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I`d like to install Ubuntu 9.10. At the moment I have ntfs disk with Vista on it. Is it safe to install Ubuntu and choose it to use some of the free space?

Or it will just dumbly slice the disk and override any data in that part of the disk?

I have about 30% free space (just space, not a free partition) and a defragmented drive - so in that part of the disk it should be safe to install ubuntu or.. not?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The filesystem resizer and partition tool will move the data around on your Vista partition to make the room for Linux. I've done this twice with Windows XP and didn't have any issues. However, MAKE A BACKUP FIRST. There is no guarantee that can be made that you won't toast your entire drive. Think of the power going out while it's resizing the partition.

UPDATE: IOW: No, it won't just dumbly slice the disk and override any data in that part of the disk.

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You can install Ubuntu from within Windows using Wubi. It'll put the Ubuntu "partition" in a file (like a virtual disk) in your existing Windows partition. You should be able to do it just by putting the Live CD in when running Windows...I haven't done it in six months or so, but it was pretty painless.

After it's installed, you'll have the option at boot time to boot into either Windows or Ubuntu.

There will be some performance hit when running Ubuntu this way, but you might not find it to be a big deal. Wubi is also more prone to corruption from power failures than regular installs, and doesn't support hibernate.

If you would later like to move your Wubi install to a real partition, see instructions here. It's not as simple as clicking a button, but it can certainly be done.

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Can I later migrate this file to a real ext4 partition? – Janis Veinbergs Oct 29 '09 at 17:05
janis: Yes, it's possible. I've done it before. However, you can just install directly if that's your intention. See my answer. – Swoogan Oct 29 '09 at 17:10
Yes, I've updated my answer. I'm not clear from your question whether you've already got an empty partition, or just some empty space. If you just have some empty space and are looking to use Ubuntu from time to time, Wubi is a good way to go. If you've already got a free partition, then installing Ubuntu to it would be better. – Boden Oct 29 '09 at 17:13
As I don't have a space for whole backup and i don't want to use Ubuntu as primary OS at the moment, i think i`ll be ok with Wubi. As i see it gives me flexibility to either to simply delete it or maybe migrate to it, if necessary. – Janis Veinbergs Oct 29 '09 at 17:24
However I think i`ll accept Swoogan's answer, because it more accuratelly reflects answer to question title. – Janis Veinbergs Oct 29 '09 at 17:26

The first commandment of partitioning is Thou shalt backup!!!

Yes, the partitioner could break resulting in loss of everything on your drive. Or more common, you could miss-click, or inadvertently choose a wrong option and lose everything.

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I just want to mention to be a very careful during install process.

I did it but from second time

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