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Let's say I install Wubi to a USB. Let's also say that I, while using my USB version of Ubuntu, saved a file.

If I ran that same USB of Wubi on a different PC, will I lose that file?

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The answer is yes and no. It depends. If you, for example, create three partitions on your flash USB drive like this:

  1. Partition 1 with Live Ubuntu
  2. Partition 2 for your Wubi installation (this partition will be overwritten each time you install a new Wubi)
  3. Partition 3 to be set as home

In such case, if you set each time on every computer installation the same way, your home partition will be untouched.

However, I would recommend not to use Wubi, but an ordinary Ubuntu (or Xubuntu, or even Damn Small Linux) installation on the pendrive. I did the latter once and that worked really well. I've had three computers with Microsoft Windows on each hard drive. On micro-SD cards I had installed 3 Linux systems: Debian Lenny, and on one 8GB flash pendrive I've had my home partition with all my data projects and stuff. When I needed Linux, I just plugged in the micro-SD card and my home partition pendrive before booting, and I would have had a fully functioning Linux distribution. I am sure you could do the same with Wubi.

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Misery, I think you're confused about how Wubi works. – bcbc Jan 28 '12 at 22:11
Just to clarify, you cannot install Wubi to multiple partitions (such as a separate /home). Wubi creates one or more virtual disks (usually just the root.disk file) on a single partition - you're right that this will be overwritten if you reinstall on the same computer; but a second computer won't be aware of it and instead will give you an error that x:\ubuntu already exists (so you'd have to rename/delete before installing). I do agree that Wubi isn't suitable for what Jae wants to do - but I had to -1 the bit about installing to multiple partitions. – bcbc Jan 29 '12 at 17:28

I think you're confusing Wubi. That installs Ubuntu within Windows. You can install it to a USB but it's booted via the Windows installation (the Windows boot manager). You can't plug that USB in to a new computer and expect to boot it (even if that computer is running Windows), and you cannot boot it as a live USB.

Any file you save on the Wubi install (wherever it's installed) will be permanently saved.

What you're probably thinking of is creating a bootable USB with persistence. This allows you to boot from a USB on any computer, and also any file you save will be available on other computers. This is very different to Wubi. For more information about Wubi please refer to the Wubi Guide.

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You're probably right, because it is a long time since I was using Wubi. I finally rejected Wubi as a solution because I always had a problems with it. Usually after running it a few times it never booted again. But according Jae's question: there was a question about how to use Wubi from a flash drive. And I wrote that this would require installation on the usb flash on each computer - overwriting the previous. Therefore I think that having a bootable version on other partition of USB device could be useful. And because of the problem I had with Wubi i Suggested a bit different solution – Misery Jan 29 '12 at 7:50

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