You haven’t decided yet if you want to make the jump to Ubuntu. You hear good things about it, but you don’t know what to expect. No worries, as this articles will show you a few ways you can take it for a spin without installing it on your PC.
1. Use the Live Environment
The easiest way to test Ubunto without installing it is to create a bootable Ubuntu flash drive and boot it up on your computer. Make sure you choose the “Boot from USB” option when booting up your computer.
Once booted up, choose the “Try Ubuntu” option and then test Ubuntu without installing it on your computer.
Once you reach the Ubuntu desktop, you can start using it almost as if it was installed on your computer.
The live environment comes with the same applications you’d get if you installed Ubuntu on your computer, offering a good idea of what you can expect from an actual installation.
Unless you have created a persistent live USB, any changes you made on it are not saved permanently.
2. Running Ubuntu on Virtual Machine
Another way to try out Ubuntu without installing it is to run it as a virtual machine. This is really useful if you just need occasional access to a Ubuntu machine.
To create a Ubuntu virtual machine, you can either use a prebuilt VM image or download the ISO file and install from scratch.
1. Download the ISO file from Ubuntu’s site.
2. In Virtualbox, click on “New” to create a new VM.
3. Give your Virtual Machine a name. If it contains “Ubuntu,” VirtualBox will automatically set the “Type” as “Linux” and the “Version” as “Ubuntu.” If not, do so manually. Set the “Memory size.” Leave “Create a virtual hard disk now” enabled. Press “Create.”
4. Select a location for your virtual hard disk. You can leave it as the default if you wish. For Ubuntu 20.04, we suggest you use a size from 30GB and upwards if you don’t wall to feel confined when installing new apps. Leave its file type as “VDI” and its size as “Dynamically allocated.” The second option means that your VM’s machine will only take up as much HDD space as it needs and not allocate its full size from the get-go.
5. Select your newly-created VM and click on Settings. Go to Storage, select the optical disc icon from the Storage Devices list, and then, from the icon at the top right, select “Choose a disk file … “
Select the Ubuntu installation ISO you’ve downloaded.
6. Close the Settings. Click on “Start” to power on your VM. If asked, choose the drive that contains Ubuntu’s installation ISO.
7. Proceed with the installation as you would on your PC, and soon you’ll have your own Ubuntu Virtual Machine.
3. Remote Access into a Friend’s PC
With Linux and Ubuntu being multi-user and secure by default, you can ask someone who’s already using Ubuntu to create a guest account and give you access for a while to test it out. Both you and your friend can install Teamviewer, run it at the same time, and have him/her grant remote access permission to you. Teamviewer is cross-platform compatible, so it doesn’t know if you are using Windows or Mac.
Using the methods we saw, you can easily try out Ubuntu without installing it. If you don’t like what you see, you can scrap everything and keep using your current OS, or try other Linux distros for beginners. If you just want to find out more about Ubuntu before even trying it out, check out our review of Ubuntu 20.04.