How do I install Ubuntu?

Run Wubi, insert a password for the new account, and click "install". The installation process from this point is fully automatic. The installation files (700MB) will be downloaded and checked, after which you will be asked to reboot. Do so and select Ubuntu at the boot screen. The installation will continue for another 10-15 minutes and the machine will reboot again. This is it. Now you can select Ubuntu at the boot screen and start using it.

Wubi Installation

How do I uninstall it?

You uninstall it as any other applications. In Windows go to the control panel and select "Add or Remove Programs", then select Wubi/Ubuntu and uninstall it. You can also use the uninstaller that you find in the installation folder.

Wubi Uninstallation

How do I select whether to run Windows or Ubuntu?

When you reboot you can choose to run Windows or Ubuntu.

Boot Screen

Can I access my Windows files from a Wubi installation?

Yes, the Windows partitions will be available within the directories /host and /media.

Can I use an existing ISO/CD instead of letting Wubi download a new one?

Yes, physical CDs will be detected automatically, pre-downloaded ISOs should be placed in the same folder as Wubi.exe. Please note tha Wubi 8.10 requires the Desktop 8.10 CD/ISO. The DVD and Altrenate CD/ISO will not work. You can find the 8.10 ISO here. If Wubi does not find an appropriate ISO/CD and/or if the ISO/CD is corrupted, it will automatically download a new ISO. It is recommended to let Wubi download the ISO for you.

Why is the AMD64 version of Ubuntu getting downloaded and installed?

You probably have a 64 bit machine, the 64AMD installation is appropriate for all 64 bit architectures whether AMD or Intel.

Can I force Wubi to download and install a 32 bit version of Ubuntu?

Yes, either pre-download the appropriate 32 bit ISO manually and place it in the same folder as Wubi.exe or start Wubi with the "--32bit" argument.

Can I move my virtual disk file to a dedicated partition?

You can use LVPM to transfer your installation. A guide and support forum for LVPM is available here.

Where can I find older Wubi versions?


Where can I find additional information and resources about Wubi?

Please see the Wubi Guide for additional tips and more detailed documentation and troubleshooting.

What are the system requirements?

256 MB RAM and an 1 GHz or faster Intel/AMD processor is recommended for optimal performance, though Xubuntu might work on less. As for disk space, the installation requires a minimum of 5GB free. This space is mostly used by the virtual hard disk file. Most computers purchased within the last 3 years should be able to run Ubuntu fine, and Xubuntu is suitable for older computers. Software raids (aka fakeraid) are not supported. Encrypted disks are not supported.

What platforms are supported?

Wubi will run on on all Windows versions from Windows 98 to Windows Vista except Windows ME. More platforms to come soon. Linux/*nix/*BSD are supported through Lubi (download location and guide), and Mac OSX will eventually be supported through Mubi (developers still needed).

What is the 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.

Any gotcha?

Hibernation is not supported under Wubi, moreover Wubi filesystem is more vulnerable to hard-reboots (turning off the power) and power outages than a normal filesystem, so try to avoid unplugging the power. An Ubuntu installation to a dedicated partition provides a filesystem that is more robust and can better tolerate such events.

How does Wubi work?

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.

Is this running Ubuntu within a virtual environment or something similar?

No. This is a real installation, the only difference is that Ubuntu is installed within a file as opposed to being installed within its own partition. Thus we spare you the trouble of creating a free partition for Ubuntu. And we spare you the trouble to have of having to burn a CD-Rom.

What is the relationship between Linux and Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is an operating system that includes a lot of free and open source applications and uses Linux as its core. Linux is like this amazing solar-powered engine that can be used in a street car, in a F1 or it can be daisy chained to drive a truck or an airplane. Ubuntu is like a car using the Linux engine, a zero emission, fully accessorised and easy to drive all-terrain, with power, acceleration and looks matching far more expensive supercars... Imagine something like that... ...for free.

Why Ubuntu?

We think that today Ubuntu is the best Linux-based operating system for desktop use. We also like its philosophy.You can see some Ubuntu screenshots here, for more information visit the Ubuntu website.

Is Wubi officially supported by Ubuntu?

