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Str down Windows to free space for Wubi/Ubuntu

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  • Virtualbox
  • Free Space
Last response: in Open Source Software
January 21, 2011 6:32:17 PM

So, I installed Wubi and have ported my Mozilla profiles.
I would like to install VirtualBox and or wine on Linux and then I would to strip down the Windows boot section to the bare minimum to free up space for using Linux.
How can I strip down Windows to leave it as a bare minimum booting option in case I need it. Is it best to use add/remove programs to uninstall everything?
Secondly, what is virtualbox like on obuntu?
Thirdly, how can I change the boot options so that Ubuntu appears first instead of XP?

More about : str windows free space wubi ubuntu

January 21, 2011 11:01:33 PM

In this case it sounds like you're primarily switching to Ubuntu, and are just wanting to have Windows installed in case you need it. If this is the case, I'd do a proper installation of Ubuntu (Wubi isn't ideal, but I won't get into that), and then run Windows machine(s) under VirtualBox. This is just my opinion however.

The only real way to slim down Windows is to uninstall everything that isn't vital, and delete any files that aren't vital to the operation of Windows and/or its applications.

As for the boot options, you can edit the grub.cfg file, and just change the order in which they appear there. Google should have plenty on editing grub config files.

Good luck,


- Jesse
January 22, 2011 7:35:54 AM

Pyroflea said:
In this case it sounds like you're primarily switching to Ubuntu, and are just wanting to have Windows installed in case you need it. If this is the case, I'd do a proper installation of Ubuntu (Wubi isn't ideal, but I won't get into that), and then run Windows machine(s) under VirtualBox. This is just my opinion however.

The only real way to slim down Windows is to uninstall everything that isn't vital, and delete any files that aren't vital to the operation of Windows and/or its applications.

As for the boot options, you can edit the grub.cfg file, and just change the order in which they appear there. Google should have plenty on editing grub config files.

Good luck,


- Jesse


1/ Is there a way to install Linux without a CD? I imgaine not but though it might perhaps have a way of loading an ISO file beforehand. I've just run out of CDs temporarily so am being laxzy!

2/ If I install VirtualBox, does the virtual windows need all the same applications such as antivirus, firewall, etc.? If so, doesn;t this mean a lot of overload for the computer running Ubuntu and Windows at the same time?

3/ Wubi doesn't seem to have the boot order, presumably it is set in Windows for Wubi?
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January 22, 2011 4:38:08 PM

qwertyjjj said:
So, I installed Wubi and have ported my Mozilla profiles.
I would like to install VirtualBox and or wine on Linux and then I would to strip down the Windows boot section to the bare minimum to free up space for using Linux.
How can I strip down Windows to leave it as a bare minimum booting option in case I need it. Is it best to use add/remove programs to uninstall everything?
Secondly, what is virtualbox like on obuntu?
Thirdly, how can I change the boot options so that Ubuntu appears first instead of XP?


Without knowing what version of windows you have now I can't suggest the exact method of shrinking its partition, but it is possible to do so. Vista and 7 have ways to reduce the partition size on a live install of windows. You get to the drive manager and there is an option to do so. Before you do that, remove any and all software you want to so as to free disk space, then DEFRAG the drive with a quality defragment software. Also do things such as disable page file and hibernation, again to free up disk space. Shrinking the partition will not move data around your drive, just remove any free space off the tail of the drive, so you want to move that data with the defrag. www.prirform.com has a good free utility.

After you shrink your windows partition you need to grow your linux partition. To be honest, I'm not sure what the current state of practicality of that is. Google will have answers however.

FYI - Virtualbox won't let you run your installed windows while using linux. VB needs its guest OS('s) to be in 'hard drive' files created within your linux filesystem.

As far as the boot order, it depends on what boot loader you have installed. Grub is popular, and the first entry doesn't even need to be the default.
man grub
for more info.

BEWARE - shrinking / growing partitions is generally hackish and not recommended if you have data that you don't want lost. Its very easy to corrupt a partition and have unrecoverable data. I'd shrink windows as much as possible, and start your linux partition over from scratch once you have the maximum space freed up.
January 22, 2011 9:28:06 PM

qwertyjjj said:
1/ Is there a way to install Linux without a CD? I imgaine not but though it might perhaps have a way of loading an ISO file beforehand. I've just run out of CDs temporarily so am being laxzy!


You can use a USB drive if you have one laying around. There are applications such as UNetBootIn (http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/) that will do all of the work for you.

qwertyjjj said:
2/ If I install VirtualBox, does the virtual windows need all the same applications such as antivirus, firewall, etc.? If so, doesn;t this mean a lot of overload for the computer running Ubuntu and Windows at the same time?


You will need to install all of the standard programs associated with windows. You can treat the virtual machine like a native install. The risk of overloading your CPU or using too much memory is a possibility, but you'll just need to make sure that you're not running too much at once. The Windows virtual machine won't need to be running 24/7, just when you need to use it.

qwertyjjj said:
3/ Wubi doesn't seem to have the boot order, presumably it is set in Windows for Wubi?


Not sure about this to be honest, but I'd assume so.
January 24, 2011 6:26:38 AM

Wubi adds an entry to the Windows bootloader, so yes, it is configured in Windows. A native installation will replace the Windows bootloader (specifically the component found in the MBR) with GRUB.