If you're a Windows user and you've been meaning to mess around with Linux (particularly Ubuntu), you're now very much in luck.
Claudio César Sánchez Tejeda has put together a CoLinux package of Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron called Portable Ubuntu.
CoLinux allows you to run a Linux operating system that cooperates with your existing Windows installation. This means that you don't have to dual-boot or fire up a Virtual Machine in order to experiment with Linux anymore. You can run Linux almost the same way you would run any other Windows application. And to sweeten the deal, any Linux app you run in this environment will integrate into your Windows desktop, thus allowing you to overlap Linux apps with Windows apps. It even incorporates seamless copy and paste.
CoLinux clearly beats the pants of virtualization and finally makes it extremely easy to test the waters with Linux as a Windows user.
This is all possible because of the modified CoLinux kernel which cooperatively schedules resources with the Windows NT kernel, rather than having the computer resources delegated by the host computer. The desktop integration is possible because of Xming, a Windows implementation of the Linux X Window server.
Installing Portable Ubuntu
Installation is straightforward. Simply download the Portable Ubuntu archive from SourceForge here, extract it to a folder and run the run_portable_ubuntu.bat file. Portable Ubuntu will even run from a Flash drive on any Windows machine you stick it in.
After a couple of seconds or so you'll get a splash screen while the Ubuntu operating system boots up in the background. Once that is done you'll have the Ubuntu taskbar at the top of your screen from which you can launch and install Ubuntu applications. It only works on 32bit systems though, if you're on a 64bit Vista or XP system you're out of luck. What is also awesome about this is that you don't even need to configure an internet connection, it will piggy back of your Windows machine's connection.
If you're planning on installing software and messing with your Ubuntu system you'll need the root password: 123456
Mono will install successfully using my existing instructions here, but only if you increase the drive space!
When just installed your Ubuntu drive space will be limited to about 400 MB. This obviously isn't enough to install a lot of software in, so if you plan to install Mono you'll want to extend the drive image size. I've put together a little tutorial on how to do this here.
Once that's sorted and you've gotten Mono installed, have a look at getting BlogEngine.NET installed from the instructions here.
And who knows, when you see it all work painlessly for yourself you might be hosting your next blog on an inexpensive Linux VPS before you know it :)