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Thread: Wubi megathread

  1. #1191
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Beans
    8

    Fixing Wubi installation with live-CD and the dreaded GRUB failure

    I've seen a bunch of requests on how to use a live-CD system to access a non-functioning Wubi installation as if it were in its actual running environment but I haven't seen any answers. I worked this out to fix a friend's sick installation. Apologies in advance if this has already been posted, and my google skills failed to find it.

    So the situation is generally that during a kernel upgrade or something on the WUBI system, the grub configuration doesn't correctly remade for the new kernel. If this were a regular system, you would boot a live-CD, mount the linux system, chroot to the system root and run update-grub to correct the grub configuration. Many rescue disks have essentially automated the whole procedure. The problem is that on a WUBI system, the grub utilities have been modified so that they know about loop mounted root and how to tell grub to boot it, but they only do that if they think they are running inside a Wubi system. Just mounting the Wubi root disk image file will not provide enough of the Wubi environment so update-grub will work correctly. Here is how to do it so that the environment is just like a correctly function running system.

    I am generally going to be talking from the point of Wubi Ubuntu >= 12.04 installed on a Windows 7 machine. For XP and possibly Vista, the location of the Wubi files will be different.

    Since you will be running commands within the Wubi system, you need to boot an Ubuntu desktop CD of the same architecture (32 or 64 bit) as the Wubi install. Boot the live desktop system. And open at least a one terminal prompt window. This could either be in the graphic window or on a virtual console (Ctrl-Alt-F1-6. Then type these commands:

    You'll need to be root for all these commands.

    Code:
    sudo -i
    cd /
    Now create the mount points for the Windows disk and the Wubi system:

    Code:
    mkdir /host
    mkdir /wubi
    On a typical Windows 7 machine, the C: disk is the second partition, so that is where the Wubi system files reside and we mount it now.

    Code:
    ntfs-3g /dev/sda2 /host
    Now mount the Wubi root disk:

    Code:
    mount -o loop /host/ubuntu/disks/root.disk /wubi
    Now bind mounts of essential kernel based filesystems from the running live-CD system into what will come the Wubi environment:

    Code:
    mount --bind /dev /wubi/dev
    mount --bind /dev/pts /wubi/dev/pts
    mount --bind /proc /wubi/proc
    mount --bind /sys /wubi/sys
    Now here's the essential thing: the Windows disk has to be mounted on the Wubi file system and and the file that contains the the root file system image has to accessible with the same name that the running loop device has for it, so give this command:

    Code:
    mount --bind /host /wubi/host
    At this point, you can just chroot to the Wubi system and execute commands.
    Code:
    chroot /wubi
    To check whether the grub utilities think you are in a Wubi environment, do
    Code:
    /usr/share/lupin-support/grub-mkimage --test
    echo $?
    If things are correct, it should print "0".

    To fix a messed up grub ocnfiguration, you would do
    Code:
    update-grub
    Other things that might go wrong are that the kernel is not installed correctly or the initramfs image is not made or something like that. Within this chrooted environment, you have the full power to use dpkg and apt-get, so you can just reinstall the kernel. For example, figure out what kernels you have:
    Code:
    dpkg -l | grep linux-image
    Locate your latest kernel, suppose it is 3.8.0-34-generic. Then you reinstall it with
    Code:
    apt-get install --reinstall linux-image-3.8.0-34-generic
    If errors occur during any of these commands, you can locate and correct whatever issue is causing the problem. If you want to have than one window operating in the Wubi, you can just open a new Terminal window and give the command
    Code:
    sudo chroot /wubi
    And if you want to edit a file in the Wubi system you can just open the file which will be located under /wubi with a nice visual editor from the live-CD environment.
    ,
    After you are finished, it is a good idea to unmount things in reverse order before you reboot. Exit the chrooted shell, then
    Code:
    umount /wubi/host
    umount /wubi/sys
    umount /wubi/proc
    umount /wubi/dev/pts
    umount /wubi/dev
    At this point, you would umount /wubi, except if you are in the graphical desktop, the desktop is keeping that mount busy, so just reboot.

  2. #1192
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Edubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Wubi megathread

    Nice egstern. You could do a Q&A on askubuntu.com for that so it's more visible.

  3. #1193
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Beans
    102
    Distro
    Lubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Wubi megathread

    Hi , really not sure it's the right place but I was wondering why Wubi has never include a Full DualBoot installer from Windows like debian has done with their Win32-loader.

