Using Linux has been getting easier and easier thanks to the hard working people at the different distributions. Of course, it isn’t like the old days when everything had to be done manually – partitioning, installing, getting (and compiling) all sorts of drivers that didn’t even exist. Right now pretty much every distribution comes with a nice efficient automatic installer. Whether Windows really pushed this or not the result is very useful. However, there was always this very annoying problem with disk partitions.
If you wan to have a more than one boot system you need to provide a partition for each one. There are some tools in some Linux installers that will let you move the files in Windows file system and partition the dist. However, ultimately you have to make a guess on what your future Windows and Linux needs will be. With the current enormous drives this may not be a big problem, but still.
- What if one of them runs out of space?
- What if you decide to completely move to the one side? You end up with a chunk of dist that is not really useful and cannot be merged back.
Enter Ubuntu Installer. This program installs Ubuntu as another application to your Windows box. All this application does is alters the boot loader, adds some file, and creates this giant file which it uses as its disk. At the boot it just boots into this file-disk. The entire hard-drive can be accessed by mounting ‘Host’ file system. Not sure what the real performance of this setup is and if it can be dynamically increased, but the setup is quite convenient. If things change, you just uninstall Ubuntu program and your host Windows PC is as good as new.