What’ll they think of next: Winbuntu?2 min read

[Updated Jan. 21] — An unofficial Ubuntu project on Jan. 19 announced that it is seeking testers for a new, Windows-based installer for the popular Linux distribution. The idea is to provide a simple-to-use, no-risk way to install Ubuntu in a partition on a Windows machine.
“The aim of this installer is to provide an easier way for a Windows user to install Ubuntu without having to know how to burn a cd iso, set the bios to boot from cd, repartition the disks, set up a multiboot system, etc.” the team said in the announcement on Ubuntuforums.org. “It will not replace any of the current Ubuntu installation options, and will not require that Windows is installed prior to the installation of Ubuntu.”

The installer runs from within Windows

The development version of the installer, according to the team, is designed to be:

  • very simple to use
  • provide a no-risk installation
  • no repartitioning of the hard disk
  • no changing of the Windows bootloader
  • Easy uninstallation
  • Low-risk
  • Doesn’t use a virtual machine
  • Doesn’t significantly reduce performance of the resulting installation
  • Resulting installation supports everything a normal install does.
  • Fast install

The installer works by creating a disk image of a pre-installed Ubuntu system on the hard disk, which is downloaded with a BitTorrent downloader integrated into the installer, or a standard http download when mirrors are arranged. Then, it installs GRUB for Windows, which can be chain-loaded by the existing bootloader, and which then loads the Linux kernel and initrd from the ntfs partition, the team said.
The initrd is modified to support mounting the image file mentioned above as a root filesystem, and then continues the boot process like a normal installation, the team added.
“This does not use a virtual machine on which to run Linux, so the performance of the resulting system will be similar to the performance of any other Linux installation,” the team said. “The system will use ext3 in the image file, so users will get all the benefits of a Linux filesystem.”
Screenshots are available here.
Further details about the project are available on the Ubuntuforums site, here.
You can download the prototype of the installer here. Instructions are included.

Originally posted 2015-06-14 17:32:39.

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