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wubi : Windows UBuntu Installer is wonderful

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One of my earliest posts on this blog was about installing and configuring Ubuntu 8.10 within a VM, and my feeling that I did springboard into the deep end of a frigid pool on a frosty winter day. I am delighted with the experience of installing and using wubi- the ubuntu installer for windows, on my Windows XP laptop.

User Experience

wubi is an innovative approach towards introducing Windows users to Ubuntu Linux. It preserves the user experience of installing a Windows application using a standard installer and uninstalling it later from Control Panel >  Add/Remove Programs seamlessly.

  • It provides an installation wizard implemented as a  standard Windows executable (.exe), double click on it and Ubuntu gets installed; users don’t have to deal with ISO images
  • wubi installs ubuntu on the desktop as a NTFS file and uses the ext3 filesystem for its contents within (escalating file defragmentation needs, many of our readers visit this blog prescisly for this topic)
  • NTFS-3G (Linux NTFS) driver with write support
  • Grub4Dos as a boot loader – every time the laptop reboots, I am presented with a choice of whether I want to start Windows XP or Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu appears as a program in the Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs.
  • Uninstall removes all the artifacts cleanly

Pros and Cons:

  • The Ubuntu GUI looks stunning , however, it is sluggish compared with the response time I get on XP (Harvey Su, remember him?, has a ghoulish imagination and he has by now trained all of us to view the background pattern as a giant lion that  has a void in its skull and a  skeleton dangling from its open jaws. Definitely PG-17 material)
  • Ubuntu found the printers on our LAN (this blew me away), it even found the PostScript profile (.ppd file?) for our HP LaserJet automatically, however, I when I tried to install it, the installation failed with no diagnostics.
  • It could not find the Postscript profile  for another Canon printer/copier/scanner, however, unlike Windows, it did not lead me to a website where I could download it from.
  • It found a Broadcom wireless driver for my Dell laptop, I was able to install and activate it, however, some interaction with our Active Directory authentication prevented me from getting access to our secure wireless network. Once again, there was no diagnostic to indicate what went wrong.
  • I would be glad to send the wubi developers log files except that I don’t know what to send to whom, however, it would be nice to have a utility that gathers all the relevant diagnostics and beams it up to “mother ship” over http.
  • Update: It would be cool if I could share a folder between XP and Ubuntu so that I could install the ISO’s I had downloaded earlier on  XP.

In conclusion

There is an excellent how-to guide prepared by parthodeep for your reference.

Kudos to Agostino Russo and team for an outstanding job.

Written by paule1s

March 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm

One Response

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  1. >Update: It would be cool if I could share a folder between XP and Ubuntu so that I could install the ISO’s I had downloaded earlier on XP.
    This is as easy as logging into ubuntu and going to /host/ in the file system. this will allow you to access your windows’ C: drive from within ubuntu.

    Have fun Exploring!

    >I would be glad to send the wubi developers log files except that I don’t know what to send to whom.
    Join up to the appropriate mailing list from the ubuntu website and there will people there who would be eager to get to the bottom of it.

    tWoolie

    March 27, 2009 at 4:06 am


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