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The only thing which I know about WUBI, is that it allowed you to install Ubuntu on NTFS. One might think that this was an easy application to develop, as all it was on the surface, was installing Ubuntu on another file system, just as you may install Ubuntu on FAT, ext2, reiserfs, etc.

So with this in mind; was creating a piece of software that installed ubuntu on a Windows machine an easy endeavour?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by LnxSlck, RobotHumans, Braiam, Seth Aug 5 '14 at 21:47

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This doesn't fit well in the QA format. It might fit in the forums or on discourse more appropriately. It could even fit better as an IRC conversation or a Google hangout. – RobotHumans Aug 5 '14 at 21:38
Links: Discourse and forums and IRC. – Seth Aug 5 '14 at 21:50
The answer actually cites the difficulties and limitations to developing Wubi, and frankly answers this question perfectly. I would encourage you to reconsider your votes. – Akiva Aug 5 '14 at 21:52
@Akiva - I would tend to agree that someone wrote a good answer, but if you allow one question of this type - then you open a very large door. The majority of questions that march through that door would be TERRIBLE. So, I appreciate and upvote that answer, but my close-vote stands unless I'm overridden. I also commented directly to that answer as to where it could be more complete... and how it would become a discussion not a QA. – RobotHumans Aug 5 '14 at 22:13
Ah; I can't take credit for the answer; it was Kraxor. I understand the slippery slope argument, and I think you make a reasonable argument. – Akiva Aug 5 '14 at 22:14
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Wubi uses a virtual disk (c:\ubuntu\disks\root.disk), so it's not actually installed on NTFS in the original sense.

The Wikipedia article on Wubi explains pretty well how it works. To answer your question, let me quote a few lines from the History section:

A number of Linux distributions, including Red Hat Linux and Slackware's ZipSlack, provided a similar tool in the mid 1990s, using syslinux and the UMSDOS filesystem driver. Later, SuSE provided something similar using syslinux and loop-mounted disk images on FAT filesystems. During the late '90s BeOS used a similar system to install the OS in a folder in Windows.

So, Wubi was not an original idea, it was just an implementation of an installer that uses a loopmounted device.

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I like the answer, but the "just uses a loopmount device" doesn't speak to any of the intricacies required to do that very thing. So, it is a good answer - but incomplete. This type of problem is why I pointed to other venues to discuss it. – RobotHumans Aug 5 '14 at 22:15
@hbdgaf I agree that I could have gone into more details, however I was expecting the question to be closed, so I just wanted to show that similar software has been developed before, and show a few points on how it actually works, while upvoting your comment on the question. Maybe someday we could create a Q&A that explains the logic behind Wubi in greater details. – kraxor Aug 5 '14 at 23:44

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