Run Linux In A Virtual Machine
The term virtualization may seem very strange, but in plain English, all this means that you can use another OS on top of an existing OS. For example, you can run Windows on a Mac or install Linux on a Windows 7 computer using virtualization software.
To get started, download and install the free VMware Player on your Windows desktop. Then download the VMware image for Ubuntu and unzip the zip file (I am using PeaZip). Now double-click the Ubuntu. Vmx file you just extracted and the Linux virtual machine will boot into VMWare Player.
Ubuntu VMware Image
Technically, Linux will be the “guest” operating system, and “Windows” will be considered the main operating system. Besides VMware, you can also use VirtualBox to run Linux inside Windows. VirtualBox installer and Ubuntu Linux images for VirtualBox can be downloaded for free from oracle.com.
Install Linux as Windows Software
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could install Linux as your own Windows application — something like Microsoft Office? For example, if you have Office running on Windows, you can always uninstall the software later without affecting other Windows programs or system settings.
Get to know Wubi, short for Windows-based Ubuntu Installer, a small utility that helps you install Ubuntu Linux with any other Windows application. Run the installer, select a password for your Linux environment, and the software will do the rest.
It will download the required Linux ISO image from the Internet and install it on your computer. Alternatively, if you previously downloaded the ISO, you can simply put the .iso file in the same folder as Wubi and it will pick it up.
Now the next time you Restart/ReLoad your computer, it will prompt you to choose Linux (Ubuntu) and Windows. This is a true Linux installation, so overall performance should also be good. If you ever want to remove Linux, just boot into Windows, go to the “Add or Remove Problems” section and uninstall Wubi.
Run Linux Inside The Web Browser
If you’re just starting to learn Linux and are looking for an easy way to work through various Linux commands, check out the very impressive Linux project.
This is an emulator that allows you to use Linux inside your web browser. You can write shell scripts using Sed and Awk, learn regular expressions, play with popular text editors like Vi and Emacs, browse the manual pages of various Linux commands and much more – everything is in your browser.