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Ubuntu is not just for nerds; it operates somewhat like Windows and can be used by anyone, but it won't run Windows Update.

On my Ubuntu 10.04 system, I can't run Windows Update. I've tried everything. I have a Dell Inspiron 531. My mate told me that Linux is for nerds. Can you shed some light on this?

In this excerpt from Answercast #8, I discuss who can use Ubuntu and how and why Linux software cannot run Windows programs, particularly Windows Update.

Linux Ubuntu

Well, let's see. First, we'll start with the derogatory statement: Linux is not necessarily for nerds. I know a lot of people are using and using it successfully.

On the other hand, the nerd quotient does seem to be somewhat higher in the Linux world, and I don't mean that as an offense at all; I consider myself among them.

Different operating systems

The problem here is that Ubuntu doesn't run Windows. Windows software is not intended to run on Ubuntu and Ubuntu was not designed to run Windows software.

Windows Update is all about updating Windows or updating Windows applications.

The short answer is, "Of course it won't work because it's not intended to work."

You're trying to do something that is not part of what Ubuntu is all about. To be honest, I'm not sure what it is you're attempting to accomplish by trying to run Windows Update under Ubuntu.

Update Ubuntu with Ubuntu Update

Ubuntu has its own update system that actually works very well and keeps the system itself and all of the applications you install on Ubuntu up to date.

So, no, you can't run Windows Update because Ubuntu isn't Windows.

Next - How can I recover deleted pictures from my digital camera if it doesn't show as a drive?

Article C5199 - April 12, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

April 13, 2012 12:26 PM

“... So, no, you can't run Windows update because Ubuntu isn't Windows. ...”

Right. Unless, perhaps, one runs an MS Windows OS on a “virtual machine” within Linux, such as WMWare in Ubuntu: would a Windows OS run in that fashion allow updates?

April 13, 2012 4:12 PM

I would presume you are running a windows based program on top of Ubuntu? In witch case you do not need windows update, If on the other hand you want to run the whole windows OS would you not just have a dual boot?

Billy Bob
April 13, 2012 9:27 PM

Either the asker is running a virtual machine, or this is the strangest question I have ever seen.

April 14, 2012 10:36 AM

The whole idea of a virtual machine entails the ability to run an entire OS on it.

(If you wish to run merely some MS Windows applications on your Ubuntu, install the wine package, and follow instructions therein.)

Thus, a VM on Ubuntu Linux can have an (entire, of course) MS Windows OS running on it, or another Linux OS (including another copy of Ubuntu), or a FreeBSD, you name it.

Since one can run several VM-s simultaneously in one Ubuntu (or in whatever), one can have several (different or same) operating systems running on one PC – _simultaneously_. (Concept unrelated to “dual boots”.)

The question was:

whether an MS Windows OS running on a VM within Ubuntu can accept updates.

There was nothing in the original question hinting at a VM. I'd expect Windows installed and running in a VM to take updates normally, regardless of where that VM was hosted.
April 14, 2012 3:26 PM

P.S. That was VMWare, not "WMWare"

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