Ubuntu 12.04 to be without Wubi installer
For those unaware, Wubi (Windows-based UBuntu Installer) allows the user to install Ubuntu alongside Windows, without having to partition their hard drive. Put simply, the installer adds an extra boot option at boot up – giving users the option to boot into either Windows or Ubuntu. There’s no messing around with bootloaders or anything like that, and it’s as easily uninstalled as it is installed – from the Windows Add/Remove programs dialogue.
However, this priceless tool is being removed from the default Ubuntu disk package. In previous releases, users would be able to put the CD into the computer when in Windows, and Wubi would begin automatically, offering users the chance to install Ubuntu there and then.
The decision comes from Canonical’s (the team behind Ubuntu), Rick Spencer. In an e-mail to the Ubuntu Development mailing list, he wrote that the decision will benefit both Ubuntu and Windows users overall:
“1. We will be able to do maintenance and enhancements to wubi outside of the Ubuntu development cycle.
2. Significant reduciton of QA work for an already over-streched QA team.
3. Better overall 12.04 quality and less stress at release time.
4. We won’t get stuck with a poor (or worse) user experience on the CD since is a good chance that wubi will not work properly with Windows 8.
I am proposing these changes to the plan because:
1. The key use case for wubi is being able to download and run the installer on Windows, not installing from the ISO.
2. Wubi is difficult to test, so has been difficult to assure that it will meet the quality standards we have set for 12.04.
3. There are no developers treating wubi as their top priorities. This combined with the QA difficulties has historically caused late breaking changes that add stress at release time and frequentily invalidate already executed ISO testing.
4. Most significantly, Windows is changing it’s boot system with Windows 8, and it’s not clear how wubi will work with Windows 8, if at all. [sic]”
In addition, it may well relieve the developers, as they have recently been struggling to keep the Ubuntu 12.04 disk image down to fit on a CD (around 700mb), and removing the Wubi package will no doubt bring the total file size down.
Of course, Wubi will still be available for users; there will simply be the added step of having to download the tool from the Wubi website, and then putting it into the same folder as the disk image and running it from there – hey presto, easy as pie.