Goodbye Linux Mint! Hello Ubuntu Gnome! Oh WUBI, i missed you!

Okay, it was a nice ride for me with Linux Mint for about a year and a half. It was because i was sick of Ubuntu’s unity desktop and found some advantages of Linux Mint over Ubuntu.

I have windows as my default OS, but i love to try different things in different OSs. Often things broke in the OS and reinstalling was the easiest fix for me to save time. That made ubuntu’s wubi.exe or Mint’s Mint4win.exe my favourite thing. Besides not only wubi/mint4win made reinstalling easier, but also it was easy to reclaim the space used by linux with ease. I didn’t have to boot from a windows disk or USB to fix my boot after the temporary removal of linux. And many more…. the linux nazis will never understand the need/usefulness of wubi/mint4win.

They kept saying, wubi is bad, wubi is evil, it doesn’t support everything, bla bla bla. They eventually dropped support for Wubi from Ubuntu 13.04 and Mint4Win from Linux mint 16 Petra. Wubi.exe was no longer included in the Ubuntu 13.04 ISO and mint4win.exe was no longer included in the Linux Mint 16 and 17 ISO. That just broke my heart! They gave a very lame reason.

The mint4win Windows installer was not able to reliably handle the size of the ISO images. It was therefore removed and isn’t available in Linux Mint 16.

That was, sir, the most utter bullshit i have every heard. You want to say that, you can create a full OS, but can’t solve a simple problem of handling big sized ISO files by mint4win.exe? You guys definitely didn’t try hard enough, or may be you just didn’t care!

I couldn’t afford to take the hassle of creating a new partition, formatting it, burn the ISO or creating a bootable usb stick to install linux, and if something broke, i had to go back to windows, format the partition, boot from a windows DVD to fix the master boot record and remove GRUB, and then again, proceed with the steps of installing linux again. Sorry, but that’s too much work!

So, I kept using linux OSs installed with Wubi or Mint4win anyway, with workarounds and fixes whenever possible.

After a few days, i found out that, Wubi.exe is still available, not on the ISO DVDs, but on the ubuntu mirrors (http://releases.ubuntu.com/) all along at the very end of the list. All you have to do is go to the site and download the corresponding wubi.exe for your linux version. When i found that out, i made a post here about how to install ubuntu 13.04 as dual boot with Wubi.

After a few days, i switched to Linux mint 16. It wasn’t easy to install. First i had to install Linux Mint 15 olivia with Mint4win.exe because, that was the last version that provided mint4win. Then i had to follow the painful procedure of upgrading from linux mint 15 olivia to Linux mint 16 petra. It took around a hour and half with a 31 MBps wired connection.😦

When i tried to upgrade to Linux mint 17 Qiana from a linux mint installation made with mint4win, it just broke down and wouldn’t boot anymore rather it dropped to initramfs prompt (busybox prompt). I have tried it at least 10 times since the release of mint 17 qiana, thinking that may be i did something wrong, may be that is my fault, but no luck. I tried every tutorial on the internet, spent hours and left no stones unturned, but there was no fix. It was definitely a problem, but nobody in the linux mint community cared enough to fix it.

I had no chice but just had to keep using the old version. It became worse, when the support for Linux mint 16 was ended in July 2014. I was receiving no updates as it was not an LTS release. I had to manually upgrade firefox, chrome, XBMC, Vlc, skype…you name it! It was painful. I kept using it anyhow.

Linux Mint was my default boot option for ages. But i needed some latest features of firefox so, sometimes i just restarted my laptop and switched to windows. This kept happening and my frequency of booting to linux mint was going down and one day few months ago, i made windows as my default boot option. I know it sounds ridiculous but it felts like leaving a girlfriend who just became old.

linux mint 17After Linux MInt 17.1 Rebecca was released only a few months after the release of mint 17 Qiana, I was excited! I thought, may be this is it! They may have fixed it finally. Now i can upgrade my Linux Mint (installed with mint4win) to the latest version and reunite! I am busy with studies, exams and shit, but this weekend, i finally managed to waste some time and effort on it. And you know what, it was the damn initramfs prompt again! I again visited linux mint forums and there were the same posts i have seen during my last visit. Nobody replied on that. The linux mint community community is not as active as Ubuntu community. I shouldn’t say anything like its dead or something, but just visit it at least once, and be the judge!

FUCK THIS SHIT! I am done baby!

I was looking for some other distro, Kali was my first choice and ArchLinux was my second. But none of them supported wubi or mint4win or anything similar.

