JP Vossen on 5 May 2008 11:45:34 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Ubuntu Hardy and Wubi on Windows

JP Vossen wrote:
> The latest Ubuntu just released (8.04 "Hardy") is able to use something 
> called wubi, which:
> * Installs Ubuntu from within Windows just like it was a Windows app
> * Does NOT require hard drive partioning
> * Is a dual-boot solution, not virtualized, though the loopbacked 
> virtual disk does incur a slight performance hit (I can't notice it)
> * Adds an "Ubuntu" option to the native NT bootloader
> * Allows you to remove Ubuntu from Add/Remove Programs, just like it was 
> a Windows app
> * Adds a /host directory on the Ubuntu side with read-write access to 
> the NTFS file system
> It basically creates a big file inside the NTFS partition, sized at 
> install-time, and puts all the Linux stuff inside that virtual disk.  So 
> you end up with 2 Ubuntu files, a tweak to boot.ini and a c:\ubuntu 
> directory on the Windows/NTFS side.  My stock install uses about 2.2G 
> and since you can store and access files in the NTFS side, you probably 
> don't have to worry too much about the Ubuntu disk size.  I'll probably 
> try to create a symlink from ~/MyDocs to '/host/Documents and 
> Settings/jp/My Documents' or something.
> I just installed it on my new Dell Latitude D630 and it works great. 
> Once it installed on the Windows side and rebooted I did have to hit 
> ESCAPE and use the "safe graphics mode" option, to finish the install on 
> the Ubuntu side, as the built-in video otherwise won't work.  After the 
> second phase install and reboot the screen came up in 800x600 mode, but 
> almost immediately informed me that restricted drivers were available. I 
> installed those and the updates and restarted and it's working GREAT!!!  
> I haven't tested all the hardware yet, and IIRC suspend and/or hibernate 
> don't work in Ubuntu under wubi.  But still...
> One catch; if the NTFS side gets the dirty-bit set, Ubuntu won't boot 
> and the error message is not very clear: something about being unable to 
> mount the NTFS partition.  The solution is to simply allow a Windows 
> boot to complete and optionally but recommended: run a scandisk.  This 
> situation can and will occur when you restart and are not paying 
> attention, so you miss the NT Boot loader prompt and start booting 
> Windows, then hard-power-off to save time (can you guess how I know 
> this?).  I bet this is going to be a really F.A.Q. with Wubi.  I plan to 
> file a bug report on this; it seems like it would be possible for a 
> little shim to detect this and provide a useful error.
> PS--I plan on using this machine to do my 2008-05-12 preso for PLUG 
> West, if anyone wants to see it in action.

If you suffer from the Vista virus, I've been told by IT at work that:

"When Wubi is run from an up-to-date Windows Vista system it will eject 
the Ubuntu CD when it is done preparing the installation environment, 
however this will cause Wubi to crash 
( To avoid this problem, 
please press Start and click on Computer then right click on the CD 
drive in the window that opens. Select explore and look for a file named 
"wubi" or "wubi.exe". Copy and paste this file to your desktop and run 
it from there. Alternatively, you can download Wubi from and run it from the 
location you saved it to."

JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|        jp{at}jpsdomain{dot}org
My Account, My Opinions     |=========|
"Microsoft Tax" = the additional hardware & yearly fees for the add-on
software required to protect Windows from its own poorly designed and
implemented self, while the overhead incidentally flattens Moore's Law.
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