How To Install Linux on Windows

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Linux is an operating system platform which has a kernel that is based mainly on UNIX (another operating system). It is a product of free and open source initiatives (based on GNU GPL terms) which aim to allow for the free redistribution and modification of source codes. The Linux Operating System gained prominence mostly on its presence on computer servers although it can be seen in various computer systems from mobile and embedded devices up to supercomputers. Compared to the extremely popular Microsoft Windows Operating System platform, Linux has a measly share of the computer market but this share is made up of Linux fanatics who are dedicated in increasing the operating system’s popularity and implementation. The increase in the usage of the Linux platform is attributed mainly to its adoption of some form of graphical user interface. This is a vast improvement (for those that are used to GUI) compared to previous releases which were mainly centered on entering instructions directly from the command prompt.

Materials Needed:
- Windows based computer
- Linux Live Disk
- Virtual PC
- Wubi installer
Step 1
Typically, there are three safe ways how to install the Linux platform onto a machine that is running the Microsoft Windows Operating System. To execute Linux using the Virtual PC, go to step 6. To make use of the Wubi installer, skip to step 10.
Step 2
The first technique in running the Linux Operating System on a Windows platform machine involves the use of the Live Disk. Launch your Web browser and download the Live Disk version from the Linux site.
Step 3
Save the file onto the hard drive of your machine. Once the downloading process is completed, open any authoring program which will burn the file onto a CD or DVD media to create the Live Disk.
Step 4
Upon completion of the Live Disk, reboot the machine making sure that the first boot device is the CD or DVD drive. This allows Linux to run directly from the optical media. A drawback to this though is that it is comparatively slow compared to running the Operating System from the hard drive. This process however does not require the partitioning of the hard drive.
Step 5
To boot back into Windows, simply remove the Live Disk and reboot the machine. Live Disk may also be distributed freely with some computer magazines.
Step 6
To use Virtual PC, launch your Web browser and go to the website of Microsoft to download the application.
Step 7
Upon completion of the download process, install the file into your machine. This will create a virtual machine which will share resources with the host computer.
Step 8
Load the ISO format file of the Linux Operating System in the virtual machine which will execute the platform. This eliminates the need to create a Live Disk version of Linux.
Step 9
To go back to the Windows platform, simply unload the ISO file and the corresponding virtual machine program.
Step 10
The last method is using the Wubi installer which will put the Ubuntu version of the Linux Operating System into your machine as part of the Windows file system.
Step 11
Upon completion of the installation process, reboot the machine completely.
Step 12
On boot up the user will be given the option either to boot Ubuntu or the Windows platform. Choosing Ubuntu will complete the process as well as prepare the hard drive to be used under Linux.
Step 13
Reboot the machine again and select Ubuntu to start using the Linux platform. Wubi like most Window-based programs can be uninstalled using the Add/Remove Programs function.