Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" beta - making life easier for Windows users

Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" beta - making life easier for Windows users

Summary: One of the barriers to Linux adoption is the fact that many people find the idea of wiping their Windows installation a daunting thing. Sure, the widespread adoption of the Live CD with allows users to boot into a working Linux environment has made taking a Linux distro for a test drive easier, but a Live CD experience falls far short of what you can expect from an installed Linux experience. Ubuntu 8.04 beta "Hardy Heron" has made Linux adoption much easier by making it easy for Windows users to install Ubuntu onto their PCs without affecting their Windows installation.

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Let's face it, deciding to nuke your existing operating system installation and replace it with a completely different OS isn't the sort of task that you should approach lightly.  One of the barriers to Linux adoption is the fact that many people find the idea of wiping their Windows installation a daunting thing.  Sure, the widespread adoption of the Live CD with allows users to boot into a working Linux environment has made taking a Linux distro for a test drive easier, but a Live CD experience falls far short of what you can expect from an installed Linux experience. 

Ubuntu 8.04 betaUbuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" beta has made Linux adoption much easier by making it easy for Windows users to install Ubuntu onto their PCs without affecting their Windows installation.

Two new features added to Ubuntu 8.04 are umenu and Wubi and these additions have significantly lowered the first rung onto the Linux ladder by making it a snap to install Ubuntu 8.04 onto a Windows system.  All you need is:

  • A Windows PC
  • At least 4GB of free space
  • Ubuntu 8.04 on CD or an ISO mounted in Windows

Here's how to install Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows.

First, pop the CD into the drive (or mount the .ISO file).

If you have autoplay enabled then the umenu loader is fired up automatically (if not, go to the root of the CD and run umenu.exe).  This presents you with three options

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows

  • Demo and full install
  • Install inside Windows
  • Learn more

Clicking on Install inside Windows launches the Wubi installer.

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows 

The Wubi installer is as simple as it can be.

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows 

Choose an installation drive with enough free space, how much space you want to devote to the Ubuntu install, the language and finally a username and password for the account and then all that's left to do is click Install and you're done. 

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows 

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows 

Now it's just a case of rebooting the system.  The Windows Boot Manager now offers Vista and Ubuntu as options.  Those wanting t dabble with Linux can now choose Ubuntu, boot into the OS and try out the OS knowing that their Windows install is safe.  This offers a great opportunity for testing hardware compatibility.

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows

Not only is Wubi a great installer but it also offers a robust and (as far as I'm able to tell from the testing I've done, safe) uninstaller. 

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows

There's another feature of the umenu loader that makes it easier for the less technical to take Ubuntu for a spin.  Being able to use a Live CD relies on the PC being able to boot up off the CD.  If a PC isn't set up this way then users have to either tweak the BIOS settings or catch the boot loader option at start up (if the BIOS supports this).  umenu does away with all of these hassles and allows the user to modify the Windows bootloader with a few mouse clicks.  After making these changes the system can then be set to boot up easily from a disc.

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows

Installing Ubuntu 8.04 alongside Windows

These options offer the lowest resistance, easiest route for even the most basic user to try out Ubuntu.  If burning a CD (or mounting an ISO) could be automated in the same way (and I'm sure it could), installing Ubuntu would be a total no-brainer.

Thoughts?  Will this help increase Ubuntu adoption among the less technical?

Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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178 comments
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  • Nice and easy, but.....

    Not for me. This way, Windows (and all it's security risks) can influence (damage?) my beautiful shiny clean Ubuntu.That thought makes me uneasy.I want Windows completely quarantined.

    But I agree: for beginnners with Linux, this is a great new feature.

    Greetz, Pjotr.
    pjotr123
    • Agreed

      [i]But I agree: for beginners with Linux, this is a great new feature.[/i]

      Agreed. I have an older Windows box that I think I'll try this on tonight.
      Badgered
    • Of course

      That's a good point, because a Beta version of an Open-Source OS is completely, 100%, bug and vulnerability free.

      /sarcasm off.
      CreepinJesus
    • My first thought as well

      [i]That thought makes me uneasy.I want Windows completely quarantined.[/i]

      That was my exact first thought. I don't want that bloated bug farm intersecting my Ubuntu install at any level.

      It's just as easy to keep your Windows partition on an old box. Mine sits NAT'd off on its own segment and I don't surf with it, ever. The only thing I've really needed Windows for is completing our firefighter grant application which just refuses to work right on Firefox. FEMA...figures. The organization I almost had to pull a Congressional to get a password reset.
      Chad_z
      • get IETab (nt)

        nt
        tikigawd
    • Maybe not ideal

      but it certainly gets people like me to try Linux out in my box in a much user friendly way.

      I still need Windows. How else could I blast some foos on CoD4, Crysis, etc?
      tikigawd
      • This May Actually Let Me Try Linux Again

        I can install it with Vista and it has an uninstaller. Looks like great software
        bmore_bro69@...
      • Me Too

        No sign of my vital Win apps appearing as Open Source any time soon (or later) so this might just be the way forward.
        robert@...
    • Ubuntu for the masses?

      I love Ubuntu as much as the next guy. However, the first time a newbie goes to a webiste that uses Flash, and they are prompted to install the latest version of Flash, and then go to Download Adobe Flash Player site, watch out.

      The newbie is asked to select a version to download:
      .tar.gz for Linux
      .rpm for Linux
      YUM for Linux

      And said newbie is gonna go "Huh?" or "Sh*t, now what?" and isn't going to have a clue on how to install something in Linux that was automatic on Windows.

      And Heaven forbid that they download the tar.gz and then try to install it, without knowing how...

      It's gotta get easier people, to attrach the masses.
      bb_apptix
      • Ubuntu for the masses?

        Good point on the Flash download problems; glad you pointed it out. BUT ... you could also have indicated what is/is not a good choice for a Windows User like me. Where do I find the answer?
        twaynesdomain-22354355019875063839220739305988
      • Flash for firefox tar.gz for Linux

        dear i'm newbie to linux but successfully installed flash. moreover it intstalled automatically. i selected the first one. i.e tar.gz
        jyesj@...
        • Lucky Guy

          Most things are OK but try getting, say, Eclipse running in the right mood and flavour. I found so often that if I wanked to install "that" kind of app then I would know all the tweaks anyway. Symptomatic of much to do with Linux... lack of clear, concise guides which are relevant to the OS and s'ware version of the app.
          robert@...
  • RE: Ubuntu 8.04

    Okay I have a dual boot machine XP MCE and Vista!

    Do you know if the Ubuntu boot manager can handle this boot configuration?

    Thanks.
    jgsilva@...
    • Not to question your judgment...

      but why would you have an XP media center on a dual boot machine? Especially when Vista's media center in Home Premium is so much better than the one in XP? I'm sure you have a good reason, but that just sounds odd.
      Michael Kelly
      • Not a Vista hater but...

        ...some of us like our old setups. If I want to use Vista, it's on another on of my computers in Ultimate flavor. I still love my XP due to the increased frame rate on my PC games and overall speed at the moment. I'm sure this will be corrected but sometimes it's just hard to give up things you hold dear.
        jhurst747
        • I made the switch

          DX10, man.
          I know, I know, a most games don't take advantage of it, but I decided to take the plunge anyway.

          So far so good.

          But I was stupid and didn't install the 64-bit version. Found some nicely discounted Corsair RAM, so now I have to do a reinstall to be able to use the 4GB.

          Been putting it off. Not looking forward to reinstalling all that shite :(
          tikigawd
          • "Not looking forward to reinstalling"

            Purely out of interest, what are the steps for doing the reinstall?
            fr0thy@...
          • Switching from Vista32 to Vista 64

            1. Clean Install XP (32).
            2. Install Vista 64 on top of XP using a "Custom install" since I will be upgrading from XP 32.

            Support page from MS:
            http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932795

            Then the really annoying part, which is reinstalling all the software I currently have installed...
            tikigawd
          • why can't you do a clean install of Vista?

            Unless MS has someone blocked it, you can also install trial version of Vista and upgrade from that. <br><br>
            I would do a clean install. <br><br>
            I have an image file of all of my software on the second drive that came with my notebook (7200rpm 160GB dual drives). My major stuff like Visual studio and SQL server etc...i create a virtual CD/DVD on the secondary and use an image drive(Nero) to reload. Much faster.
            I have 64 bit ultimate on first drive and XP 32 bit on the second, along with a DATA partition on the second drive.
            xuniL_z
          • @ xunil_Z

            I will essentially be doing a clean install of Vista 64. But I can't just pop the disk in and install it because I only have the upgrade version. I built my own PC, so I don't have an OEM version of Vista. I do have an OEM disk of XP (from the last Alienware PC I bought 5 years ago), so I have to start from there.


            [i]i create a virtual CD/DVD on the secondary and use an image drive(Nero) to reload.[/i]

            I didn't quite follow you there. You have these programs installed in a VM and run them from there? Oor are these programs that do not need to be installed in Win and you run them from a simulated CD/DVD drive?

            I have games, finance software, office productivity software, and the like, that I believe I have to install the regular way.
            tikigawd