This specification is marked as Approved in Launchpad. Please contact the Assignee or another knowledgeable person before making changes.


A loop-mounted Ubuntu install initiated in Windows. The installer asks fewer questions and does not partition or format drives. The installer behaves like a normal application installer, allowing users to uninstall Ubuntu via the control panel, yet provides a dual boot setup.

Release Note

Installing Ubuntu is now even easier for Windows users! The small installer program will copy a fully-functional Ubuntu system into a directory on your Windows drive (this includes a USB keydrive), which you can then boot in a "dual-boot" configuration. This is a great way to try out Ubuntu over a period of time, with no re-partitioning or formatting required. For long-term use, we recommend migrating to a native disk install.

Please note that suspend functionality may be disabled when using this Ubuntu configuration.


Windows users are often more comfortable downloading and running a small ubuntu-setup.exe file than downloading and burning an ISO. This also avoids the requirement of booting from the CD, which can be troublesome as some laptops do not have a CD drive and many systems are configured to boot from the hard disk first.


Use Cases


Bundled LiveCD Version

A small executable that can be included on the CD which does the following:

Standalone Version

Prominent download location on the Ubuntu website providing a standalone version of Wubi as an installation option for Windows users. Some of the advantages of this approach:

CD Boot Version


Outstanding Issues

What installation types should be supported?

Wubi can support different type of installations: loopinstallations, r/o ISO booting, physiscal CD booting, netboot (debian-style), hdmedia-style (install from predownloaded ISO saved on hard disk, requires online resizing). The following methods will be provided:

Interface changes

Optional features

Test/Demo Plan


With the emergence of new technologies that provide the same advantages, is there even a need anymore for officially supporting loopmounted-installs?

With Windows Vista's new dynamic partitions and ability to safely resize its own partitions while running, the partitioning phase can be done in the initial installation phase itself via the Windows Vista Drive Management API, while still running in Windows.

The CD iso can be placed on the existing NTFS drive, the installer can be run from the iso, and the installation can be automatically targeted towards the free space that was created while running Windows by shrinking the existing NTFS partition using the Windows Drive Management API, to be used as the root partition for Ubuntu.

Is the 2-step process for installation (first to loopmounted partition, then to dedicated partition) too complicated? Would it be better to simply go for a dedicated-partition install the first way around, using an approach like to the one above, thus eliminating the need for LVPM?

Are the trivial (if any) advantages provided by a loopmounted installation over a dedicated-partition install, which are not provided by the approach above, worth the extra work of officially maintaining and supporting both the modified loopmounted-booting patches and the LVPM tool?

The above assumes a wide market penetration of Vista, and with Vista struggling to reach 5%, I doubt it will be a viable option for the coming years. It is also arguable that using the Windows partitioning tool as opposed to the Linux one will make users any more comfortable with the idea of changing their partitions. -- Ago

Security Concerns

Any windows based installer potentially subjects the Ubuntu install to corruption by malware running in MS Windows, during the installation process. Hypotheticly, Microsoft could even write an ubuntu virus into MS Windows, that causes the user to have a "bad ubuntu experience" and give up on it because they think it's unstable or "not ready for the desktop".


InstallerForWindows (last edited 2008-08-06 16:32:01 by localhost)