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Portable Ubuntu for Windows

Portable Ubuntu for Windows

Portable Ubuntu for Windows is a complete Ubuntu distribution which runs as a Windows application.

The system is built using the coLinux kernel, Xming X server and Pulseadio server, all conveniently packaged into a single executable. This application provides the functionality of Ubuntu out of the box right on your Windows desktop. Although it does not provide every scrap of functionality that a regular Ubuntu distribution provides, it offers a user a great way to try out Linux software and yet at the same time retain the familiar trappings of Windows.

Of particulary note is the fact that Portable Ubuntu is incredible easy to install. There is no messing about with having to tweak the system to get it running under Windows; you literally run the .exe download and the software is installed in exactly the same way as a regular Windows application. Anyone can try out Linux with no fuss, no bother.

Starting up Portable Ubuntu presents the user with the following dock. This is displayed in the top centre of the Windows desktop, but doesn't replace the Windows Start button or the taskbar.

The dock allows the user to run the Linux applications, navigate using a file manager, install additional software, and much more. Whilst the user misses out on the full Linux desktop experience and all that the Linux desktop environments (such as GNOME or KDE) provide, a user running Portable Ubuntu can pretty much do what a user running a 'regular' Linux version of Ubuntu can. It does not give a true experience of Linux in some fields though. For example, graphically intensive applications such as video are not optimised.

To give you a flavour of Portable Ubuntu in operation check out the following screenshots, which show a variety of Linux and Windows applications running on a single desktop simulatenously. In the first one, we have three Linux applications running: Rythmbox (an integrated music management application), Brasero (CD/DVD burner) and Stellarium (planetarium software), together with Media Player Classic and Google Chrome, the latter two being native Windows software.

Portable Ubuntu is strongly recommended to Windows users who want to try Ubuntu without making any permanent changes to their system.

 Portable Ubuntu

Free to download



Claudio Cesar Sanchez Tejeda


Support Sites:

Selected Reviews:

Features include:

  • Incredibly easy to install
  • Changes made to the system are permanent
  • Can run from a hard disk, or removable drive
  • Works well on multiple screens
  • Seamlessly run Linux applications right on a Windows desktop
  • Low memory footprint; less than 50MB is taken by the application itself (of course, the Linux applications take memory)
  • Works on Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / Seven
Next Page: Cooperative Linux

Read ahead:

Last Updated Sunday, March 17 2013 @ 04:55 PM EST

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