Wubi does the job

One thing I forgot to mention in my description of the X60s was that I took my first swing at Wubi yesterday. I’ve never really had the occasion to use Wubi, because I haven’t had a Windows-based machine in the house in so long. I knew of the project and I knew of the principle, but this was an introduction.

And for me it actually worked — I say “actually” only out of surprise, not out of any disrespect for the application. The slowest part of the installation was the actual downloading of the ISO, which seemed to be getting rather weak connection speeds. I wanted to kickstart that process by dropping an ISO into the directory for Wubi (I keep a few backup ISOs on an external drive, just in case), but I couldn’t find the target location, so I just let it run.

After that it worked quite well. I like that I had the choice of operating systems at startup, but I disliked that I had to also tell Grub to boot (I know, that’s the default behavior for a dual-boot system in Ubuntu; there are ways around that). Aside from those miniscule startup points, there’s little difference between running a “classic” dual-boot system or one injected with Wubi. For my money, at least.

It may have been my imagination, but I could swear that running Ubuntu through the NTFS file system was a little “groggier” than usual. I don’t hold much love for Gnome Ubuntu anyway, but I have since cleaned out that Windows-grafted system and built a pure default ext4 system, and everything is a tiny bit snappier.

I should probably expect that though. I can be fairly certain that the tech staff at the store where I bought this didn’t install Windows XP with speed in mind, and that coupled with my own prejudices against Windows and its inability to satisfy, and I shouldn’t be surprised I sense a certain slowness in a split installation like that.

No matter. I doubt it will be often that I find myself in a situation where I will be running both operating systems on this machine. I had no issues using Wubi to half-step into a Ubuntu installation, and move me a little bit closer to a full, Linux-only arrangement. In that sense, I give it a thumbs-up. :)

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4 Responses to “Wubi does the job”

  1. 1 sed 2010/02/21 at 10:12 AM

    I have used Wubi several times, and if the installation ISO is in the same directory as the Wubi installer, it does not download the torrent, therefore speeding things up a bit. Mine was Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) 64-bit.

    The only other problem with Wubi is it causes the Windows boot loader AND Grub to show both Windows and Ubuntu, as you mentioned, so you have to pick your OS “twice” when booting. Of course, installing from the LiveCD prevents that, but this is an article about Wubi, correct?

    In my experiences, accessing an NTFS volume from Ubuntu is slower than ext4, maybe because every disk read/write command has to be “converted”?

  2. 2 Doozr 2010/02/21 at 4:38 PM

    It’s also worth moting that if you have the iso, the wubi installer can be run from it directly.

  3. 3 Matt Kukowski 2010/02/22 at 8:05 AM

    I was using Ubuntu 9.04 (Karmic) on a Wubi install –32bit and it worked beautifully.

    However, when I booted into Vista (yuk) and upgraded, windows ran a check disk and found ‘corrupted files’, which happen to be my Wubi root.disk !!!

    So, Vista trashed my Wubi install!!!

    If anyone else has had this happen to them, please do raise a fuss, as I am not sure if Microsoft is intentionally trying to corrupt/delete Wubi installs, or not.

  1. 1 Links 22/2/2010: FSF Pushes for Free Video in YouTube | Boycott Novell Trackback on 2010/02/23 at 8:49 AM

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