Now Testing: Wubi

Since I was thirteen years old, I’ve dabbled in Linux.  Very lightly dabbled, as there hasn’t been a strong motivator or catalyst to keep me interested.  I’ve installed Linux on some old desktop hardware before, but I never had the desire to sit on an ancient computer when I need to get something done.  The boot-Linux-from-a-USB-drive approach is so painfully slow, & just seems hokey from a true usability standpoint.  I’ve also used VMWare Player and booted up a virtual desktop with several flavors of Linux.  The trouble for me is that it’s too easy to alt-tab into a familiar windows app if I run into even a small roadblock.

The catalyst may have presented itself.

I’m shocked that I haven’t heard about Wubi before today, but I tell you, I’m pretty geeked about the app.  It’s a Windows application that gives the option (after a shutdown or restart) to boot into Linux instead of the Windows OS you already have.  I’m too much of an Excel guy to move away from Windows, but there are plenty of times I’m not playing spreadsheets and I’m annoyed with the general bloat of Windows.

For my first crack at Wubi, I’ve chosen the Ubuntu Netbook Edition release to go on

Ubuntu Netbook Edition Desktop Screenshot

After a few hours and a change of the background

my little Acer Aspire.  Should be nice and lightweight, as well as reasonably-tuned for the smallish screen.  Once I had the Ubuntu .iso downloaded, the install took about 15 minutes, which included installing the Wuby app, selecting my distribution, then rebooting into Linux and waiting for the first-time-boot to grind through.  Now I’m cold-booting in under a minute.

It recognized my wireless adapter right away–which is nice–and I was able to connect out to my network with little trouble.  Actually, my biggest roadblock was that Firefox was pretty fussy about resolving websites.  That’s fine, it gave me a good reason to download Chrome for Linux, which doesn’t have the same problems I was seeing.

We’ll see how things go, but so far I couldn’t be happier.  If anyone else out there is interested in installing Wuby, but wants a little how-to, check out this guide at the how-to-geek.

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