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Lifehacker had a story about the Ubuntu TestDrive project.

With Ubuntu TestDrive, you can try an alpha or beta release of Ubuntu (Lucid Lynx – 10.0 – at this time) without affecting your current installation. Ubuntu TestDrive is a set of ISOs that can be run in a VirtualBox or KVM virtual machine.

To use Ubuntu TestDrive on an already installed Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, just use apt-get:

sudo apt-get install testdrive

Alternately, you can install Ubuntu TestDrive onto Hardy Heron, Intrepid Ibex, Jaunty Jackalope, or Karmic Koala this way:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:testdrive/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install testdrive

This adds the repository and provides updates whenever the ISO packages are updated.

Currently, TestDrive doesn’t work with VMWare, but it is on the list of things to do. Personally, I like VirtualBox these days – it supports Linux, is easy to use, has an open source version as well as a commercial version with support.