Suddenly I discovered here that Ubuntu 13.04 was the only release that didn’t support WUBI.

Sweet!!!

So, it turned out that Wubi was there all along. And i was right about calling “wubi can’t handle big iso” is a total bullshit. To have a flavour of Linux mint, i thought i would install Ubuntu and remove unity and install Cinnamon. How cool would that be? There is no way i am using unity again. Again, though I should try something new. So, I decided to use Ubuntu Gnome 14.10.

But there was problem again. The wubi.exe released with Ubuntu 14.10 utopic is faulty. After rebooting the Ubuntu installer continued the installation, until it stopped with an error message: Failed to partition the selected disk with the detail This probably happened because are too many primary partitions in the partition table. It was confirmed as a bug in launchpad.

But I also found a fix! User hakuna_matata fixed wubi.exe and posted the modified wubi.exe in a dropbox folder. Details of his methods can be found here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2251986&s=11b49209d0f659540cc87069afc0e6cc&p=13162861#post13162861

Finally that worked like a charm, Hakuna Matata, it means no worries! You the man!!!

hakuna_matata_by_leovenom I have been typing for a long time! Here is a glimpse of my Ubuntu Gnome 14.10.

Screenshot from 2015-01-11 04:02:03I am going to post how to install Ubuntu Gnome 14.10 with WUBI, but let me have a smoke first!😀

Hakuna Matata baby!

26 responses to “Goodbye Linux Mint! Hello Ubuntu Gnome! Oh WUBI, i missed you!

  1. Thank you for your wunderful how-to.

    I have Windows 8.1 and UEFI. It seemed to be impossible to install Linux Mint or Ubuntu with Wubi. Then I read your how-to. I downloaded wubi1410SB.exe from hakuna matata’s dropbox folder, because I was not sure if there could be problems with SecureBoot, Fastboot or Hibernate (regarding readme.txt in the folder). I read that there is also an option to install “Ubuntu Mate 14.10” with Wubi. So I decided to use “Ubuntu Mate 14.10”. I downloaded Ubuntu Mate from https://ubuntu-mate.org/utopic to my download folder and started Wubi in the same folder and…
    …it worked like a charm.

  2. I try install kUbuntu 2015.04 in windows. But I find wubi was die…..so how to install kUbuntu 2015.04 like wubi? Wubi is a easy tool for Linux install. I don’t want to change my computer boot. If I use USB drive install Ubuntu that my computer boot will change to GRUB. how should I do? (Thank you read my poor English)

      • Hello Ugly Duck and Chouchou,
        I tried to install Kubuntu 15.04 with wubi1504r295.exe and finally, it worked. But there is an important difference between Ubuntu and Kubuntu. After first reboot and Kubuntu splash screen, I got a colored background with triangles and a mouse pointer. There wasn’t any window with installation progress as I expected. So I thought it didn’t work. I repeated this installation and asked an advanced user for help. He said that I should press CTRL + ALT + F1 and login as user kubuntu with empty password.
        That worked and then I should collect some logs like /var/log/installer/debug. I was surprised that this log said that installation was still in progress.

        So I just waited (about 15 minutes), it rebooted automatically and it worked.

      • I remember waiting up to TWO Hours to finish that installation. But it didn’t work for some reason. Happy to know that they’ve fixed it.😀
        I will give it a try.

  3. Thank you really mutch for the help. Had the same problem, this article really helped me!

  4. Well…. if u r able to spend some times on it, u will find out that the kernel parameter in grub has specified a method called “loop” while executing the mint4 win installation. In fact, we shoud be able to setup any distro on this basis…….well… with great effort of workaround.

  5. I saw that there is new repository of hakuna_matata: https://github.com/hakuna-m/wubiuefi. Maybe, it is also usable for other distros if a specialist could modify the code. Last week I got a new Lenovo notebook with a pre-installed Windows 10. I was surprised that Wubi worked without special Windows settings. I did not deactivate Secure Boot or Fast Startup or someting else. I only imported the MOK key (https://github.com/hakuna-m/wubiuefi/wiki#secure-boot) and then I changed boot sequence in UEFI BIOS because I want to boot into Ubuntu MATE by default (UEFI BIOS access is with FN+F2 after switching on)

  6. Yes, ugly duck! You are soooo right!
    LinuxMint should call hakuna_matata and kiss his feet! Maybe he can help them too.
    I am writing this post on my new Wubi16.04(beta) (on Win7-64) installation!
    It works! Just great!!
    Canonical should hire that guy!

