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I've just installed Ubutu using Wubi, a Windows installation environment for Ubuntu - click here
It's very easy, simply download the installer (about 10mb), run it, tell it how much space on your C: drive you want to set aside for Ubuntu, then tell it which flavour you want to download, Ubuntu (gnome), Kubuntu (KDE), Edubuntu etc, then go away and have your tea, as the installer will procede to download the necessary ISO - which weighs in at about 680mb.
When it's finished your system will reboot and you have a new boot menu, with windows set as default, but Ubuntu underneath, select this and Ubuntu will install, this takes about 20 minutes and a couple of reboots, you'll need to hang around as the reboot will force windows to load unless you select Ubuntu.
After that your system will boot into a nice clean Ubuntu desktop, all without the need to partition your drive.
One interesting point, the Ubuntu installer reported that my root file system hadn't been checked for 49,710 days, that's over 135 years, and I only bought the laptop in March this year, how long had it been sitting on PC World's shelf before I bought it I wonder...
I found out about Wubi a few of months ago. I had tried to install Linux on a separate partition but just could not get my head around it. Wubi did it all without a hitch plus you can try out the different flavours until you find one that suits. If in the end you decide Linux is not for you you can just uninstall.
I got the daft message about the root file system too!
That looks intersesting I have a spare machine with a clean install of XP that I was going to get a new hard drive for to try Ubuntu and if I couldn't get on with it I was just going to put the other drive back in, but with this I won't need another drive.
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