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About the Ubuntu Installer for Windows January 17, 2007

Posted by Carthik in microsoft, Other sites, ubuntu.
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Lifehacker featured a post about the Ubuntu Installer for Windows, with the headline:
Install and run Ubuntu without disturbing Windows

This is disturbing, since the installer is not yet finished and tested. Lifehacker’s readers belong to a variety of “categories” but I worry about the users who expect everything to work ship-shape and start bad mouthing if it does not at first try. It is not clear where one would file bugs with this installer, for one. I hope this does not end up creating a “Ubuntu does not work properly” image in the minds of these readers. The installer prototype features ntfs-3g, which itself is experimental, and since Ubuntu will “reside” within windows, auto-detection and automatic configuration of hardware might not work the same as it does with native Ubuntu installs.

Background:
There is a prototype of the Install.exe installer for Windows. In layman’s terms, this installer is just like any other software application installer for Windows. It works by copying an image of Ubuntu to your Windows partition and using that to “drive” Ubuntu. So it does not repartition your hard drive, or install Ubuntu independent of Windows. In C:\Ubuntu an image will reside and be complemented by the auto-detected settings for Ubuntu, the home directory for the users etc. So Ubuntu will end up borrowing space from Windows, without repartitioning. For more details, read the specification. Don’t be scared by the word specification – Ubuntu specs are a pleasure to read, with the rationale,use cases, to-do items etc written in simple English.

I love the idea of the Ubuntu installer, and it sure makes it easy for folks to try Ubuntu out. I expect problems when these users finally want to switch completely to Ubuntu while preserving their Ubuntu installation, settings, files and permissions. Now that would be difficult since uninstalling windows will wipe out Ubuntu(which lives “within” Windows).

So, the approach will solve a problem but might end up inventing some more problems for its users.

All you need to try out Ubuntu without risking data loss is the Live CD – that really can’t be beat for simplicity and ease-of-use!

Comments»

1. Step - January 17, 2007

unfortunately, on low-RAM PCs (a prime target for users’ first test of Ubuntu waters), the Live CD can be really slow. At least that was my experience.

‘Course, could be related to problems that the system seems to be having anyways. And Windows won’t boot usually on that system anymore. So maybe my experience isn’t very typical.

Either way, I followed that story via the same link, and had the same concerns as you. Glad you voiced this by putting this out there.

2. Robert Devi - January 18, 2007

One thing that can be done is to add a warning, in bright read letters that this installer is early beta software and it has the issues you’ve outlined and that the user should consider the live CD.

3. David Raho - January 18, 2007

Yes I would second that. Go for the live CD until this software has been developed further.

4. jldugger - January 18, 2007

“Release early, release often.” Wise words by a skilled hacker. If you’re worried about beta quality injuring the Ubuntu image, all you need to do is make it clear that it is a beta. Please don’t consider a closed beta — you’ll find yourself in a doubly selected user base. They select themselves, and you’ve selected them, which goes against the principle of a diverse testing base.

As far as bug reports go, is there a good place to report bugs? Surely you could at least start a seperate launchpad project at the worst.

5. Tim - January 18, 2007

What’s so hard about installing it from the CD? I didn’t know it needed to be even easier than it already is.

6. Ubuntu-blogi » Arkisto » Uutiskatsaus, viikko 3/07 - January 22, 2007

[...] Asennusohjelmasta on tällä hetkellä julkaistu esiversio, jonka voi ladata Ubuntu-wikistä. hubuntu.wordpress.com Jyrki Kasvista parlamentaarikoiden tietoyhteiskuntajärjestön puheenjohtaja [...]

7. Do we need an Ubuntu installer for Windows? « vamapaull’s Blog - January 28, 2007

[...] official Ubuntu Blog brings up a good point; why not just use a Live CD if you want to test an alternate operating system? It’s a mature, [...]

8. Jon Peck - January 29, 2007

Actually, I wrote the blog entry that vamapaull’s is presenting as its own. I had a factual mistake (referring to this blog as official), which I’ve updated. Nice entry, thank you.

9. Ambuj - February 19, 2007

The Installer is a a nice idea since i have seen many of my friends who are windows users not migrating to linux because they were afraid of losing data as it involved partitioning of harddrive . waiting for the installer to become public comming out of experimental stage.

——
linuxondesktop.blogspot.com

10. Jason - May 14, 2007

The installation of ubuntu is a major barrier to its spread and use. This project aims to solve this problem by allowing installation from within Windows using an install.exe file, and eliminating the need to partition the hard drive or burn a CD to install. It will allow a faster and more user-friendly installation for Windows users, the ability to install without the risk of data loss through repartitioning, and the ability to install on ultra-portable laptops without CD drives.

11. vamapaull - October 30, 2007

@Jon Peck – Look at the bottom of my post… you will see that I linked back to you so that mens I don’t want people think that I right it.

12. travesti - August 26, 2010

glander the you olde rpost

13. travesti - August 26, 2010

glander the yolde rpost yok then

14. travesti - August 26, 2010

if that’s all there was, you wouldn’t be reading about it here.

15. travesti - August 26, 2010

if that’s all there was, you wouldn’t be reading about

16. sexy - September 13, 2010

so hard to pass from windows to linux

17. sikiş izle - September 26, 2010

One thing that can be done is to add a warning, in bright read letters that this installer is early beta software and it has the issues you’ve outlined and that the user should consider the live CD.

18. antalya ilaçlama - September 27, 2010

Yes I would second that. Go for the live CD until this software has been developed further.

19. sex sikiş - September 28, 2010

“Release early, release often.” Wise words by a skilled hacker. If you’re worried about beta quality injuring the Ubuntu image, all you need to do is make it clear that it is a beta. Please don’t consider a closed beta — you’ll find yourself in a doubly selected user base. They select themselves, and you’ve selected them, which goes against the principle of a diverse testing base.

20. bilt - November 6, 2010

Well, it works fine for me.

21. sikiş - March 28, 2011

thanks for sharing i love this idea and i will check everytime your post:)) see ya again in new post

22. Eustolia Castaneda - September 9, 2011

I Also Such as the Weblog right here. Preserve up each of the perform. I as well like to weblog. That is great everyone sharing opinions


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