  7. I remember my first and last foray into Linux Mint like it was yesterday. And I did not use Wubi at the time. Some days after installing it and thinking how great it all was, I started noticing random errors popping up until one day my system would no longer boot. I found that Mint has corrupted all of my NTFS partitions, making Windows unbootable.

    When I ran chkdsk to fix the filesystem corruption all my files disappeared before my eyes. The corruption was so bad that it could not be repaired without essentially wiping the disk! I finally had to go back and use a system recovery image I had made prior to installing Mint. Thankfully, I had done that before installation.

    After recovering from the system image and reinstalling all updates and restoring lost data from backups on the other partitions, I blew Mint off my hard drive, replacing it with Fedora as my main Linux distribution, and never looked back. Now, due to the current limitations of my older BIOS-based system, I am ended up running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on Wubi on a Windows 10 system, so I could use both Fedora and Ubuntu. I’ve never had the NTFS corruption issue since.

    Unfortunately, upgrading to 16.04 broke my Wubi install and I saw the same initramfs prompt you described. I ended up having to do the workaround of changing the kernel line from ro to rw just to get it to boot past that prompt. I used to have a way to fix that but that method no longer works in Ubuntu at 16.04 LTS. So, until I figure out the solution that will work with the new version of Ubuntu, I have to use the workaround. It is likely that you also are going to see broken Wubi installs in your future at the current rate things are going. I almost left Ubuntu the way I left Mint, but the workaround works for now so I continue to look for answers.

    • Currently, I am using Ubuntu 16.04 with hakuna’s Wubi without any additional workarounds. I renamed my existing ubuntu folder from C:\ubuntu to C:\ubuntu-old (because I want to use my old version after trying 16.04), downloaded a version from https://github.com/hakuna-m/wubiuefi/wiki#releases and 16.04 beta iso from http://releases.ubuntu.com/xenial and disconnected internet connection during installation. I disconnected internet connection because the wubi wanted to download a daily build iso. Probably, it is not necessary, if you want a daily build iso.

      I have never upgraded to 16.04 because 16.04 is still not a final release. But I tried other upgrades from 14.10 to 15.04 and from 15.04 to 15.10. The upgrades were very slow but they worked.

      I also found a comment of hakuna_matata where he discribed the workaround in his Wubis: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2316220&p=13451080#post13451080

      I think that there is no problem in upgrading hakuna’s Wubis but the general problem that bugs still exist and some workarounds are removed during upgrades.

      • It is true that workarounds are removed with upgrades. I’ve seen it with every upgrade so far since 12.04. This time, however, the removals were so extensive that I might as well have just installed a fresh copy of a daily build rather than attempt to upgrade and have to find and fix everything that the failed upgrade did. I also have a bit unique setup for my Wubi installs, too. The first thing I did was to convert to ext4 and async everything over to a new root.disk file 128 GBytes in size rather than the standard sizes available in Wubi. I also enlarged my swap.disk file to the size of the physical ram in the computer. By doing that I ended up getting better performance than the default ext3 filesystem you get with a Wubi install.

        But, I think it still would have taken less time to do a fresh install and do all the conversions than it would have to fix everything and still be left with a workaround. When 16.04 is finalized I’ll consider doing that. But, upgrades should go more smoothly than Windows upgrades, particularly since Linux is decades old already.

        But even with everything I do, power management on a Linux system still is abysmal and hibernation and suspension are still epic fails on a system that actually was certified to work with Ubuntu. I know hibernation won’t work with Wubi but even when I installed it on its own partition on a hard drive, power management still failed no matter what I installed or workarounds I tried. And worse, the devs don’t care about ACPI issues–literally. I wish it were otherwise.

        But, that is why a Wubi install makes so much more sense to me on this system. Since hibernation won’t work anyway, it is a perfect setup on which to do a Wubi install with all the partitions full on this BIOS-based system. If I decide to stop doing such an install I always can just uninstall the whole thing and delete left over files, if any, without compromising the system or risking damaging the Windows boot loader.

      • It is your decision whether you upgrade or do a fresh install. As I wrote I did also upgrades. In my case, upgrades were very slow but it was an automatic progress with only few things which I had to do. So there is not really a reason to avoid upgrades. But there is also no reason for me to upgrade as soon as possible to 16.04. I think that upgrades to 16.04 are still under development. I hope if I wait a little bit, it is as stable as previous upgrades.

        Fortunately, I don’t have your ext3 issue. My Wubi installs use ext4 by default.

      • Looks like I actually had to do a fresh install after all, today. I updated my 16.04 install and–BOOM!–my Ubuntu install was almost bricked by an update. At any rate, I cannot get past the VT. X won’t start–at all–and all attempts at fixing for the last few hours previous have failed.

