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  1. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    Portable Ubuntu is a dead simple way for a Windows user to try out Ubuntu Linux. You don't get a full Ubuntu desktop, instead you just get a toolbar version of the bar that is normally at the top of the Linux desktop. When an application is opened it appears as a normal window and appears in the taskbar like a normal Windows program.

    Ubuntu normally looks something like this - note the menu bar at the top :


    Here we see the Portable Ubuntu toolbar and a browser, running on Windows XP :


    Once installed in Windows, the Ubuntu OS itself is ready installed, so there is no installation process to go through like you'd get with a "live CD" of Ubuntu, and there's no risk to your Windows install because the boot loader isn't changed. Portable Ubuntu is just another program in Windows. It doesn't even have an installer and doesn't add anything to the registry - if you don't like it just remove it's home folder and it's gone.

    Try "Version DOS release 4" from the Downloads page at http://portableubuntu.demonccc.com.ar/
    You simply download a zip file, unpack it into a new folder, and you'll see it creates a number of subfolders including an image file nearly 4GB in size which contains the virtual installation of Ubuntu. You can even copy this onto a USB stick and take it anywhere with you.

    Have a play, explore the menu options, see how easy it is to be an Ubuntu User. Play a game, install a new one, see how smooth it all is. Note how the Windows C: drive can be accessed so you can work on your usual files with Ubuntu applications.

    When you're happy with that, perhaps you'd like to try video editors like Kdenlive or OpenShot Video Editor. To install these, it's just a case of visiting their homepages (using Firefox from within Ubuntu to make cut-n-paste easier) and looking for the instructions. This currently involves a simple cut and paste (or two) to add necessary lines into the 3rd party Software Sources manager, then open a terminal window and cut-n-paste again a couple of commands to register keys and install packages.

    For Kdenlive ( http://kdenlive.org/ ) ...

    ... follow the simple instructions for Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 at http://kdenlive.org/user-manual/downloading-and-installing-kdenlive/pre-compiled-packa...buntu-packages

    For OpenShot Video Editor ( http://www.openshotvideo.com/ ) ...

    .. follow the ppa instructions here http://www.openshotvideo.com/2008/04/ppa-instructions.html

    Note that by emulating Ubuntu Linux from within Windows the playback framerate of a video clip will probably be unbearably slow, just a few frames per second, but it's fast enough to get a feel for using the software. For full speed you will need to install Ubuntu properly. The safest way to do that is to leave your Windows C: well alone, and install to a USB drive or second (D) drive instead - your motherboard's BIOS should allow you to choose which drive to boot from at startup.

    If you have Ubuntu queries or problems, the forums are very helpful at http://ubuntuforums.org/search.php?do=getdaily

    It really is very simple to get started with Ubuntu, if you're generally happy with installing new widgets in Windows you should find it perfectly straightforward. There's nothing to lose, and a whole world of opportunities is out there waiting for you! 8)
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  2. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    When you're ready to try Ubuntu at full speed, there is an easy way which doesn't involve a full and permanent installation on your PC the hard way. There is no danger to your PC if you run Ubuntu from a USB key...

    Simply get hold of a cheap old 2GB key (which can be restored back to blank for use in Windows if you need to, so there's nothing to lose - it doesn't get re-partioned, so a simple reformat will wipe it back to normal)

    first of all, check that you can boot your PC from a USB key. While the PC is starting up, look for a message saying that a function key such as F2/F10/F11/F12 (or ESC perhaps) would bring up boot options. This page has useful advice if this puzzles you : http://www.pendrivelinux.com/usb-bios-boot-options/
    Recent PCs should be no problem, but there is a small chance that it might possibly call for some changes to the BIOS setup (a different function key while booting up, to enter the settings screens) but it's really not that bad despite seeming intimidating! (you can always exit without saving, so it doesn't hurt to have a look around - you would only need to change settings for the USB boot options)

    The instructions to make your persistent Ubuntu USB key are here
    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/create-a-ubuntu-9-10-live-usb-in-windows/
    - but to recap :

    Download and run USB Installer-U910.exe from that pendrivelinux.com page

    Download the CD-sized (700MB - may take a while) ISO file ubuntu-9.10-desktop-i386.iso from
    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download
    and place it in your new folder USB-Installer-For-Ubuntu-910 where you'll also find START.bat
    (by the looks it it, it looks like it would work with any distro's Live CD ISO file that usually works with USB - i.e. it will install Linux Mint too - but I can't get the persistence to work with anything other than the Ubuntu ISO)

    Connect the USB key, when it shows up in "My Computer" right click its icon and select Format...
    and do a full format (not a quick one, unless it's already FAT32) using FAT32 as the file system type.

