Please insert comments concerning install.exe here.
Main Site (Original): http://cutlersoftware.com/ubuntusetup/archive/website/original
Main Site (New): http://wubi-installer.org/
Development thread (Original): http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=305109
Created: 12/15/06 by GezaKovacs
- I think it would better if they find a way to install it by just using the ISO of ubuntu instead of downloading it then installing using the launcher, it is much faster to download the ISO than waiting on the launcher to finish the download. --Lax9
- If this is Wubi you are referring to, it's been possible to use an already-downloaded iso file since our Ubuntu 7.04 prerelease versions; just place the iso file in the same directory as Wubi.exe, then it'll be automatically used. Note that the iso will have to be the alternate-i386 type for 7.04, and the desktop type for 7.10. If this is UNetbootin you are referring to, with some versions (Fedora, openSUSE, CentOS, Vector, Arch, Slackware, Mandriva) it is possible to use an already-downloaded iso file, it just has to be on a different partition than you are installing to or resizing. As for the Ubuntu version of UNetbootin, it uses the netboot version, so an iso can't be used (all packages are downloaded from the internet on the go); hd-media can't be used instead either, since that would prevent the hard drive's partitions from being resized, since they would be mounted during installation. --GezaKovacs
Use debian-installer with preseed + official images as opposed to custom images, that would address a lot of current issues and make the installer more robust and more appealing as an official delivery tool. I should be able to contribute some code soon. --AgostinoRusso
Make grub autodetect the root using the command find --setroot, you also need to modify the initrd in order to dynamically discover the windows device, I will send you the script soon. Add other nice grub improvements like fallbacks and savedefault. --AgostinoRusso
If d-i is used you can ask for the password during installation and there is no need to save it on a file. It will use the text-based dialog, but security is more important than eyecandy. --AgostinoRusso
Run a battery of tests before installing anything, particularly check disk space, user rights, and blacklisted hardware (with special attention to networking). Inform the user about possible issues beforehand. Shaping expectations as early as possible is very important. --AgostinoRusso
Make sure that boot.ini is writeable, some users reported that it was not modified. --AgostinoRusso
- In addition to making sure that boot.ini is writable, make sure that it is readonly when it is done. boot.ini has a default state of readonly and we probably should return it to that as other programs expect it. --PeterNoble
- Going back into the installer should give an option to "Fix" grub instead of just offering to "Uninstall" --PeterNoble
In the nsis wizard, instead of asking several questions, have a single window saying: I am going to install Ubuntu with these settings (which are autodetected). Install, Cancel. There should be 2 tabs: general settings, advanced settings. The settings are links that display an appropriate wizard so that you can easily change them (have some cool hoover effect, like transforming a label into a button). Advanced Settings will contain things like installation location, root.img size, whether to use a new/existing home.img, download method (http/ftp/torrent), mirror selection, what documents to import, what Ubuntu version to use... Use icons whenever possible, so show a keyboard next to keyboard layout and a clock next to timezone. The dialog is shown after the user approves an appropriate EULA. This will make it a true 1 click installation. --AgostinoRusso
* Keyboard = US
* Timezone = NY
* Username = XXX
* Graphical Interface = Default
Bootloader: installing (a modified) grub on MBR sounds already a little invasive. I suggest leaving Windows' bootloader in place, which is also pretty easy to configure in order to chainload for instance grldr (grub for Windows). --TormodVolden
Topologilinux DOES use GRLDR, so it's not going to be writing to the MBR. See here: http://topologi-linux.sourceforge.net/index.php?menu=7 I've updated the page to clarify that GRLDR is being used.--GezaKovacs
- Using bittorrent might not be a good idea. A lot of users at home are behind a router which will severely degrade download speeds if not specifically configured for bittorrent. Also at many colleges and on a few ISPs bittorrent traffic is blocked all together making it impossible to use altogether.
