Portable Ubuntu Remix is essentially a portable Ubuntu operating system that runs directly in windows. Download it here (the DOS release 4). The download size is around 450 mb, and when fully installed, it will be around 3.8 gb. Toss this to the side and return home if you don’t have enough disk space or don’t feel like trying this out because of its extremely (not) portable size.
After downloading the exe, extract the 7z archive by double clicking the exe file. Then, go to the directory in which you installed “Portable” Ubuntu in, and open the pubuntu.exe to run the Portable Ubuntu (PUbuntu for short). Below is PUbuntu’s loading screen:
Note: Opening PUbuntu will require administrative privileges to gain access to your network, etc for Ubuntu. After PUbuntu opens, you will see this:
PUbuntu integrates nicely into Windows. It has a top bar, from where you can launch applications that go into the Windows taskbar as recognized applications. These applications run under PUbuntu’s theme. One such application is below.
Building on the theme of applications, you are able to install applications from Ubuntu the normal way: using the add/remove option in the Applications menu. These applications are saved inside your PUbuntu folder, and will retain all memory, as well as anything else you save in PUbuntu. However, on my Windows Vista with a Core 2 Quad CPU rated at 2.4 GHz and 4 gigs of ram, PUbuntu appears to run slowly. Opening applications in PUbuntu are slower than native applications, and the keyboard input in Gnometris was very slow and delayed. PUbuntu’s Firefox, however, appeared to be in good shape, apart from being slightly slower than my Vista Firefox. OpenOffice also lagged a bit, and PUbuntu used up around 10% of CPU when running.
Now, for PUbuntu’s rating:
Ease of Use: 5
Value for Money: 5
Final Rating: 4.3
As a “portable” application, I expected a smaller disk size, instead of the 3 gb install size which can only fit on dedicated 4gb or larger flash drives. In addition, the slow performance there would have made me prefer Virtualization software, like Virtualbox. The bottom line is that Portable Ubuntu Remix is a handy way of playing around with Ubuntu applications on Windows, though not the best program to put on your flash drive.
So, completely unsatisfied with the install size of PUbuntu? Or have you found a way to create a portable Linux system with a smaller footprint? Leave your comments below.