Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My antivirus scan has found something on Windows 7. No information yet what it is. However I was thinking of installing Ubuntu alongside Windows. Could that be dangerous in terms of Ubuntu catching anything malicious on the Windows system?

share|improve this question

most Safe option would be installing ubuntu on different partition. But as per this post, it seems safe. Here I quote it:

Wubi will not be affected by Windows viruses. Wubi is almost identical to the standard Ubuntu installation, except for the fact that everything is inside a file on the Windows partition. Therefore it cannot run windows executables (including viruses). The only way you can get a virus from Wubi is if you download something containing a virus, transfer the file to Windows, boot Windows, and then run the virus from Windows.

Also see this thread

EDIT Also if you want to run any programs in wine from your infected Windows installation, especially as root, you may open your system to infection. Also, the safest option is to format everything and then install Ubuntu - ObsessiveFOSS

share|improve this answer
Also add that if the OP wants to run any programs in wine from their infected Windows installation, especially as root, they may open their system to infection. Also, the safest option is to format everything and then install Ubuntu. – hexafraction Jul 9 '12 at 11:39

Knowing of malware that are malicious beyond imagination I would just be too afraid to let anything even remotely touch my Ubuntu. Therefore a Wubi installation can not be recommended.

As already said Windows malware will not infect your Ubuntu OS or replicate through Ubuntu but there are a lot of trojans that are capable of changing or even encrypting files on your harddisk. If this file was your Ubuntu Wubi container then you will not only have lost Ubuntu but also you will have lost the opportunity to rescue data from the infected system. This could easily be done from Ubuntu installed in a separate partition and using file system that is not accessible from Windows or Windows viruses.

Therefore I strongly recommend a dual boot setup for running Ubuntu alongside a possibly infected or badly protected Windows.

share|improve this answer

When you install Ubuntu via Wubi (Windows UBuntu Installer), nothing will get into Ubuntu because Wubi uses a virtual hard drive. That means Ubuntu is installed into a very large file so there is no way for the virus to get into the file. Unless you use a pen drive.

When you do a full Ubuntu install, Ubuntu is installed on a real partition (obviously!), so there is chance for the Windows Virus to get into Ubuntu. However, since Ubuntu is immune to viruses, the virus won't infect your Ubuntu install even if it manages to get into it.

But if you are still worried that the virus is infecting your Ubuntu install (technically impossible, but very rare), you can install the ClamTK virus scanner.

share|improve this answer
"However, since Ubuntu is immune to viruses, " lol – Vorac Jul 12 '12 at 13:10

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.