Wubi is an unofficial Ubuntu installer for Windows users that will bring you into the Linux world with a single click. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other application. If you heard about Linux and Ubuntu, if you wanted to try them but you were afraid, this is for you.


  • It does not require you to modify the partitions of your PC, or to use a different bootloader.
  • Just run the installer, no need to burn a CD.
    (Wubi will download the selected ISO that you selected. You can choose between Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, UbuntuStudio. You could later burn the ISO onto a CD if you want.)
  • Wubi keeps most of the files in one folder, and If you do not like, you can simply uninstall it.

On my laptop, I started by using Ubuntu from a LiveCD (very slow on startup and not very handy). Then I installed it on an external USB drive (much faster and very useful as you work directly with partitions).
Having Ubuntu installed into a 10 Gb file in your Windows system is handy if you don't want to carry your external USB drive all the time.
Of course, it is a bit slower than using it from a partition, but if you make sure that the file is defragmented than it is very usable.

Tips & Tricks

Upgrade to Ubuntu 7.10

If you installed Ubuntu 7.04 with Wubi and you want to upgrade to 7.10, don't upgrade the system with Ubuntu's update-manager as it will leave you with an unusable system. Read more about the correct procedure.

Instead, you should use the latest Alpha version of the Wubi installer and make sure that you check your Windows NTFS filesystem to avoid an error during the installation process.
chkdsk /r

Can't find kernel after automatic update

Sometimes the Linux kernel is updated, which includes a change of the grub boot loader.
Unfortunately, this update fails to put the correct path to the new kernel file in the boot loaders menu configuration.

In such a case, when booting into grub you get an error saying that the vmlinuz-2.6.xx-xx-generic can't be found.

We have to edit by hand the file C:\ubuntu\disks\boot\grub\menu.lst file.
Search all entries like
root        (hd0,1)/ubuntu/disks

and change them to
root        (hd0,1)/ubuntu/disks/boot

To do this we have two options:
  1. Launch Windows and edit the file with your favorite text editor.
    Then restart the system and launch the Wubi Ubuntu system.
  2. When booting Wubi, press the Escape key so you can see grub's boot menu.
    • Press 'e' above the first entry.
    • Search the line that reads as mentioned above.
    • Press 'e' again.
    • Add /boot at the end of the line.
    • Press 'Esc' two times, then 'b' which should boot into your Wubi system.
    • Once started you can edit the file with
      gedit /host/ubuntu/disks/boot/grub/menu.lst

Firefox Extensions

Extensions are small add-ons that add new functionality to Firefox, from a simple toolbar button to a completely new feature. They allow you to customize Firefox to fit your own needs and preferences, while letting us keep Firefox itself light and lean. It is important to install only a few extensions, because unfortunately, Firefox gets slower the more you install (on Windows my Firefox needed almost a minute to come up). To make it worse, normally you can find up to three extensions for the same purpose. So here I'll give you a set of extensions I use, because they a useful and work fine:

  • Adblock Plus Get rid of all those ads and banners on the internet that often take longer to download than everything else on the page.

  • Better Gmail 2 is a compilation of Greasemonkey user scripts that add features to Gmail, improving Gmail's overhauled interface graphically and make it more usable. Each feature can be enabled or disabled.

  • Download Statusbar Allows you to keep track of ongoing and completed downloads in a hide-away statusbar.

  • DownloadHelper is for downloading videos and images from many sites with minimum effort. Using DownloadHelper, you can easily save videos from most of the popular video sites. It is also possible to capture all the images from a galery in a single operation. It also gives you access to a big list of video sites where it can be used.

  • DownThemAll! Lets you download all the links or images contained in a webpage and much more: you can refine your downloads by fully customizable criteria to get only what you really want.

  • DragDropUpload lets fill an upload input of a form using the drag and drop service from the system. Just drop the file into the input box and then send it. No more using the Browse button hassle.

  • FireFTP is an integrated FTP client.

  • Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer Automatically synchronizes your bookmarks between two or more computers running Firefox. It also lets you access your bookmarks from any computer anytime via my.foxmarks.com.

  • Hyperwords With Hyperwords all the text on the web becomes interactive: Select any word on any page and choose a command.

  • repagination See more search results etc. on one page, concatenating several pages together. Very useful for forums, where you want to see all posts at once.

    This one doesn't work on Ubuntu Hardy yet!

