James Selvakumar’s Blog

November 24, 2008

Getting better results with WUBI

Filed under: opensource,ubuntu,unix-linux — James @ 4:03 pm
Tags: , , ,

WUBI dramatically reduces the gap that prevents windows users to try Ubuntu. If you are wondering what WUBI is all about, you may get some idea from my post “WUBI – A wonderful little gem that helps windows users to try Ubuntu“. Yes, with WUBI, installing Ubuntu is just like installing Firefox or Thunderbird on a windows machine.

Well, while there are so many great things that WUBI offers, there is one drawback that can make eyebrows rise. WUBI downloads the latest “iso” image from the web automatically when you run it. There is nothing wrong with that and infact this is what makes WUBI a very very easy tool to use. Then what really is wrong with WUBI?

The problem is, WUBI does not seem to choose the fastest mirror near your location. And this makes the download take very long time. I installed Ubuntu in my machine using WUBI and it took nearly 12 hours to download the “iso” image (Kindly note that the size of the iso image is around 700 MB). And even worse, when I tried installing Ubuntu via WUBI in my wife’s notebook, it took nearly 18 hours and downloaded only 38% before I got frustrated and stopped WUBI.

But what makes WUBI great is that has so many “hidden” options that one can explore and I did exactly the same. I learnt from the WUBI guide that WUBI can detect any “iso” image found in the same location as “wubi.exe”. That means if you are “wubi.exe” from your desktop and if there is a ubuntu “iso” image on your desktop, then WUBI will make use of it instead of downloading one for you.

So I went ahead and made use of my “Free Download Manager” (a decent open source download manager) to download Ubuntu-8.10 iso image. FDM was smart enough to download the 700 MB iso image in less than 2 hours. Then I placed wubi.exe in the same place where the iso image was downloaded and I was surprised with the result.

WUBI installed Ubuntu in my machine in a couple of minutesand then asked me to reboot. Then in another 10 minutes Ubuntu was ready to use and then my wife tookover from me. However she likes the word “KUBUNTU” more than “UBUNTU” and now I should find ways to bring Kubuntu desktop in Ubuntu to make her happy. 🙂

So, if you have a pretty average or slow internet connection, you should not attempt running WUBI straight away. Download the respective iso image with your favourite download manager and then start WUBI. WUBI will obey your commands and it will get the job done for you in minutes.

If you have installed Ubuntu recently, you might find some useful tips from my posts,

Customizing Ubuntu to provide stunning looks

Good news for Google Talk users on Linux


  1. I tried Wubi on a Windows computer that wasn’t connected to the internet at all, and it worked just fine (didn’t attempt to download an .iso from anywhere), and it took about a half-hour (nowhere near 12 hours).

    Maybe Wubi can detect if there’s no internet connection and then installs with the CD you’re using?

    Comment by ubuntucat — November 24, 2008 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  2. Ya, you are right. If you have a CD (which is nothing but a iso image burnt as a bootable CD), then WUBI simply uses it.

    Comment by James — November 24, 2008 @ 11:25 pm | Reply

  3. >However she likes the word “KUBUNTU” more than “UBUNTU” and now I should find ways to bring Kubuntu desktop >in Ubuntu to make her happy. 🙂

    Is this because WUBI doesnt work with Kubuntu or because you forgot to download the Kubuntu iso?

    Kudos to the wife for her good taste in desktop environment!

    Comment by lyle howard seave — November 25, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Reply

  4. There is a nice “kubuntu-desktop” meta-package; just install that. You’ll have the option of using either gdm or kdm as the login manager, and you can log in with either desktop.

    Comment by JIm L — November 25, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  5. I am trying to install it but when i reboot and choose Ubuntu it opens BusyBox, any help ??

    Comment by kimo — November 25, 2008 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  6. Hi Jim,
    Thanks for your tip. I’ll try kubuntu-desktop.

    Comment by James — November 26, 2008 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  7. Guys,
    I just marked kubuntu-desktop and it’s related packages for installation and the download size looks a monumental 150+ MB. I suppose it includes many default KDE apps like Konqueror. I’m eagerly awaiting to see how Kubuntu looks. Thank you guys for all your help and suggestions. Has anyone tried XFCE desktop? How does it fare against the likes of GNOME and KDE?

    Comment by James — November 26, 2008 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

  8. […] – Getting better results with WUBI […]

    Pingback by WUBI – A wonderful little gem that helps Windows users to try Ubuntu | SolitaryGeek — July 28, 2009 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

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