How to Install Ubuntu Inside Windows 10 Using WUBI With UEFI Support

In a galaxy far far away, in a time period before the Unity desktop ever existed it was possible to install Ubuntu using a Windows application called WUBI.

WUBI worked like any other application installer and when you booted your computer you could choose whether to use Windows or Ubuntu.

Installing Ubuntu in this way was much easier than the way we do things now as the common methods used today are to dual boot on separate partitions or run Ubuntu in a virtual machine. (There are many different virtual machine software programs to from which to choose.)

How To Install Ubuntu Using WUBI

Ubuntu dropped support for WUBI a long time ago and it is not part of the ISO image any longer, however, there is still an active WUBI project and in this guide, we'll show you how to install Ubuntu using WUBI and how to boot from it.

How to Get WUBI

The linked page has a number of different versions. The latest LTS release is 16.04 so if you want a fully supported version for the next few years, find the download link for 16.04. This is currently the highest link on the page.

If you want to try the latest features look for the version higher than 16.04. At the moment it is 18.10.

Whichever version you decide to go for click on the download link.

How to Install Ubuntu Using WUBI

Installing Ubuntu using WUBI is incredibly straightforward.

Double-click on the downloaded WUBI executable and click Yes when asked whether you want it to run via Windows security.

A window will appear and will look like the attached image.

To install Ubuntu:

  • Choose the drive you wish to install Ubuntu to by selecting the appropriate drive under Installation Drive.
  • Choose how much disk space to set aside for Ubuntu by selecting the size under the Installation Size.
  • Choose the desktop environment from the drop-down list. This list is slightly misleading. For the default Ubuntu with Unity desktop stick with Ubuntu. Ubuntu GNOME has the GNOME desktop environment which is very similar to Unity. Kubuntu uses the KDE Plasma desktop environment, Xubuntu uses the lightweight and highly customizable XFCE desktop environment, Lubuntu uses the lightweight LXDE desktop environment. There are various other options that are less well known.
  • Choose the language to be used for Ubuntu by selecting it from the drop-down.
  • Enter the default username for using with Ubuntu.
  • Enter the password and repeat it in the box underneath.
  • Click Install.

The WUBI installer will now download the version of Ubuntu associated with the version of WUBI you downloaded and then it will create the space to install it into.

You will be asked to reboot and when you do Ubuntu will load and the files will be copied and installed.

How to Boot Into Ubuntu

The UEFI version of WUBI installs Ubuntu to the UEFI boot menu which means by default you won't see it when you boot your computer.

Your computer will instead continue to boot into Windows and it will appear that nothing has in fact happened.

To boot into Ubuntu restart your computer and press the function key to pull up your UEFI boot menu.

The following list provides the function keys for common computer manufacturers:

  • Acer - Esc, F9, F12
  • ASUS - Esc, F8
  • Compaq - Esc, F9
  • Dell - F12
  • EMachines - F12
  • HP - Esc, F9
  • Intel - F10
  • Lenovo - F8, F10, F12
  • NEC - F5
  • Packard Bell - F8
  • Samsung - Esc, F12
  • Sony - F11, F12
  • Toshiba - F12

You need to press the function key immediately and before Windows boots. This will bring up a menu and you can choose to either boot into Windows or Ubuntu.

If you click on the Ubuntu option a menu will appear and you can choose to boot into Ubuntu or to boot into Windows.

If you choose Ubuntu from this menu then Ubuntu will load and you can begin using and enjoying it.

Should You Use WUBI to Install Ubuntu in This Way?

The developers of WUBI would say yes but we aren't keen on this method of running Ubuntu.

There are many people who share our opinion and this page has a quote from Robert Bruce Park of Canonical who says:

"It needs to die a quick and painless death so we can get on with providing positive experiences to new users of Ubuntu."

WUBI seems like a good way of trying Ubuntu out without risking your Windows install but there is a much cleaner way of doing this by using a virtual machine as shown in our guide of how to install Ubuntu on Windows 10.

If you decide that you want to use Windows and Ubuntu side by side then you would be far better installing Ubuntu alongside Windows using separate partitions. It isn't as straightforward as using WUBI but it provides a much more fulfilling experience and you are running Ubuntu as a full operating system as opposed to a file within the Windows filesystem.