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4/28/2008

 

Ubuntu Ahoy! The Wubi Revolution

Note: The points I discuss here are applicable mostly when you want to install Ubuntu alongside Windows XP (dual boot).
I was curious about a Linux Desktop OS. I have heard so much about Ubuntu. A few months earlier I did try to install it on my Windows XP box but the whole partition thing overwhelmed me; I did not want my curiosity to kill my box. So I left it at that. I recently upgraded my computer. Bid goodbye to my old, wheezing CPU (R.I.P ol' boy!) and got me self a new one (AMD 64-bit processor, Geforce motherboard with Nvidia chipset, 2 gigs of RAM, and a 250 gigs HDD). I installed XP all right and one night when I was half asleep, watching Arnab of Times Now act like a moron on steroids, a little voice in my head whispered, 'Ubuntu?' Very soon the whisper became a scream and I went online to see if things had changed since the last time I had tried to install Ubuntu on my Windows XP. Yes, things have changed! And how!

Wubi Installer for Windows

I was chatting with Arnab - no not the news chap - my geeky friend who is doing a Phd on some very geeky shit in University of Michigan, and he told me about this new Windows installer called Wubi for Ubuntu. You can install Ubuntu on Windows like you would any other executable and uninstall it from the Add/Remove Programs menu. I went 'Whaa....t the faaaaaaaaaaaaaa...k?' And, and, and I discovered that Ubuntu had packaged Wubi in its current release (8.04). So all you folks out there that want to try a Linux Desktop OS, just to get a feel of how stuff works on planet Linux, I got news for you: you don't need to worry about the tricky partioning etc anymore. Download the latest Ubuntu release ISO, follow instructions, and Voila! Your Windows PC is now a dual-boot PC. I installed it last night and I gave Ubuntu a spin. Now, I wouldn't call it the most intuitive OS for I am still struggling to set up my broadband connection on Ubuntu. But hey, I am a complete dufus when it comes to all this and even I could install Ubuntu and have it up and running. I am sure I will figure out how to get my Internet working on Ubuntu shortly.

Ubunti (with Wubi) Pros
  • Faster, easier Ubuntu installation: It breaks down that old barrier. More people are going to give it a try. I like the 'install and try' approach than the 'try and install' of Live CD.
  • No need to burn CDs. When you run Wubi, it downloads Ubuntu (around 700 MB so might take an hour or more; depends on your connection). If you don't want Wubi download, copy the latest ISO (Ubuntu 8.04) to the same folder where Wubi resides.
  • Does not eat up your computing resources.
  • You can uninstall it like any other Windows program from 'Add/Remove Programs'
  • No more virus.
  • Comes loaded with all the software you'll ever need, including OpenOffice
  • Seamless upgrades through the Internet.
  • Install add-on software that the huge Ubuntu community churns out; there is some cool stuff out there man-o!
  • And, it is all free of cost.
Ubunti (with Wubi) Cons
All right, that's all I had. If you wanted a stable, no-nonsense OS that did not cost too much (read 'nothing') and one that offers an amazing array of software for your productivity and entertainment; and you wanted to kick Windows through that window. This is it. Repeat after slowly, U-B-U-N-T-U. Yeah, that's right mate, Ubuntu.

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