Ubuntu – What are the benefits of a disk install vs. Wubi? And can I migrate the settings easily


I chose to do the Wubi install because it was short, simple, and easy to reverse (no messing with partitions required). To be honest, I can handle the lack of a hibernate function.

I haven't really heard many other benefits of installing on a separate partition than hibernation and negligibly faster hard disk read/write. Yet almost everyone I encounter seems to have opted for the disk installation. Are there more benefits I should be aware of, especially as a college student who wants a fast, efficient machine for documents, web browsing, etc. (nothing big like gaming, I can run that on Windows)?

Also, I have a fair amount of settings and packages installed that I spent a bit of time on and would rather not have to do again. Is there any way I can migrate all of these settings from the virtual disk on my C:/ drive (Wubi installation) to the disc installation in another partition? (I have a 16GB USB drive if that'll do the trick)

Best Answer

Wubi doesn't change or alter your partitions, it installs to a virtual partition (a file) on the Windows file system. This is good if you just want to try out Ubuntu, and it's easy to uninstall.

If you want a normal dual boot then you can use the Ubuntu CD/USB to partition during the installation. If you have Window Vista/7 then I would create the free space first, before attempting to install Ubuntu.

If your intention is to test Ubuntu, the you can boot from an Ubuntu CD/USB in live mode, and select Try Ubuntu, just to make sure that it's compatible or to see if you need any special drivers for your hardware.


  • Wubi is easy for Windows users with basic computer skills
  • Its convenience
  • No need to burn a CD or create a USB Installer
  • It installs like any other windows application
  • It can easily be uninstalled from control panel.


  • The system will run slightly slower than it would on a true partition
  • The difference in speed will be especially noticable if your system is old
  • Data accessibility of other partitions when using Ubuntu
  • Anything happens to Windows can affect Ubuntu as well