Wubi was born as an independent project, as such 7.04 and 7.10 are unoffical releases. But since 8.04 the code has been merged within Ubuntu and Wubi is now fully supported. Wubi can also be found in the Ubuntu 8.04 Live CD.

What flavor of Ubuntu will I get?

Most flavors, including Ubuntu (default, with GNOME), Kubuntu (with KDE), Xubuntu (with XFCE for older computers). Contact us if you would like your own flavor to be available for installation via Wubi.

What is the difference among the different Ubuntu flavors?

Mostly the graphical user interface is different, and the bundled applications may change so that they better integrate with the installed interface. More information can be found at the homepages for GNOME, KDE, and XFCE.

Can I install multiple flavors?

You can select the desktop environment within Wubi. But since each desktop environment is also available as an application package, it is recommended to install Ubuntu (default option) and from there install the other desktop environments. When you login you can choose the desktop environment to use.

What applications come with Ubuntu?

Ubuntu comes fully loaded with most commonly used applications, including a full office suite compatible with MS Office, image editing software, picture management software, media player, games, browser, email client, IM and video conferencing software... On top of all of this, you can easily install additional software, from a list of over 20,000 applications.

All this is installed by Wubi?

Yes (well... not all of the 20,000 applications, but Ubuntu and everything that comes with it, yes).

All for free?

Yes. Wubi is free/open-source software, licensed under the GNU GPL-v2 or above.

What warranty do I get?

None whatsoever. This is free software, and you are free to modify it, use it and redistribute it as you see fit, provided you also allow others the same freedom. Since we do not make any money out of it, it would not be fair for us to be liable if something goes wrong. We think that the technology is safe, but you run it at your own risk. See the GNU GPL license for more details.

Is there any spyware/virus?

The software is free/open-source, which means that anybody can check the code, therefore it would be pretty difficult for someone to hide a spyware/virus within the software, but you should always run all your usual security checks. As explained above, there is no warranty.

How can I help you guys?

You can help us by filing/fixing bugs, writing code, or translating the project... ...or simply spreading the word!

Show me the code

The main development happens in 4 separate launchpad projects:

  • Lupin, the loop-installer, used to be the core of the insaller, but now most of the old functionality has been ported within Ubuntu
  • Wubi, the Windows front-end, handles everything that happens before you reboot
  • Lubi, the Linux front-end, does basically the same thing as Wubi
  • LVPM, Loopmounted Virtual Partition Manager, handles the migration of virtual disks to real partitions for Wubi 7.04 and 7.10

Our code is licensed under the GPL-v2 and above.


The original idea was drafted by Agostino Russo taking inspiration from topologilinux, which provided a loopmounted installation, and instlux, that provided a simple Windows frontend. The idea was to merge the two concepts having a Windows installer that would loopmount an image of Ubuntu. Geza Kovacs later refined the spec and provided the first prototypes to show that the concept was sound. Oliver Mattos wrote the original user interface in nsis. Agostino then refined the loopinstallation concept, moving from a simple loopmounted pre-made image file, to an image created on the fly using a dynamically patched version of the debian installer, thus providing an experience much closer to a real installation and addressing several other issues. The Lupin project was thus born. Incidentally the name "Lupin" comes from "loop-installation", which is the technique that makes Wubi tick. Later on Agostino and Ecology2007 have redesigned and rewritten the Windows frontend, which is what people see today. Hampus Wessman contributed the new downloader and the translation scripts. Bean123 and Tinybit also helped a lot to debug and fix bootloader issues. Lubi and LVPM were subsequently created by Geza Kovacs. Agostino Russo, Colin J Watson and Evan Dandrea have ported Lupin/Wubi into Ubuntu. Since Ubuntu 8.04, Wubi ships within the Live CD.


Other contributors

Bean123 and Tinybit: grldr support

Computer Guru: vista support

Szabolcs Szakacsits: ntfs-3g support

All the translators

All the users that helped us in testing/improving Wubi


Agostino Russo: website content

Thorsten Wilms: logo and website artwork

Sourceforge: hosting

Launchpad: hosting

Ubuntuforums: forum hosting

On the shoulders of giants

Wubi is what it is because it relies on other great open source projects: GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, Ubiquity, Debian-Installer, Migration-Assistant, Grub4Dos, NTFS-3G, NSIS, Metalink