  • ScrapBook [Tips&Tricks about ScrapBook] Helps you to save whole web page trees and manage the collection. You can mark passages of the page, delete content etc. If you used Spiderzilla before, try this one.

  • SpamAvert generates temporary e-mail addresses for all those pesky online registration forms.

  • Tab Mix Plus Enhanced browser tab handling. This is a must-have extension. Tip: Disable Firefox's internal session handling and use the one from this extensions, it's much more powerful.

    This one doesn't work on Ubuntu Hardy yet!

    Have a look at this post for installing a temporary development version, which is compatible already.

  • WebMail Notifier checks multiples of your webmail accounts and notifies the number of unread emails.

    This one is much more powerful than Gmail Notifier, because it not only checks GMail accounts, but also Hotmail, Yahoo and several other ones (you can add your own userscripts to support even more).

Note:On Ubuntu you should never install extensions from Synaptic, aptitude or the main menu, because otherwise Firefox's internal extension handler can't update those extensions any longer.

Last.fm Player

Last.fm Player

Last.fm is a service that keeps track of what music you listen to, and then produces a large number of features personalized to you.

You can use Last.fm to listen to music, find out about artists you may like, other people with similar music taste, gigs in your local area, charts and quilts for your personal site, as well as much more.

Ubuntu Install Instructions

The following commands will add the repositories for Last.FM player, add an authentication key and finally install it.
sudo -i
echo 'deb http://apt.last.fm/ debian stable # Last.FM Player' | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
wget -O- http://apt.last.fm/last.fm.repo.gpg | apt-key add -
apt-get update
apt-get install lastfm

More info about these steps can be found here.

As examples, here you can see the webmasters top artists he listened so far or you can listen to similar music of his tastes:


FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.

Along with transferring your files quickly and efficiently, FireFTP also includes more advanced features such as: directory comparison, syncing directories while navigating, SSL encryption, search/filtering, integrity checks, remote editing, drag & drop, file hashing, and much more!

Similar applications:
Filezilla is a stand-alone FTP client, cross-platform as well.
The Linux version isn't that good as the Windows one, that's why I recommend the Firefox plugin.

KeePass Password Safe

KeePass is a free/open-source password manager or safe which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key-disk. So you only have to remember one single master password or insert the key-disk to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).

The database (*.kbd file) can be access from Windows and Linux systems.

Get KeePass

Installation on Ubuntu

The Linux port is named KeePassX and has its own webpage.
Unfortunately, the version that will be installed from the applications main menu isn't the newest, so you should add the following repository to get the latest version:

sudo -i
echo "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/sniperbeamer/ubuntu/ hardy main #SniperBeamer (KeepassX, ...)" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sniperbeamer.list
apt-get update
apt-get install keepassx

Mail Notification

Mail Notification monitors your mailboxes for new mail.

When new mail arrives, Mail Notification alerts you by displaying an icon in the system tray. Moreover, a mail summary can be displayed in the icon tooltip, and notifications containing useful action buttons can be popped up.

Mail Notification can monitor multiple mailboxes concurrently, and supports mbox, MH, Maildir, POP3, IMAP, Gmail, Evolution, Mozilla products (Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Thunderbird, …) and Sylpheed mailboxes.

Install instructions for Ubuntu

sudo -i
apt-get install mail-notification
apt-get install mail-notification-evolution # if you want to use it checking your evolution accounts


streamtuner is a stream directory browser.
Through the use of a plugin system, it offers an intuitive interface to Internet radio directories such as SHOUTcast and Live365.

With streamtuner, you can:
  • Manage your local music collection, with full support for ID3 and Vorbis metadata editing
  • Listen to streams, browse their web page, or record them using programs such as Streamripper
streamtuner can be installed directly from the Linux repositories or from the webpage.

Other applications:
vlc (VideoLan-Client) contains also access to a huge directory of online streaming services like streamtuner. You can find it inside the playlist editor. (haven't checked this yet if it is available also on the Windows port of vlc.)

The main difference:
streamtuner doesn't play itself the radio, but uses your preferred multimedia player. For example, I use the default Totem Movie player on Ubuntu.


pidgin (formerly known as Gaim) is a multi-protocol Instant Messaging client that allows you to use all of your IM accounts at once.

Install in Ubuntu:
Here you can get instructions about a repository containing pidgin for all Ubuntu versions.

Some notes:

Other applications: