THIS THREAD, FORMERLY TITLED " Idea: Install via windows on loopmounted ntfs?" HAS BEEN MERGED TOGETHER WITH ITS CONTINUATION THREAD, FORMERLY TITLED "Windows based installer - testers and developers wanted", FOR EASIER TRACKING/READABILITY PURPOSES. THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND PART OF THE THREAD IS HERE: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...71#post2011371
THIS THREAD IS OUTDATED. THE ORIGINAL WINDOWS-BASED UBUNTU INSTALLER SITE IS AT http://cutlersoftware.com/ubuntusetu...site/original/, THE SPECIFICATION IS AT https://wiki.ubuntu.com/install.exe, THE NEW WUBI SITE IS AT http://wubi.sourceforge.net, THE LUBI/LVPM/UNETBOOTIN/BUBAKUP SITE IS AT http://lubi.sourceforge.net, AND THE FORUMS ARE AT http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=234
Original Thread Begins Here:
A PROTOTYPE IS NOW AVAILABLE! SEE https://wiki.ubuntu.com/install.exe/Prototype FOR DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS!
A major barrier for entry into the ubuntu world is the installation process. Not too many people know how to burn an iso, set the BIOS to boot from a cd, and format a hard drive, and few are patient enough to read documentation how to figure out how to do so, so they just give up on ubuntu. A way to fix this problem is to let people download ubuntu in the form of a setup.exe installer, which will install ubuntu in a loopmounted partition, as a file in the ntfs partition, and install a bootloader which will allow booting from ubuntu or windows, like topologilinux http://www.topologilinux.com/ does. Think of what this would mean:
1. Much simpler installation: just download setup.exe, double click, next-next-next, reboot, welcome to ubuntu.
2. No need to partition; no chance of data loss.
3. No need to burn a cd for those with no cd writers, or no spare cds.
4. No need to reboot into the live cd to install; just download and install in windows.
5. Lowered risk of someone doing something wrong; no chance of screwup while burning the iso, booting from the cd, or partitioning.
6. Quicker installation; it'll be getting the installation files from the hard drive, not from the cd.
7. It'll have much better performance than a live cd, and will be nearly as fast as a standard installation, so it'll be a much more realistic performance preview.
8. We could even include an "uninstall ubuntu" option that will restore the original windows bootloader and remove the loopmounted file to reassure those people who are scared that ubuntu will destroy their system irreparably.
9 (maybe). We might even allow people to upgrade to a full-blown ubuntu on a dedicated partition if they want to get rid of windows and get a performance boost by shrinking the ntfs partition, cloning the loopmounted file into a real filesystem in the new space freed up, then deleting the ntfs filesystem, expanding the new ubuntu one to take up the freed space, and modifying the bootloader to boot from the new ubuntu filesystem.
/*10 (removed because of criticism). We might even detect what browser and email client is being used in windows and import the mail, addressbook, and cookies into ubuntu to make the migration easier.*/
/*11 (removed because of criticism). We might even use windows to detect the hardware and apt-get install the necessary drivers automatically during installation so there will be no hardware issues later.*/
For those of you who say this can't be done: Topologilinux managed to do the loopmounted installation and dual-booting on an ntfs drive; we could nab some code from them. /*(removed because of criticism) Firefox and Thunderbird already have the ability to import from IE and Outlook Express, so we could use that for the migration.*/
For those of you who say that this isn't going to be useful for people, think of all the people it will open ubuntu up to; plenty of average computer users know how to download a file and double-click through an installer, but few know how to burn an iso, set the BIOS to boot from a cd, and format a hard drive. This way, we will expand our target audience to the average home users who want a better desktop experience, instead of ultra-nerds and their friend who they convert.
For those of you who think this will divert resources from the ubuntu team: the ubuntu team probably isn't going to be working on this; it'll probably be done by some third-party people who know how to code windows installers, then it might later be accepted by the official ubuntu community. Also, it shouldn't be too hard, as topologilinux already has done most of the work; we only have to adapt their work to ubuntu and polish it.
For those of you who think this will make people dependent on windows: if they can't install ubuntu, they will be using windows. It's better to have people dual-booting ubuntu than having them not use it at all. Also, if point 9 is possible to do, we could have this be a nice, step-by-step migration to ubuntu; get them used to ubuntu while having it in a loopmounted partition, then once they're ready, let them get rid of windows and give ubuntu its own dedicated partition. Besides, the live and alternate install cds will still be available for people who want to install ubuntu the normal way; this will just open up more options.
This will NOT run ubuntu witihn windows, like vmware, andLinux, or colinux does. It just aims to make the installation of standard, directly bootable ubuntu easier.
Further information at: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/install.exe https://wiki.ubuntu.com/install.exe/Prototype https://blueprints.launchpad.net/dis...dows-installer https://launchpad.net/setup-ubuntu/
So, is this a good idea? Vote on the poll, and ask developers!