Yes, we'll hopefully have it also available for download via http once we find a good mirror. I just made a sourceforge page for this project, and it is pending approval. Once it is approved, we will hopefully be able to host the files on sourceforge. --GezaKovacs
What's the [unix] name of the sourceforge project? Link? Is the project set up? Where is the latest source? I'm interested in helping out... --BarakNaveh
Sourceforge rejected our project because it was too big for them to host, but we have a launchpad page for the backend and a launchpad page for the windows-based frontend team page and a website and our source is at the bazaar branch. If interested in helping just ask to join the team through the launchpad page; I'll approve your membership; we really need more developers. The unix name for the loopmounted image backend is lupin, and the windows-based frontend is wubi, the linux-based frontend is lubi, and the planned max osx-based frontend will be named mubi. --GezaKovacs
Where will the project's forums be hosted? We could use Sourceforge to host only the development related stuff and the installer downloads. If Sourceforge doesn't want to host the big iso images, the images could be obtained from other mirrors. The website http://cutlersoftware.com/ubuntusetup/ is becoming very slow (probably due to a growing public interest). Will it scale well? -- BarakNaveh
Please make sure that the installer makes it clear that Canonical cannot support the result of using this installer. (We've had installer bugs in the past that required workarounds in the distribution, so this is a serious concern.) Creating /var/log/installer/version with the name and version of this installer (as Ubiquity does) would be appropriate. --ColinWatson
Some issues: First, the password selected is saved unencrypted along with the username in C:\ubuntu\config.ini. Given the fact that users tend to reuse credentials, this is a security problem. Second, I propose that the path should be changeable to allow the installation on other drives than C:. Third, now that Ubuntu is already on a windows partition, I wondered whether it is possible to bring qemu to the party, thus allowing to use Ubuntu both from booting directly and in a virtual box. --MarkusZywitza
Not a good idea, in my opinion. QEMU uses completely different virtual hardware from the real host machine, so we'd need to change the hardware configuration every reboot. That would lead to major hardware issues.--GezaKovacs
I'm going to second the nomination for an other-than-C installation root. Corporations partition drives into two slices, the OS slice on C and the data slice on D. I'd prefer to keep the Ubuntu install on the data slice, as that is less likely to be affected by corporate updates to the Windows install, etc. Remember, one of your use cases is corporate, and bringing an unsupported OS into some places is a very big deal. You want to make this very flexible to increase adoption and avoid obstacles of your own making. --ChristopherWanko
- I'd like to add yet another vote for a configurable installation root. Even windows has standards and those standards say that "Program Files" be installed into "C:\Program Files." PLEASE don't add ANYTHING to my root!
Tried installing in Windows Vista. It installed okay, but apparently Vista doesn't use boot.ini anymore for its booting. It uses a new program called bootmgr.exe. Here's some info about it: http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/library/85cd5efe-c349-427c-b035-c2719d4af7781033.mspx?mfr=true It helped me understand it a bit. Also, Wikipedia helped: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista_Startup_Process I tried adding the boot info to it myself (to do so, you have to use a command line program called bcdedit.exe and it requires you to run from cmd.exe as an administrator). I couldn't get the boot working, though. Also, apparently if you want multiple OS's installed on a machine running Vista, you have to install the old OS that uses boot.ini first, then Vista...and even then, it still uses Vista's boot manager. --ChrisBossardet
For now, a temporary workaround for Vista users dual-booting with XP is to run the installer in XP and select Windows XP from the Vista bootloader, which will chainload NTLDR, then select Ubuntu. Those who aren't dual-booting with XP will just have to wait for Vista support in GRLDR. -- GezaKovacs
The analogous program in Debian (http://goodbye-microsoft.com/) supports Vista now (announcement at http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2007/03/msg01168.html). You can copy the bcdedit logic from it. -- RobertMillan
- These comments should be transformed to proper bug reports / wishlist items by using a proper bug tracker. --towsonu2003
- Please take into account that language detection is not always reliable. There are many places in the world where, because of diglossia, a significant part of the users won't have a Windows version in their native language. For example, in Catalan-speaking countries, only versions in Spanish/Castillian or French exist. In such situations, by checking the Windows language you don't obtain representative information of what the user preferences are. You still have to ask!
I am one of your typical users, little experience with Linux, wanting to install Ubuntu for a about a year now but I never dared to because I can't afford to lose my Windows partition or data. With this app, which I found through PlanetDownload (http://web.planet.nl/planetdownload/index.shtml) nr 311 I finally dared to install Ubuntu. It worked, except for one little thing: the installer didn't detect that boot.ini was not writable. It didn't give an error message but after the reboot (logically) there is no Ubuntu in the bootloader. I corrected it manually but that might be a little much to ask a typical user of this app. So I believe a check in the installer very early in the process, before the torrent download starts would be in order. Furthermore I have some questions that are not in the FAQ, while I believe they should be addressed:
- the Kubuntu install doesn't work yet. Unfortunately, when will it be available?
