Sunday, 1 June 2008


Today I decided to try out Wubi on my Windows Vista machine. For the uninitiated, it's a great new way of installing Ubuntu from within Windows. You just boot up as usual, then run umenu.exe from the disc and go through the menu options to install it. If you then reboot your system, you'll be able to choose between Windows and Ubuntu. If you select Ubuntu, it will be installed for you and you can then boot straight into it. While it's not quite the same as a normal install, it's a lot more convenient as you can later uninstall it from within Windows. I've tried dual-booting in the past but found it a pain - this is a lot more straightforward.

I installed Xubuntu, and I was impressed with how well it worked. Then, on a whim I decided to skin it to look like a Mac, using Mac4Lin. I had a lot of trouble with this, so I decided to switch it to Ubuntu instead by uninstalling the Xubuntu desktop and installing the Ubuntu desktop in its place. After a couple of hours work I had pretty much nailed it.

I'm very impressed with the end result. It's not exactly the same, but it is pretty close - see what you think:

I think I'm going to keep this Ubuntu install on here as I have in the past been using VirtualBox as a test bed for messing around with Linux, but that's somewhat limited. I think this will be better for tinkering, and also so I have a Gnome-based install to play with - KDE is great, but it will no doubt do me good to check out what Gnome offers as well. Also, that's the computer that my music is on so I've installed Amarok and set Ubuntu up to mount my Vista partition automatically so I can listen to music in Linux.

All in all, Wubi is very impressive. Only problem I've had is when I installed Gnome Do - it seems to be a real memory hog, worse than Firefox ever was. Anyone else had this problem?


David said...

GNOME Do is not a terrible memory hog, but the completely broken Amarok plugin is. Delete the Amarok plugin and you'll be good.

MattBD said...

Thanks David. I did wonder about that as it was fine before I added the Amarok plugin. Guess I'll have to use Rhythmbox instead - shame, Amarok is such a great player and I really wanted to be able to open tracks with Gnome Do. I could always use Katapult instead I guess.

David said...

Well, whichever jukebox you use, you it doesn't really matter because you'll only see Do most of the time. Also, have you tried Katapult? Good luck with that...

Yesterday, zgold in IRC started writing up a spec for a new generic music plugin that will work with any music player. Join our mailing list or check the blueprints on Launchpad if you want to provide feedback or just follow updates.

MattBD said...

Personally, I like Katapult (to the point where I decided not to use the KDE4 remix of Kubuntu because of the lack of it). But it could probably do with some attention - guess that once the KDE4 version comes along it will see some improvements.