    Any idea if something has achive this with Ubuntu ? What could be difficult ?

    it should be IMO a priority issue for the 8th of april !


    https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/Loader

  4. #1194
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    India
    Beans
    7,194
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Wubi megathread

    Quote Originally Posted by freechelmi View Post
    Hi , really not sure it's the right place but I was wondering why Wubi has never include a Full DualBoot installer from Windows like debian has done with their Win32-loader.

    Any idea if something has achive this with Ubuntu ? What could be difficult ?
    It would probably result in more complain threads from newbies having 'innocently' broken/wiped out their Windows, but I still like the idea.
    Varun
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  5. #1195
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    102
    Distro
    Lubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Wubi megathread

    Quote Originally Posted by varunendra View Post
    It would probably result in more complain threads from newbies having 'innocently' broken/wiped out their Windows, but I still like the idea.
    True

    BTW I'm wondering what default values we should put in this pseudo automatic DualBoot install ?

    I thought if only one disk :

    - in the Windows installer , check Windows space left
    - Gives only 10 Go freespace left to Windows.
    - Install Ubuntu on all the remaining space with swap and Root in an extended partition

    What do you think ?

  6. #1196
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    India
    Beans
    7,194
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Wubi megathread

    I would love to give it a lot of time thinking about ideas, possible problems and potential solutions, and I'd also be happy to collect and category-wise provide as many use-case examples as possible - ONLY if it were a discussion in a place where the real Developers could notice and pay attention to it. Otherwise there is no point in wasting time on it.

    If there is already some discussion about it somewhere where volunteers can take part, please post its link in a separate discussion thread here and I'm sure it'll be much more fruitful then.

    Otherwise, you may consider filing a bug report as a "Wish List" at Launchpad. Then you may post a thread here asking users to post comments there and add themselves to the "Affected" users list (Affected = Wishers in this case).

    That being said, IF I were to design such a software tool, my prime focus would be on -

    - Ways to protect user's existing installation (Windows) and easy ways to revert back if something goes wrong or they otherwise need/want so.

    - It should be something both easy (transparent if possible), reliable and effective.

    - It should be designed while keeping in mind that most Windows users don't really read Warnings/Cautions. They always look for "Next" or "Ok" buttons, and that's the only thing they usually notice and use on a dialogue-box - most often without paying attention to Warnings/Notifications about consequences.

    Many more ideas and ways of their implementation may emerge if I kept writing, but like I mentioned, it'll only be a waste of time here.
    Varun
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  7. #1197
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Beans
    102
    Distro
    Lubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Wubi megathread

    Hi varunedra and thank for this complete answer :

    Quote Originally Posted by varunendra View Post

    Otherwise, you may consider filing a bug report as a "Wish List" at Launchpad. Then you may post a thread here asking users to post comments there and add themselves to the "Affected" users list (Affected = Wishers in this case).

    Done : https://bugs.launchpad.net/wubi/+bug/1296692

    Please help to bug to become more visible.

  8. #1198
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    India
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Wubi megathread

    Quote Originally Posted by freechelmi View Post
    Done : https://bugs.launchpad.net/wubi/+bug/1296692

    Please help to bug to become more visible.
    Added myself to "Affects me too" list and commented. May be a better way to get more attention of users here would be to start a new thread on the topic.

    If you do so, also update the bug description to include its a link there.
    Varun
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  9. #1199
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    2

    Re: Wubi megathread

    Thanks for the effort. Learning a lot from here.

  10. #1200
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Beans
    75

    Re: Wubi megathread

    There are some interesting changes in package lupin-support for Ubuntu 14.04. Most important one is that the boot loader for Wubi offers GPT support. So, it is possible to install Wubi 14.04 on a hard disk with GPT. You know, UEFI requires GPT. GPT was one reason why Wubi failed in past.

    Nevertheless, Wubi loader offers only BIOS mode support. But some UEFI firmware offers switching between UEFI and BIOS (CSM) mode at runtime. So it is possible that some Wubi installations have worked since 14.04 even on new preinstalled Windows 8 computers.

    Unfortunately, this switching feature lacks on my UEFI firmware . So for me, GPT support is only a litle step forwards. But one user wrote to me about a working UEFI installation with standard Wubi install.

    Has anyone already had similar experiences ?
    Last edited by hakuna_matata; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:57 AM.

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