    Run the START.BAT - it will be interactive in the command window. You'll need to answer a question or 3 ...
    Press Y and Return/Enter to agree that it's all at your own risk.
    Press E and Return/Enter if your USB key is showing up as drive E for example.
    Enter the size of the persistent partition, too. I choose 1150 for my 2GB key, which probably could have been higher but I erred on the side of caution (I've just looked and found that there is 81MB spare, so I could have selected around 1230). Just add 1024 for each extra GB your key has if it's more than 2GB ... say 3270 for a 4GB key perhaps.

    When it's finished, reboot your PC, interrupt the boot and select the USB key as the disk to boot from. Sit back and watch in awe as a whole new Operating System appears. Any changes you make will be remembered for next time, and your Windows is safe. You can even access the Windows folders from within Ubuntu.

    When you've looked around and familiarised yourself with Ubuntu's "Gnome" desktop & menus (set screen resolution, keyboard layout, mouse sensitivty etc), follow the instructions in the first posting in this thread to play with Kdenlive and OpenShot. Have fun! 8)
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  3. Member
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    @MJ Peg

    i have a much better use for this, namely security. this is a great way to add another layer of security when you do online banking or buying, i'm fairly certain this is built on top of a virtual machine, either virtual box or vmware and thus operates entirely within a sandbox as far as other windows apps are concerned. you windows pc could be infected with every keylogger, trojan, backdoor and spyware known to man and they still wouldn't be able to record any passwords you entered into a browser running on top of this.

    fantastic, thanks a bunch, from now on this is what i'm going to use to do any type of online business transaction.
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  4. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Actually the PC does boot up entirely in Ubuntu Linux this way, Windows is not running at all - it's not an emulation. All code runs at normal speed (not sluggishly like Linux-virtually-in-Windows) as fast is it can be read from the USB drive. The Windows drive has to be 'mounted' before Ubuntu can access it. The USB key stays at its original size (not re-partitioned) and the persistent file system is achieved via Wubi and a fixed size virtual disk in a casper-rw file.

    It is impressive that Firefox "just works" straight away, and you're right about security - a virus/trojan/worm/malware would not only find Firefox harder to penetrate than Internet Explorer but would be defeated by the fact that it's running in Linux without 'root privileges' rather than "anything-goes Windows"

    So, yes, much better for surfing, either at home or on the lappy in a wifi hotspot.
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  5. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    I would like to be experimenting with Linux video editing via my USB key with Linux Mint (v7), the cool green stylishly modified Ubuntu (often known as "Ubuntu done right" and with a more Windows-like menu bar at the bottom) with extra goodies that should make working with video even easier - try the "direct download" link to the "main edition" LinuxMint-7.iso from http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php



    If you can manage with Windows and you can cope with new programs, this will be no problem :



    However, the install method above doesn't work persistently with the Mint ISO... I shall investigate and report back
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  6. Member
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    Originally Posted by MJ Peg
    Actually the PC does boot up entirely in Ubuntu Linux this way, Windows is not running at all - it's not an emulation.
    i'm a bit perplexed, you explicitly stated that it runs as a windows app on top of windows and in fact provided a screenshot to prove it, yet now you're saying that the pc boots directly to linux?

    yes, from the usb key windows is not involved in any way, but what i was refering to is this:

    Once installed in Windows, the Ubuntu OS itself is ready installed, so there is no installation process to go through like you'd get with a "live CD" of Ubuntu, and there's no risk to your Windows install because the boot loader isn't changed. Portable Ubuntu is just another program in Windows. It doesn't even have an installer and doesn't add anything to the registry - if you don't like it just remove it's home folder and it's gone.
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  7. Member
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    I used the download link and installed the files on a USB stick.
    It boots into the Ubuntu menu, but when selecting options 1 or 2 it crashes with an error message:
    'can not mount /dev/loop1 on/cow'
    I formatted the usb and installed twice.

    Is there a problem with the image files??
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  8. Member
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    For me, if I wanted to try Ubuntu, Wubi is the way to go. I don't think it gets easier than that. It makes no real changes to your computer. And you can try just about everything. If you like it and I did after that you can dual boot and have the real thing. I'm just suggesting another option. It worked for me 2 years ago and I'm still hooked!
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  9. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by deadrats
    i'm a bit perplexed, you explicitly stated that it runs as a windows app on top of windows and in fact provided a screenshot to prove it, yet now you're saying that the pc boots directly to linux?
    Sorry for the confusion, but the first posting above deals with Portable Ubuntu, running in Windows...
    the second post is different altogether, dealing with running Ubuntu properly, booted from a USB key

    8)
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  10. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sambat
    I used the download link and installed the files on a USB stick.
    It boots into the Ubuntu menu, but when selecting options 1 or 2 it crashes with an error message:
    'can not mount /dev/loop1 on/cow'
    I formatted the usb and installed twice.

