Friday, January 18, 2008

Yipee! Wubi!

I don't understand why I always end up with a Linux distro installed in my machine. The last time I said goodbye to Feisty was when my son asked if he could get back his hard drive. You see, I had to borrow his when my drive failed after about 3+ years of continuous use and frequent formatting. After I'd gotten a replacement, I decided to keep my son's drive and put it to good use since it had been dumped for one with 10x more capacity. Anyway, that Feisty installation, replete with bells and whistles to my satisfaction, was pretty much up to date before the drive reunited with its owner. So I finally said goodbye, trying to convince myself I don't need Linux anyway.

Then I stumbled upon Wubi.
Wubi is an unofficial Ubuntu installer for Windows users that will bring you into the Linux world with a single click. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other application. If you heard about Linux and Ubuntu, if you wanted to try them but you were afraid, this is for you.
Before anything else, here's the WubiGuide. Now back to where I was.

I installed it, and now I have a triple-boot setup: XP for work, XP for music, and Ubuntu. I could've repartitioned my drive, but I really wanted to try Wubi because the skeptic in me always seems to surface with anything new. Yes, Wubi is the easiest way to Linux indeed.

This is the way to go for newbies, and if you're one, I must caution you to learn the command-line interface and, most importantly, the commands. I read in a forum about pranksters giving advice to unsuspecting users, telling them to type in cryptic text that will delete files, create files, or some other action that will cause a hard drive crash. Pardon my sick sense of humor, but I found such ruse somewhat amusing. Well, it may not be as bad as it seems, especially if you don't have important data stored in your drive, but it's still a waste of time for you to start from ground up.

The installation itself doesn't take too much time; it's the *.iso download that makes you wait. Well, you could get lucky if you get connected to a fast server like I did. From what I experienced, the .fr sites were slow. I got 100+ Kbps from my connection to a *.de (yeah!), and it took me about two to three hours to install Feisty.

There's an alternative to this. You could first download the *.iso, place it in the same directory as the Wubi installer, and click away. Now, if you see that the installer wants to connect to a server, then your *.iso is corrupted. I experienced this with the Feisty *.iso I downloaded from a torrent site. So, be careful where you download your *.iso from.

I remember the time when I had DosLinux; I eventually created a native Linux partition. With Wubi, I don't really feel a pronounced sluggishness in my installation, but I guess I'm going for a dedicated partition in the not-so-distant future with LVPM. I don't know. Maybe it's just me.

At any rate, it won't be long before many of you out there will be making Wubi. Pardon the pun --- or the malapropism -- whatever.