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Simple and minimum windows installer that starts the installation from a windows box, just to avoid the BIOS configuration, after inserting the Ubuntu CDROM into the CDROM device.


Avoiding the BIOS configuration step will make Ubuntu installation easier and simpler. Since a lot of potential users already have a Windows installation, the installation could start from Windows when inserting the CDROM, with an easy "next and next" installer, as Window users are used to.

So, instead of upgrading to Windows Vista, they could upgrade to Ubuntu.

This idea is not new, as there exist other feature specifications very similar to this one (InstallerForWindows, WindowsInstaller), some wiki pages very related (InstallationUbuntuFromWindows, and some feature specifications that, in some way, could be related(MigrationAssistance).

Actually, this feature specification tries to be a subset of the very similar, is based on the wiki pages, and could extend and be extended by the related.

Use cases

  • Anna has a computer with MS Windows 98/2k/XP already installed. She does not know (and does not care) about BIOS configuration and wants to install Linux. However, her computer does not boot from the CDROM by default. She would like to insert the Ubuntu CDROM into the CDROM device while still in Windows and see how the installation begins.


To start the installation from Windows, we need:

  • kernel
  • initial RAM disk (initrd)
  • Loadlin
  • Installation CDROM

So, the implementation will be affected by the kernel and the initrd release schedule. However, the implementation of this feature won't affect any other feature already implemented, a part from the autorun file of the installation CDROM.


The design will be like any other installer on Windows. Moreover, in order to be able to mantain the translations, the "pages" will be as standard as possible. However, some Ubuntu design will be added, like icons and colors.

Here we have an sketch of the "pages" of the installer run on windows.


When rebooting after running the installer, we will be prompted with different options, one of them will be to install Ubuntu.


If we choose to install Ubuntu, the debian installer will be started.

Next time windows is started, the user will be asked to remove the installer.


The implementation will be based on the existing opensource project instlux (

(*)Instlux already works with Ubuntu 6.06, and it has been downloaded above 10.000 times in the last three months (June-Agost 2006). Moreover, it already supports 20 languages. Thus, basing our implementation on that seems a good option.

Installation code will be written in the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System installer language (NSIS),


Code will be hosted at the instlux project sourceforge, so that improvements of this implementation will be added to the next instlux releases.

Unresolved issues


BoF agenda and discussion

section in progress...


CDROMUbuntuInstallationFromWindows (last edited 2008-08-06 16:22:26 by localhost)