I would like to install Ubuntu Linux next to my primary Windows 7 OS.

I found Wubi which helps you with a simple installation/uninstallation procedure for Ubuntu.

But the wiki says that Wubi uses a virtual disk. Is that similar to virtually running the OS? I really don't want my primary system to slow down because of that.

Should I rather go with the classical dual boot?

What is the recommended Wubi hard disk size?

2 Answers 2


WUBI is similar to dual-booting and not virtualization.

It is not a virtual machine, but creates a stand-alone installation within a loopmounted device, also known as a disk image

This means that you will have to reboot your computer and select the respective entry in order to access a WUBI Ubuntu installation. It does not run inside windows, but its existence depends on it - it can be removed like any other program, via the control panel.

Your windows installation should not slow down, but disk access from Ubuntu itself is said to be a little slower than a usual (stand alone or dual boot) installation would be.

A typical installation size for experimentation would be around 20GB, but that is entirely up to your needs.

  • Thanks. Do you know how big is the speed difference with disk access? Worth the dual boot?
    – Biker John
    Oct 16, 2012 at 11:13
  • @JamaicaBob Take a look here: The Performance Impact Of Ubuntu's Wubi Windows Installer The disk performance via this disk image on the NTFS file-system was not affected in all benchmarks, like with IOzone, but when it came to running Gzip compression or PostMark there certainly was a slowdown. With SQLite, PostgreSQL, and FS-Mark the Wubi setup was dramatically faster, which does raise concerns over data integrity with some operations likely being carried out a-synchronously or batched.
    – dset0x
    Oct 16, 2012 at 11:17
  • Great :) So do you personally suggest wubi?
    – Biker John
    Oct 16, 2012 at 11:20
  • It's good for trying Ubuntu out. If you're not interested in testing its performance, a virtual machine would also work fine. PS. I see that you are a new user. If you are satisfied with an answer in this website, you may upvote and/or accept it.
    – dset0x
    Oct 16, 2012 at 11:22
  • I need ubuntu for web development (localhost, ajax push (which does not work on windows), mysql databases, php etc.) Do you think wubi will be fine for this kind of usage? And btw thank you for all your help :) I Will accept your answer. :)
    – Biker John
    Oct 16, 2012 at 11:26
  • How Wubi works? Wubi adds an entry to the Windows boot menu which allows you to run Linux. Ubuntu is installed within a file in the Windows file system (c:\ubuntu\disks\root.disk), this file is seen by Linux as a real hard disk.
  • Requirements? 256 MB RAM, 1 GHz or faster Intel/AMD processor, 5GB free space.
  • Performance? The performance is identical to a standard installation, except for hard-disk access which is slightly slower than an installation to a dedicated partition. If your hard disk is very fragmented the performance will degenerate.
  • Please refer Wubi FAQs for more queries.

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