Wanting info before switching to Linux

Asked by badxhampill

     My big concern is trying out Linux(looking at Ubuntu) and for whatever reason wanting to return to Windows.
I'm curious as to the possibility of installing Ubuntu on the drive where Windows exists, having the option to still run either one on it's own, and,most importantly, run Linux and operate Windows applications using something like Wine.

     Assuming that this is all perfectly conceivable, and I would be able to remove Linux and still have no problem running Windows again(without having to reinstall it), would I be less safe from attackers if I solely used the Linux OS when there was still the Windows OS not being implemented on the same drive, or would I eventually have to let go of the original Windows OS to completely eradicate the option of attackers to use Windows to infiltrate my system?

     Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated and any links to lengthy information about this would help too, as I would like to learn as much as possible before I proceed further in this venture.

Thanks in advance for any time you devote to this post.

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James Tait
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Fahim Abdun-Nur (fahim-a) said :

If you're interested in getting a feel for Ubuntu and linux in general, why don't you give a LiveCD a try? Everything runs off your CD-rom drive and you don't necessarily need to contaminate your Windows drive/partition. You can get some more info here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD

And if you do end up liking things, you could create a seperate partition on your drive (or better yet, you could install ubuntu on a secondary drive) and then dual boot with Windows.

But like I said, give the LiveCD a try first, and report back! :)

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Shane Fagan (shanepatrickfagan) said :

Well the main reason I love Ubuntu is that many programs that you rely on in windows that you would normally pay for have free alternatives. The 6 month release cycle of ubuntu also makes sure new features are added regularly unlike windows.

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Best James Tait (jamestait) said :

If you get hold of a Hardy CD (you can download a CD image from http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download or get a CD delivered free from https://shipit.ubuntu.com/) it has a Windows-based installer called Wubi, or it looks like you can download Wubi on its own from http://wubi-installer.org/. While running Windows, pop the CD in and run Wubi. Wubi will detect quite a bit from the Windows environment in which it's running, like your username and language settings. You'll be prompted for a password for your account in Ubuntu and it'll go away and install Ubuntu for you. When you reboot, you'll see a standard dual boot menu where you can select Ubuntu or Windows. If you decide Ubuntu isn't for you, you can uninstall it from the Winodws Add/Remove Programs dialogue -- no need to reinstall Windows.

I believe there is still work to do if you decide to ditch Windows altogether to turn it into a "pure" Ubuntu installation, but that may have changed in the month or so since I saw the talk on Wubi. I can't imagine a realistic scenario where having Windows on another partition on your hard drive while running Ubuntu would make you less safe. If the environment you're running under is Ubuntu, there would have to be a weakness in Ubuntu in order to even get to the Windows partition, in which case there would be much easier ways to do nasty stuff than rooting through your hard drive for Windows.

Good luck in your venture, I hope you love Ubuntu as much as I do!

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badxhampill (actor-ishmael) said :

Thanks for all the help, it sounds like what James is saying is closest to what I'm looking for. Hopefully I'll have a positive experience, and I'll definately have help here should anything else surface.

Thanks again for your feedback.

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badxhampill (actor-ishmael) said :

Thanks James Tait, that solved my question.