I have Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid installed through wubi on my laptop (it came with Windows 7 preinstalled). This was my first foray into Linux, and I'm here to stay. I have no use for Windows, and yet I must manually choose not to boot into it!

Should I shrink the Windows partition to something negligible and grow the Linux one using something like gparted or fdisk, and just be content that everything runs? In that case, I need to understand the filesystems. Which is which?

Here's the output of $ df -h:

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/loop0             17G   11G  4.5G  71% /
none                  1.8G  300K  1.8G   1% /dev
none                  1.8G  376K  1.8G   1% /dev/shm
none                  1.8G  316K  1.8G   1% /var/run
none                  1.8G     0  1.8G   0% /var/lock
none                  1.8G     0  1.8G   0% /lib/init/rw
/dev/sda3             290G   50G  240G  18% /host

I would prefer to start over with a clean install of 10.10 Maverick, but I fear what I may lose. Certainly, I will backup my home directory tree (gzip?), but what about various pieces of software that I've acquired from the repositories? Can I keep a record of them?

By the way, I asked a similar question over on Ubuntu forums.


4 Answers 4


The WUBI "disk" is actually just a file that lives in Windows' own filesystem. As a result there's no nice way to migrate to the real thing. That said, if you're feeling adventurous, here's what I would do:

If you have an external hard disk, you make life much easier for yourself. Just boot into WUBI-Ubuntu, run sudo rsync -ax ~ /media/external-disk/homebackup/. If you have anything else you dearly want to keep, move it over (use the -a flag with cp and rsync and they will preserve file metadata).

Then do a normal "wipe everything" install from a LiveCD or LiveUSB. Before you reboot after the install, mount the installation disk and run the opposite commands (eg: sudo rsync -ax /media/external-disk/homebackup/ /media/3423423-234234-234/home/username).

All you have to do then is reboot into real Ubuntu and get all your old applications installed (your old config for each should be safe).

Failing the presence of an external disk, you can do the move incrementally:

  1. Get a real LiveCD or LiveUSB going and boot into it.
  2. In gparted: Resize the Windows partition right down (so there's at least 8GB+your WUBI disk's size of free space). You should probably move the Windows partition to the far right of the disk so the free space is now at the beginning.
  3. Run the installer and tell it to install to use the free space. Do not reboot once finished.
  4. Mount the NTFS drive and look in ubuntu/disks/ for .disk files. Mount those and copy over your home (per my previous instructions).
  5. You can then delete the NTFS drive (assuming you don't need anything from Windows) and resize the Ubuntu partitions in gparted.
  • 1
    Thanks. I am going to try this tomorrow. I have to investigate how to mount a device from the command line. Do I have to? Feb 2, 2011 at 4:36

I found the solution on Ubuntu Forums, where user bcbc has provided a script to migrate away from a wubi install and was available to answer many questions.


I'm not 100% on this, but I'm pretty sure Wubi doesn't make a real partition. Your disk seems to contain one partition (Windows) and a "fake" partition of Ubuntu.

I found this on the Ubuntu wiki regarding turning a Wubi install into a normal one.

Keep in mind, if backing up all your files isn't a problem, wiping the disk with a clean Ubuntu install would probably be easiest.

  • That seems about right. Feb 2, 2011 at 4:34

Just in case somebody gets here before getting to the Ubuntu wiki: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MigrateWubi

  • Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. Feb 15, 2013 at 5:26

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