and click uninstall. Simple!

(Below is a snapshot, OS: Windows7)

ubuntu as a windows program

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