Running Portable Apps on Linux

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Many people have heard of Portable Apps and are probably wondering if they will run on Linux. Portable Apps (as distributed by PortableApps.com) are not made to run on Linux, but I have been able to get them to work on Linux under WINE.

To get them to work you need to have WINE installed, a program that lets you run many Windows programs under Linux. I have a page on how to install WINE on Ubuntu Linux.

Here is a screenshot of a couple of the Windows versions of Portable Apps running on Ubuntu Linux from a USB thumb drive:

Portable Apps Suite running on Ubuntu Linux with WINE

Ubuntu Linux CDs for Sale on Amazon.com


You can now order Ubuntu CDs on Amazon.com.

Even better, you can order your Linux live CDs from a place like OSdisc.com. If you don't have high-speed Internet, or don't want to take the time to make a Linux live CD, you can order a cheap copy of Linux from them.

You can also order Ubuntu CDs for free at shipit.ubuntu.com, but they can sometimes take a few weeks to arrive. You can probably get express shipping with the Amazon CDs.

More information can be found on the Ubuntu.com web site. I believe that this is the same version that you get if you download it. If it is the same as the downloadable version, it will run as a live CD as well as an install CD.

Screenshots of the Ubuntu Live CD (6.06)


Free Programs for Windows on the Ubuntu Live CD

Before you reboot your computer with Ubuntu, put the Ubuntu live CD in your drive while running Windows. If your computer is set to autorun CDs a browser will open and give you the option to install free software on your Windows hard drive. The screenshot below shows what it looks like:

Free programs for Windows on the Ubuntu live CD

Booting the Ubuntu Live CD

To boot your Ubuntu live CD, put the CD in the drive and turn the computer on. Most computers will automatically boot from the CD drive if there is a CD inserted. If the computer doesn't boot from the CD automatically and you see Windows booting then you will have to change the BIOS settings so that it boots from the CD drive before the hard drive.

Burn the Downloaded Ubuntu File to a Blank CD


After you have checked the integrity of your downloaded file with md5gui or md5sum, you are ready to burn your Ubuntu file to a blank CD-R.

I mentioned earlier that the Ubuntu file is an ".iso" file. An ISO file is a disk image and you have to burn it to a CD in a certain way for it to work. You need to have a program that can burn disk images to a CD. Windows does not come with a program to do this. If you don't already have a program like Nero or Sonic RecordNow!, you can download a free program called CDBurnerXP Pro.

Check the Ubuntu Live CD File for Errors


After your file is downloaded you should check it to make sure that there were no errors created during the download process. This following section is written for Windows. If you have a Mac, skip the part about downloading the MD5 GUI program. You can use the terminal to get the md5sum. Basically you want to open a terminal on Mac OS X, navigate to the directory where the downloaded Ubuntu file is, and type:
md5sum [Ubuntu filename]. Then just match the number given with the md5sum from the download site as shown below. If you have difficulty with it, you can ask questions here.

Download the Ubuntu Live CD


Like mentioned elsewhere, you can order free Ubuntu CDs by mail at shipit.ubuntu.com. It takes several weeks for the CDs to arrive, so if you have access to a high-speed Internet connection you can download the Ubuntu live CD.

First go to Ubuntu.com. You are going to download the desktop edition of Ubuntu. I've highlighted that section of the page and pointed to the link with a blue arrow in the image below. The Ubuntu page layout may change in the future and be different than what you see below, but it gives a general idea of what to look for:

Ubuntu Live CD Guide

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This section of LinuxForTravelers.com shows you how to create and use an Ubuntu Linux live CD. This tutorial is written for Windows, although the basic process is similar for Mac and you will probably be able to follow along. All screenshots are from the latest Ubuntu 6.06 release.

UPDATE: You can now order Ubuntu CDs from Amazon.com. Check this news post for more information. If you don't have the bandwidth or time to download an Ubuntu CD you can pre-order one from Amazon. Currently the Ubuntu CDs are $9.99 (USD).

Ubuntu Linux is generally used as a regular desktop operating system, but the live CD so good that I'll use it as an example of how to make a live CD.

With the Ubuntu live CD you can surf the web securely with Firefox, edit office documents (including Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint files) with OpenOffice, edit digital photos with the GIMP, make Internet phone calls with Ekiga (compatible with SIP, H.323, Microsoft NetMeeting, etc.), and much more. Unlike with Windows, viruses are not a serious problem with Linux, and since the operating system runs from a CD-R, you will have a fresh operating system on every boot.

Ubuntu Linux is free. The download is almost 700MB so you should have a high-speed Internet connection, or you should go to an Internet cafe that has a high-speed connection. If you don't have access to a high-speed Internet connection, you can order Ubuntu CDs online here and get them shipped to you by postal mail for free.

Ubuntu Linux live CD running GIMP

New Ubuntu Linux Book


There is a new book coming soon about Ubuntu Linux. It is called The Official Ubuntu Book and will be released in July. Check out their web site for a free preview chapter.

New Version of Ubuntu Linux Released Today


Ubuntu Linux is probably the best Linux distro for new Linux users to install to their desktops. It is a good Linux distro to put on your laptop, and since is does not easily get viruses it is great for checking your banking online.

"Ubuntu" means "humanity towards others", and Ubuntu Linux is an attempt to bring the concept of Ubuntu to computing.

You can download Ubuntu, or order Ubuntu CDs and they will be shipped to you at no cost. The shipped version of Ubuntu Linux comes with two CDs — one is a live CD so you can try Ubuntu first, and the other is an install CD that will put Ubunu Linux on your hard drive.

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