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This relates to learning RubyOnRails which I believe is often installed on or with Ubuntu.

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You can install Ubuntu through 3 methods. 1: install it as a virtual machine through virtualization software (VMware, VirtualBox, etc.). 2: install it inside Windows (it will appear as a normal Windows program); when you boot your machine, you'll be greeted with the choice of operating system to boot to (this method is done using a program called Wubi). 3: install it on it's own partition (dualbooting). You'll also be greeted with the choice of OS to boot to. –  Alaa Ali Aug 7 '13 at 13:29

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Necessary? Certainly not. You can replace your laptop's operating system with Ubuntu and that works well for a lot of people.

But if you're happy with your existing operating system and just want Ubuntu for testing a Rails stack, virtualisation offers a quick, easy and non-permanent method for getting going.

There are even pre-built "virtual appliance" images for testing Ruby which might be the quickest way to get developing but I would strongly advise against pushing these to production.

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