    Is there a problem with the image files??
    That's odd, it worked for me maybe you've got one of those unusual USB keys that doesn't support booting?
    Try LiLi ( http://linuxliveusb.com/ ) - another way to boot a Linux ISO from a USB key - to see if that works, and prove that the USB key and ISO are OK. LiLi will give you a useful Ubuntu, but seems to do persistence differently as it reconfigures each time, whereas the method above configures once (so it seems to me) thus the USB key is tied to the machine it was first run on, whereas the LiLi method makes a portable key useful on several PCs.

    I could be wrong... but I have a video problem which requires modifying the xorg.conf file. With LiLi the file is wiped each time I boot up and I have to do it all over again... with the U910 method the conf file stays changed and boots up as I require.
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  11. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by marx321_04
    For me, if I wanted to try Ubuntu, Wubi is the way to go. I don't think it gets easier than that. It makes no real changes to your computer. And you can try just about everything. If you like it and I did after that you can dual boot and have the real thing. I'm just suggesting another option. It worked for me 2 years ago and I'm still hooked!
    That's a useful way to explore Linux, sure... but Wubi does mess around with the boot loader, which is probably fine for 99% of people but I'm scared to be one of the 1% who does have a problem! If you read the forums you'll see no end of people crying for help because they can't get back into Windows... not something I'm willing to risk.

    If I was going to put Linux on the PC without a USB key, I'd defrag my D: drive, shrink the NTFS partition and add Linux partitions, make drive D bootable... and select which drive to boot from via the BIOS F12 key option.
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  12. Member
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    That's odd, it worked for me biggrin.gif maybe you've got one of those unusual USB keys that doesn't support booting?
    It booted.
    It gave me the menu, but gives the message when items one or two are selected.
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  13. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    Try the LiLi way of making a key.... and maybe check the md5 checksum of the ISO in case it hasn't downloaded correctly?
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  14. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    Sad to say but I'm just about done with Linux NLEs via Live USB.

    OpenShot or Kdenlive either don't install, or it's a huge PITA to get it working, and when I can get them running without crashing, it's just not fast enough on this PC via USB Key (even with USB 2).

    I have 2 types of footage I'd like to work with, 640x480p30 MJPEG MOV files, and 720p25 AVCHD Lite MTS files, and neither are well behaved in either app. If they play at all, it's glitchy. Maybe they work in the timeline but not in preview. It's %$&* annoying, I can tell you!

    I had high hopes that I might be able to boot into Ubuntu with a USB Key to work on my videos here in the office at lunchtime, without having to mess around with the hard-disk (somewhat frowned upon by the management!), but it doesn't look like it's possible with the current state of hardware.

    Maybe it would all be better with a genuine hard-disk install, which I may yet still try on my home PC, but I've run out of patience for dabbling with incomplete software for the time being. It's a great idea, and things are moving in the right direction, but it's just too frustrating for now. I am keenly awaiting v1.0 of both OpenShot & Kdenlive, and I'm still in awe of what they've achieved and how they're on track, but I just can't use it yet. I'll have to stay in Windows, and put up with the limitations of VideoPad instead.

    It was interesting to play with Linux, but it's still early days yet.
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  15. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    ... I must have been having a particularly bad day, LOL

    Just checking in to report better success today with Linux Mint 8 on a persistent USB2 2GB Key made with LiLi 2.2

    OpenShot 0.9.54 doesn't play AVCHD Lite in clip preview, but it's OK on the timeline and I exported a single clip as a 720p mpeg4/mp3 AVI which played fine afterwards in the default Mint movie player. I'm not entirely happy with the OpenShot Video Editor user interface yet, but things are improving on that front all the time.
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  16. Let's hope that the new windows port of Pitivi will be released soon.
    And on the long run hope that MLT(the "engine" of Kdenlive and Openshot) will be ported to Windows some day.
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    MJ Peg, have you tried using VLMC yet? It's still fairly new, but you may as well give it a try.

    I'm in the same boat as you. I'm tired of using the unsurprisingly unstable Premiere Elements 7, and I can't afford AVID/Premiere/Vegas (broke college grad reporting in) so I'm flirting with the idea of Linux for NLE. VLMC has my attention, but they haven't released a windows version yet.
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  18. Member MJ Peg's Avatar
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    There are a few Studio distros that bundle all sorts of multimedia goodies together in one Live DVD (you can put on USB key with LiLi) with all the tweaks required to the kernel for low latency, etc.

    KXStudio
    http://kxstudio.sourceforge.net/ has Kdenlive
    AV Linux http://www.bandshed.net/AVLinux.html has Openshot, LiVES, CinelerraCV Video Editors
    Ubuntu Studio http://ubuntustudio.org/ has OpenMovieEditor, Blender and Kino

    Worth a try!
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