[RFC] Proposal to disable Wubi Installs from 12.04 (but maintain the separate .exe)

Rick Spencer rick.spencer at canonical.com
Tue Mar 20 16:15:02 UTC 2012

Hello all,

This email regards wubi, a tool used to set up Ubuntu in a dual boot
configuration in a manner that does not require disk partitioning. Wubi is
a windows program. It is currently delivered as a standalone executable
downloadable from the web, as well as part of official Ubuntu images. You
can read about wubi in the excellent user guide:

I am proposing a small but notable change to how we deliver wubi for 12.04.
I am proposing that:

 1. We continue to test and bug fix wubi.exe as the separate Windows program
 2. We cotinue to offer wubi.exe for download as the separate Windows
 3. We disable the ability to do a wubi installation from the Ubuntu 12.04
ISOs. (wubi will remain on the images for the purpose of providing Windows
users some feedback and functionality if they put a Ubuntu CD into a
running Windows computer, but won't offer to install).

Separating the wubi.exe experience from the ISOs will give us the following
important benefits:

 1. We will be able to do maintenance and enhancements to wubi outside of
the Ubuntu development cycle.
 2. Significant reduciton of QA work for an already over-streched QA team.
 3. Better overall 12.04 quality, and less stress at release time.
 4. We won't get stuck with a poor (or worse) user experience on the CD
since is a good chance that wubi will not work properly with Windows 8.

I am proposing these changes to the plan because:

 1. The key use case for wubi is being able to download and run the
installer on Windows, not installing from the ISO.
 2. Wubi is difficult to test, so has been difficult to assure that it will
meet the quality standards we have set for 12.04.
 3. There are no developers treating wubi as their top priorities. This
combined with the QA difficulties has historically caused late breaking
changes that add stress at release time and frequentily invalidate already
executed ISO testing.
 4. Most significantly, Windows is changing it's boot system with Windows
8, and it's not clear how wubi will work with Windows 8, if at all.

Cheers, Rick
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