Wubi

I am now using Windows 7. And well, its a well-designed OS (with a not-so-well-designed network-configuration but well, nothing is perfect), its trivial to set up a terminal server with it, and login remotely.

But then … well … its still Windows. It doesnt „feel“ good. As Mac OS X doesnt „feel“ good. Also, Ubuntu didnt „feel“ good. I am just not „feeling“ good using these Mainstream-Systems. So my plans are to get back to some real Linux (or maybe other Unix-Like) System asap. Maybe slackware, maybe arch linux, maybe debian. Dont know right now.

However, as you might know, this is not the easiest task on a MacBook Pro, if you want to keep a native Windows and Mac OS X. It needs a special bootloader, with a lot of restrictions in partition size and number, etc.

So today, at a time when I got too nerved by my work to continue it, I decided to test Wubi. Well, Wubi is an Ubuntu-Installer, and yes, I said, Ubuntu doesnt „feel“ good. But Wubi uses Lupin, and installs itself on a file inside the NTFS-Filesystem of Windows. It is not virtualized, it is a real, native-running Linux Kernel, which is just not installed on a single partition, but on a loopmounted file on an ntfs-partition. It installs GRUB on this file, and is started by the Windows-Bootloader, an extra entry is put into that bootloader.

Thats really nice. You dont have to mess around with partitions and bootloaders and stuff, and well, it worked perfectly for me. It may have some drawbacks (no hibernation, slightly slower, etc.), but I think its a good trade. Actually, maybe it would be better to use a directory with the needed files directly, instead of having a big file with a filesystem on it – so the files could be accessed directly, even from windows. NTFS also has access controlls, and file permissions could be saved in an external file, too. But I see that this could become a lot harder.

On the other hand, well, its Ubuntu. I will keep it installed until I find time to re-setup my system (because I need a Linux at the moment, but I need it only sometimes, and therefore, Wubi is ok). And then I will look for possibilities to do the same with other distributions – I mean, in the end, its a modified initramfs, it should be possible.

Unfortunately, there seems not to be a possibility to do the same under OS X yet (otherwise I would do so). The Webpage sais it is planned. I wonder whats the problem with this. HFS+ is natively supported by Linux, so this should be even easier than with NTFS (which needs FUSE).

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