        So, a fresh install it was. I used hakuna matata’s Wubi for 16.04 and it worked a treat. Now I’m in process of making the root.disk file contiguous. After that, the restoration from backup. Hopefully this new version of the backup utility that comes with Ubuntu doesn’t fail.

        Yes, if you can wait it would be good to avoid 16.04 until it is finalized as well. No more installing from Ubuntu “xenial proposed” for me! But, I’m stuck on xenial anyway. I have no intention of rolling back to 14.04.4 with all the problems that recently cropped up with upgrades on that version. With every point increase I could count on Wubi getting broken and losing my custom logon sound.

        I just noticed that I didn’t have to deal with ext3 to ext4 conversion, either, this time around. Looks like hakuna matata updated Wubi to install ext4 by default. Kudos to him on that. All I needed to do after install was resize the root.disk to the size I needed and rsync the files over to the new root.disk file. Moment of truth comes in just a few minutes after the file consolidation is done.

      • I am not sure whether hakuna matata updated Wubi to install ext4 by default. A friend downloaded a Wubi for 12.04 from the Ubuntu download site and Wubi also installed ext4 by default. But I am sure that hakuna matata even gives beginners the opportunity to do a fresh Wubi install with a lot of new features. My favorite features are UEFI and new distros like Ubuntu MATE. He gets a huge kudos from me for that.

      • I don’t know whether he did or not, either. But, before recently, Wubi always installed a root.disk file formatted ext3, which I then had to convert to ext4 for better performance/reliability.

        I did have an odd happenstance happen, though. When I resized the new root.disk the first time, I found that it had been formatted ext2! So, I went back and did it again and made sure it was ext4.

        After the install, I tried to restore my files. All backups failed miserably. Were it not for the fact that I had saved a backup copy of the original root.disk file I would have lost everything on that drive, including various customizations.

        So, 16.04 is still pretty buggy. I hope they will be ready on release date or there are going to be a number of really angry people with insecure computers after upgrading.

        I also like that he updated it for UEFI. This will come in handy for the machine my family uses. I am the only outlier with a BIOS-based system in the family. Everybody else is using UEFI.

  8. GRRR!!! Canonical broke a working Wubi install once again with another update to 16.04. Now I get the busybox initramfs prompt again unless I use the ro-> rw workaround in grub. Getting sick of fixing this and getting ready to jump ship.

    • I sent hakuna matata an email. He created an issue: https://github.com/hakuna-m/wubiuefi/issues/5. I hope it is only a temporary issue during development of Ubuntu 16.04. I can’t remember that I got similar issues in the past with hakuna matata’s Wubi versions. But of course, I got this issue with Canonical’s Wubi version.

      • Saw that. I used his workaround of rebuilding the initramfs and was able to get things back to some semblance of normality, and then, an update now made Ubuntu clueless about which monitor is primary–again. I had that issue in 12.04, and it looks like it is back. I’ve got apps opening on the wrong monitor all over the place now in spite of ccsm settings and the monitors.xml config file placed in locations to stop that sort of thing. I even added an option in ccsm to force Stellarium to the primary monitor, to no avail. I’m wishing I had waited to upgrade but 14.04.4 was driving me batty with all its issues, and 15.10 acted like beta software on release!

  9. Hi, thank you for putting a bit of light into my problem.
    I have a very old laptop, Fujitsu Amilo with 512M ram and 1.5GHz. Very low I know. It has XP on it, and I have edited it, so it runs well. However, I cannot go to the web, as it is really old, and I cannot update, there are problems with certificates, etc. In addition to these, there are more problems, the DVD/CD is broken, and it doesn’t recognize usb as bootable. The idea of having wubi or something similar is very attractive, but I can see some problems, and perhaps something super technical coming along the line, that goes above my ability. I also need to be careful with different versions, etc. as they could take away all my resources, due to the low spec computer.
    Could you suggest something doable for this computer?
    Thanks for your time and efforts on the blog

    • @pedro lorenzo: I installed Lubuntu 32 bit with Wubi on an old XP computer. You need no DVD/CD, no bootable USB and no internet connection. I copied the iso file and the Wubi on a nonbootable USB and an Wubi from USB. It worked for me.
      I don’t know if it works on your old computer. But if you try it and it doesn’t work you can simply uninstall it.

      • “I copied the iso file and the Wubi on a nonbootable USB and an Wubi from USB” should be “I copied the iso file and the Wubi on a nonbootable USB and ran Wubi from USB.”

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