Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Purpose: Python, PHP, WebKit (hopefully), and pyqt development.

  1. There is Wubi for Ubuntu, which I am using right now. But Ubuntu 11.04 doesn't work well with my system.
  2. There is a Wubi like installer for Puppy Linux.
  3. there is Debian Win32 installer, but I think that does touch the partition table.

My last option is to simply grab Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and hope it works. Would that be a viable solution considering my needs?

What else?

I don't have a beefy system so VirtualBox is out of the question.

share|improve this question
Any reason not to just do a normal install here? Partition editors like gparted tend to make the process a little difficult to mess up as long as you are careful, and configuring GRUB is really simple nowadays. And if you decide to back out, you can easily resize your NTFS partition over the new one, and Windows has a simple way to reinstall its bootloader over GRUB. Breathes heavily – new123456 Jul 7 '11 at 6:35
install windows, install ubuntu(grub) , reboot to windows,create a partition, reboot , and find that grub has broken rendering windows and ubuntu unbootable. Resolve never to touch grub2 bootloader again. This has happened twice – gyaani_guy Jul 7 '11 at 15:33
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Based on your comments to your question, the issue is not modifying the partition table itself, but the MBR as a whole and what GRUB does to it. If you could create a new partition with Windows, install Linux into it, and then boot that partition without GRUB, that would work, right?

Well you can boot (at least some versions of) Linux with the Windows boot loader. It involves copying a Linux boot sector from somewhere, storing that as a file on the Windows drive, and then either editing boot.ini (or maybe this) for XP or using bcdedit for Vista/7.

Oh yeah: don't forget to create a partition for Linux swap too.

share|improve this answer
You are right, what I really want is to not mess up my MBR. – gyaani_guy Jul 9 '11 at 18:30

What are your system specs?

I was able to run Windows 7 on a 1.6GHz Atom Netbook with 2GB RAM, Ubuntu 11.04 VirtualBox, and a Java-Based IDE application for my development work. I had shared folders configured and mapped my host machine to a shared folder on the virtual environment.

I was able to complete a Ruby on Rails project while on vacation.

Surely your specs aren't worse than a netbook?

Other options would be to get a 4GB+ Thumb Drive and use UNETBOOTIN to create a bootable LiveCD with a persistence partition. This will allow you to install, store and reuse documents/programs with this bootable drive.

share|improve this answer

If you can't use a partition for linux I would go for a virtualized solution.

If you don't like virtualbox there are other options, such as virtual pc (MS), VMWare Player and VMWare Server.

share|improve this answer

Do you truthfully need the entire Linux environment for the PHP/Python development or possibly just the shell? If just the shell you may want to check out MinGW and Cygwin for Windows.

And aside from virtualized/emulated machines, I can't think of anything left really.

You really might want to try giving the dual boot option another go. I've had flawless success with the following steps.

  1. Install Windows. While installing be sure to use the custom/advanced partition management so you can leave additional space for Ubuntu. This way you don't have to repartition later.
  2. Install Ubuntu. Specify the remaining space on disk for an ext3/4 partition during installation.

You are done. Also rather than using the partition management in the Windows installer you could grab a GParted Live CD and create all the partitions beforehand. 1st partition should be 100mb NTFS flagged as boot. 2nd will be your actual Windows partition, again NTFS and as large as you want. Last partition will be ext3/4 for your Ubuntu install. Or more partitions afterwards if you want.

share|improve this answer

What we just did (because we just need a small system, and got no fitting spare HDD around): Install one system on a usb stick, and boot from there. No change at the partition table necessary, you even dont need anymore disk space (in case you want better performance, just boot from it and place your root system on partition on HDD)

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .