Wubi – Ubuntu Installer

WubiI’ve wanted to run an installation of Ubuntu on my computer for some time now, but I haven’t wanted to fuss around with reformatting my HDD, setting up partitions, and the running the installs for both Windows and Ubuntu again. So I haven’t done it – until now. “Boing Boing had a story on Monday”:http://www.boingboing.net/2008/01/21/wubi-install-ubuntu.html about an Ubuntu installer called “Wubi”:http://wubi-installer.org that allows you install Ubuntu straight from your Windows interface without having to worry about setting up a partition.

I started the process last night, leaving it to work while I went to bed. Unfortunately, I woke up this morning to find that the installer had, in fact, stalled on the download. It wasn’t a problem, though, since I just canceled the process and started up the Wubi installer again, allowing it to pick up where it left off. Then there was the reboot and the selection of Ubuntu from the boot-up cycle and the completion of the Ubuntu install from there. Of course, I ran out of time this morning and had to leave for work before the install, setup, and configuration could complete, so I’ll mess with it some more tonight when I get home.

I’m pretty excited about this, though, because I’ve heard good things about Linux in general and about Ubuntu in particular. It’s supposed to be both faster and more stable than Windows ((In my opinion, it doesn’t take much to accomplish this feat.)) and just plain better all around. I’ve friends who use Ubuntu who swear by it, so it’ll be nice to give it a whirl and see what I think. If I find a way to do all the things in Ubuntu that I do in Windows, it may even replace Windows as my primary operating system.

Wubi is still in beta, though, so I’m not necessarily expecting everything to run perfectly smoothly, and the developers warn on the website that Wubi Ubuntu may run a little slow depending on how fragmented your hard drive is. ((They do provide a means, though, of configuring a partition for Wubi Ubuntu without, I’m guessing, having to reformat the entire drive so that it doesn’t have to run for the from virtual disk file.)) It should be a nice little experiment.

Any Ubuntu users out there who have some favorite applications they’d like to tell me about? I’m rather hoping that Firefox is the default browser that’s installed with Ubuntu. From there, I’m going to have to go on a hunt for useful applications.

6 thoughts on “Wubi – Ubuntu Installer”

  1. I’d like to hear more about your experience with Wubi Ubuntu. I’ve wanted Ubuntu on my machine, but the installation process was painful and wound crashing so badly I had to send my machine in to get fixed.

    Would you say Wubi is good for more of a skittish type semi-tech-ish person to use?

  2. re: jayne d’Arcy – I’ll let you know for sure, Jayne, but so far, yes, I’d say it’s definitely good for just about anyone. The initial setup screen is very simple, since you basically only need to provide a password for the Ubuntu account, and from there it does the rest. Just reboot when it asks you to, select Ubuntu from the load screen, and it should do the rest. (I’ll double-check when I get home tonight just to make sure I don’t have to do anything else to it, though.)

  3. re: Jim – Jayne, so far I really like the Wubi version of Ubuntu. I’m figuring out how much of the stuff I do on Windows I can work into the Ubuntu environment, but it’s a pretty slick little system in and of itself. I definitely think you should check it out.

  4. Here’s a couple good lists of stuff to do after the install. I highly recommend finding Avant Window Navigator and Compiz Fusion. But those are mostly eye-candy.

    http://linuxondesktop.blogspot.com/2007/02/13-things-to-do-immediately-after.html
    http://sheehantu.wordpress.com/2007/06/23/10-things-to-do-after-you-install-ubuntu/
    http://www.danielandrade.net/2007/11/10/10-things-to-do-just-after-installing-ubuntu-710/

    Here’s a guide for Avant Window Navigator:
    http://www.ubuntugeek.com/howto-install-avant-window-navigator-awn-in-ubuntu-710-gutsy-gibbon.html

    Did it install 7.04 or 7.10? If it was 7.04 go here:
    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/upgrading

    Are you on your laptop or your desktop. If it’s your laptop and you’re having trouble with the wireless, go here:

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=516337

    Anyway, lmk if there is any more info you need.

  5. I have used ubuntu before on an old 900Mghz. amd and liked it. I recently tried to install on a new laptop with XP but could not resize the NTFS partition. Tried all the gparted and other free stuuf. So I went for wubi. Worked great. I am installing updates now. I have already installed Wine to run one Windows Program I need. It alsoworked flaulessly as it did before. Yes Wubi is a little slower on the virtual than on a clean ex3 install.But just the same, a good way to try linux.

  6. re: Tim – It’s pretty nifty as applications go. I haven’t played around a whole lot with it yet, mostly because in order to get it into the full range of functionality I want, I’d need a bit more hard disk space than I currently have available in order setup some sort of vmware application. I’ve about about 110GB of space across three HDDs, and most of that is gone now. I really need to get a box with a TB or more of space, given the rate at which I seem to stockpile data these days.

    On the side of things, though, I’m getting ready to cycle my wife’s desktop out of our home network, and I’m toying with the idea of replacing the motherboard in that one with a faster one and turning it into a Linux server so I can finally start learning a little more about that side of networking. I’m not sure that I’d use Wubi for that, though, since it would pretty much be a dedicated Linux box and would probably run faster and more efficiently with Linux installed as the only O/S.

    Ah, the geekery. :)

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