No further work will be done on the current, v3 implementation, as we are currently transitioning to a d-i based installation mechanism, which should allow for installation of kubuntu and xubuntu using the standard iso files, and overcome hardware issues with the current version. If you want kubuntu, just install kubuntu-destkop, and xubuntu-desktop for xubuntu, until we have v4 working. -- GezaKovacs
- once installed, is it a completely normal ubuntu install or are there any limitations. For example, can you run out of space when saving files or installing programs? I ask this because Puppy Linux also installs somewhat similar on a windows partition but it typically runs out of space after some time. If it does, there is a wizard that can enlarge your Puppy partition which is very safe and convenient. I understand that these 2 are different but it remains a valid question.
Currently, due to our usage of a loopmounted disk image file, this will have the same issue. Hopefully, once ntfs-3g supports filesystem permissions and other necessary attributes, we will be able to use ntfs-3g directly, instead of using a loopmounted file, which will solve this problem. -- GezaKovacs
- is NTFS write support now completely safe? Almost all target users of this app will install ubuntu on a NTFS partition, and immediately after install you have all your data on the NTFS partition available. Next step is to open them, edit and save them. The internet is full of warnings on Linux and NTFS write support, however. Please be very clear on whether this is safe or not (especially after recommending this app for corporate users!).
These warnings about linux NTFS write support are likely based on outdated information; the new ntfs-3g drivers used by this installer have not had any data corruption or loss reports; therefore, we can assume they are safe to use. -- GezaKovacs
- It would be very user friendly if this app doesn't only work with a torrent, but can also install (K)ubuntu from a Live CD or .iso. A typical interested user (like me) has downloaded several versions of Linux distros before installing one. Now I watched yet another download window for several hours . . . So instead of just using the .torrent, I would recommend a choice where it says: browse for .iso or click here to proceed with .torrent download. (better phrased of course).
We plan on allowing v4 of the installer to use an iso file, instead of having to download it seperately. -- GezaKovacs
- Is there a better place to give user feedback than this comment page?
Thanks VERY much for this app and I will be more then happy to test it again once Kubuntu download is supported. -- ErikdeKlerk.
- thanks for the answers.
- Seems like V4 is really worth waiting for. When is it due?
update on some installation issues: I installed ubuntu again with my boot.ini writable and everything went fine. I started ubuntu and was warned about several critical file updates. So I let synaptic update alle the files and rebooted. Unfortunately, after the reboot nothing worked anymore, I got a Bash screen, telling me that tty was not usable and the whole thing quit. Is this something that is related to the installer? Can it be that some of the critical file updates don't work well with this setup of ubuntu? Please help! Thanks again, --ErikdeKlerk.
Quite likely, the update upgraded the kernel or usplash, which regenerates the initrd, overwriting the customized one that can boot from the loopback file. We will somehow have to change the mkinitramfs settings so that it properly regenerates the initrd in order for kernel and usplash updates to work. For now, just lock the version of your kernel and usplash, and upgrade everything else, until we can properly generate the initrd using the standard tools. -- GezaKovacs
thanks again. Here's one more observation: after the total lock-up I uninstalled ubuntu, reinstalled it (4th time now . . . ) and tried to install kde-desktop. Didn't work. After some initial screens I get a question asking me to insert the CD 6.10 in /cdrom/. I don't have this CD, I guess the program somewhere misses that this is a different type of install. I thought it might be useful to know for you? All in all, while I think this approach is a GREAT idea, I'll wait a bit longer for V4. Or is there something else I can help you with as tester? -- ErikdeKlerk.
