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I'm a Windows user but am interested in trying Ubuntu.

I've found the official download site and have tried to download Ubuntu 12.04.

I believed I was downloading Ubuntu 12.04 but I seem to have downloaded Roxio Creator instead.

Can someone explain to me what I've done wrong?

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You very likely did not download Roxio Creator. In Windows, a file sometimes appears and behaves as though it is the application configured to open it. The Ubuntu downloads are .iso images. This means they are a virtual image of a disk (basically, the digital version of your CD or DVD). Roxio is one application that is designed to open such files.

Roxio Creator is very likely what your computer has chosen for the default application to open .iso files with. The file will show the Roxio icon, and when you double-click it, Roxio will open (because Roxio opens the file). By default in Windows, extensions for known file types like .iso are hidden, so you likely cannot see ".iso" at the end of the filename. Assuming this is what's happening, the file is not Roxio itself, and was probably even downloaded correctly.

To check and see if this is what happened, look at the name of the file. It should have "ubuntu" in it. In particular, if you downloaded Ubuntu 12.04, the filename should be something like ubuntu-12.04.2-desktop-i386 or ubuntu-12.04.2-server-amd64.

In order to use your Ubuntu download, you have a few options:

  • You can burn it to a disk. This is what Windows thinks you want to do with it, hence determining that Roxio is the most suitable application. You should be able to use Roxio to burn it, but if you prefer not to (or have problems doing so), there are other options (see below). Then boot from the burned CD/DVD to install Ubuntu.
  • You can write it to a USB flash drive (see below for details).
  • If you want to use the Windows installer (Wubi), you have the additional option of mounting it with virtual drive mounting software. However, such software is not in Windows by default.

The Ubuntu documentation has a good tutorials for:

As a related but somewhat different situation, sometimes an ISO image appears to be a different, non-executable file type. See What to do with an Ubuntu disk image that appears as a WinRAR file?

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