Ship Ubuntu such that it can install on Windows as an "Application," accessed by a desktop icon that launches it in VirtualBox.

Release Note

Note that now users can install Ubuntu as a virtual application in Windows. This requires the installation of the Windows VirtualBox driver, and will load Ubuntu inside Windows. The Ubuntu LiveCD can later transfer the virtual system to hard disk alongside the existing operating system, or as a direct replacement.


Most users will not want to install an operating system. It is a scary task and there is no visible benefit to switching away from Windows. This proposal gives an introduction to the system without any drastic changes.


The end user must have administrative access.


We will use a virtualization platform (VirtualBox) to execute Ubuntu as a Windows application. The installation system will expose a local folder (i.e. My Documents) to Ubuntu, for mounting under /media/ and symlink from $HOME.


The LiveCD should present an "Install as Virtual Application" option when inserted into a running Windows system, along with all other supplied options. Exploring this option should show a screenshot of Ubuntu running in a window, and explain that it installs as an icon that launches Ubuntu in a window.

UI Changes

Code Changes

Additional code in the Windows auto-run application, Wubi.


User migration will have to occur as normal. Possibilities for this include migrating the data before loading the installer and storing it as a compressed tarball in the shared directory; or sharing the entire system drive so that the installer can scan it for users to migrate during installation.

Unresolved issues

How do we get VirtualBox running in Windows?

BoF agenda and discussion


UbuntuAsApplication (last edited 2009-07-08 16:14:12 by ssanccfw)