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Can I install Linux OS on a Windows 7 installed laptop. My laptop has only a single partition, where Windows 7 is installed. Can this be done without resulting in any data-loss or other issues? Or any other workarounds by which I need not install, but can run Linux in Windows itself?

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3 Answers

Check out www.ubuntu.com, they have a Live CD (or something) that will allow you to essentially run Ubuntu Linux in Windows, but I don't think that allows for an actual install. Probably the best way to go about doing this, is for you to get Virtual Box (or some other VM host) and run a Linux VM on your Win7 machine.

If it were me though, I would carve-out a new partition and set it up for dual-boot. But that doesn't allow you to quickly move between the OS's.

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After having experienced both configurations (eg dual boot and VM), the VM is far better, easier, safer, faster. –  hornetbzz Dec 8 '11 at 23:12
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You can obtain Linux for free from various sources. e.g. in case of Ubuntu visit www.ubuntu.com Once you have completed the download you can go for WUBI (Windows Based Unix Installer). Now-a-days all Linux distributions come with wubi. That would install Linux inside Windows and you can use it just like an installed application.

or

You can download an ISO image of any of the Linux distribution available and then install it "virtually" by making use of some software like Virtual Box etc.

The above two methods would leave your partitions and data intact.

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If your laptop can run VirtualBox, then you can install Linux to run in a virtual machine. This way you can both Windows and Linux at the same time.

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