That seems like an issue with /etc/apt/sources.list; remove the line that says Ubuntu 6.10 CD, apt-get update, then it should work. -- GezaKovacs
FYI, this idea has spawned a similar project for Debian: http://lists.debian.org/debian-boot/2007/01/msg01083.html (frontend site at http://goodbye-microsoft.com/). The code is GPLed, so feel free to grab any code or ideas you like (you might be particularly interested in the CPUID plugin for 64-bit detection). I look forward for future collaboration between both projects :-). --RobertMillan3
Hardware Issue: SATA Raids: I'm running a Striping raid (Asus MB Raid. More details if required) with two drives. This is fine, normally, but grub installed thinking that SDA1 (The first HD, which has no partition info) was boot. After modifying it to SDB1 (The actual raid containing the partition) I received errors about NTFS not being good and the system not being able to find all of the img's. I'll keep testing to see if I find anything juicy. -- PeterNoble
- Note: This may be an issue, not so much with the raid, but installing on non-root partitions/drives. If that is the case, please retract my comment about SATA Raids. Also, has anyone hacked it to work on a non-root drive (/dev/sdb1)? -- PeterNoble
What happens when a new Ubuntu user is in Windows and wants to get to files they created in Ubuntu and stored in their home directory? This applies to any dual-boot install, but the disk image install makes it more of a pain, because the Google-for-a-Windows-EXT3-driver solution (it's what I did as a new Ubuntu user!) won't work too well. A way to mount the filesystem in Windows would be nice. (Ideally it should just mount /home by default, so inexperienced users don't accidentally break something.) --EstebanMolinaEstolano
For discovering information about the system, Windows has an interface called WMI which behaves like a database and really provides a lot of information about the current hardware, configured users, etc., which can be interpreted more easily than the raw registry data. I've written a python hack that demonstrates a small part of that some time ago. You can have a look at it at http://www2.futureware.at/~gregor/LMA-20060707.tar.gz. As far as I know this interface became available in Windows 2000. I hope that helps. - GregorMückl
- I was noticed about install.exe today. I´m astonished for the idea! It will work also over FAT partitions? I´m thinking about those PCs running Win98 by people whom do not know how to install Linux and are afraid to loose their data. It is also very worth for that people a tool for importing *all* their Internet connections. It is also possible to use, or to include, install.exe with the live cd as an alternative method for whom that do not have an high speed Internet connection and do no want to risk their Windows system/ data? Do you also think to cover a tinny version for 64 MB or less as Fluxbuntu?
- I just tried running it and noticed an error - if your Windows system drive is not C: it does not work. In some unusual cases it is another letter - in my case F:. I don't know what the best way to handle that is, however.
Insert a function to get the best version of Ubuntu for user processor. With a simple function in the NSIS script is possible determine the type of processor and in download step, get a x64 or x86 version of Ubuntu (or other edition). In the expert install mode, the user can select the version of Ubuntu edition to get (x64 or x86). Below (in the table), a NSIS code to get user processor in Windows Register. -- EduardoHenrique
ReadRegDWORD $0 HKLM "HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\CentralProcessor\0\" "Identifier"
That is *wrong*. Windows doesn't know what CPU features are available, you have to ask the CPU with the CPUID instruction. See how Debian does it. If you ask Windows, you will only find if the OS is 64-bit, which in the vast majority of 64bit-capable CPUs is not.
- Proxy configuration are necessary. -- jag2kn
- This is an excellent solution for me, I have no more partitions available on my mbr scheme, and have had to sacrifice my linux install to test another operating system that i am required to test. I would love this to work on partitions that are not the first on the drive.... -- Vinneh
- Not for me;I don't seem to be presented with the option to specify which partition. I need to have it map (hd 0,4) which is where my "c" partition is. did you link to the right file because I got the impression the installer would allow me to specify my partition info... thanks heaps -- vinneh
Are you sure you are using the experimental d-i based version, not the (stable) v3 version? It'll only let you install to another partition in the experimental, not the v3 version. It should pop up a question, "Where would you like to install ubuntu to?" and if your target drive is C: just enter C: and it should install there. -- GezaKovacs
Thanks once again, I didn't have the experimental version, however I now have, and still have the same issue, Just in case it helps I'll give you a quick rundown on my system; Intel mac with hybrid partition, mbr side is 4 partitions, ntfs being last on the disk. Your installer works perfectly, but grub will not mount my ntfs partition, running the root command from commandline shows "filesystem unknown, partition type 0xb" <-- 0xb is the type for FAT not NTFS so maby thats why its not working? Anyway congrats once again on an excellent project, I'm sure if I can get it working a lot of mac users will find this very useful --vinneh
Not exactly sure if this will work, but try installing on your HFS+ partition (just take all the files in C:\ubuntu and move them over to the HFS+ partition) and make sure you delete all folders named "ubuntu" in the root directory of all your partitions except the HFS+ one to avoid confusing GRLDR. -- GezaKovacs
That could have worked I imagine, but I managed to solve the problem! Intel macs create windows partitions using "diskutil" which only makes fat32 partitions. But when you use windows to format as NTFS, the hybrid partition type doesnt change to reflect it. So grub was unable to recognise the file format because it was being told it was fat32 when it was infact ntfs. to fix it i manually edited the partition table and set it to type 07. thanks heaps for all your time and help! --vinneh
- I am a brand new user of ubuntu, and the existence of this installer did tip to trying out ubuntu. I installed Ubuntu last night, and I was able to log into the ubuntu system, however when I tried to shut down my computer from Ubuntu, it does a bunch of stuff, till it reaches a point and does nothing, so I am wondering, is this the expected behavior, and how do I know everything shut down properly. --Safder