Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Using Wubi without torrent

Wubi is a great way to test Linux (any Ubuntu variant) without having to mess with partitioning the disk or changing the boot loader. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to take the first steps into Linux, and afraid to jump to the deep water.

Other than that, Wubi is also perfect for people who cannot repartition their HDD for whatever reason it may be. Also, since it adds an entry to the "add/remove programs" control panel, it is easy to get rid of the installation if one finds it disappointing or want to proceed to the next level of installing Linux on a real partition.

When using Wubi, the installer will attempt to download the installation media using the bittorrent protocol. This might be a problem if you're using a network which doesn't allow torrents to be downloaded. This is the case with some corporate networks and with ISPs that block torrent traffic. In these cases, it is still possible to use Wubi, without having to download a torrent.

To do this, one needs to download the Ubuntu (again, any variant would do) installation media, or rip it from a CD/DVD, and have the ISO file in the same folder as the Wubi executable. Now, when running Wubi, it would recognize the ISO file, and skip the download all together. Since it is possible to download or rip the ISO without the bittorrent protocol, the problem is solved.

Enjoy your new Linux installation.


  1. Thanks for the tip. I am faing an issue while trying to install Kubuntu 9.04 in this way. I ran wubi9.04 from a directory where I have Kubuntu 9.04 ISO is present. I received an error for the installation and the log file listed the following info regarding the stored ISO:
    11-22 19:03 DEBUG Distro: checking Kubuntu ISO C:\Install\kubuntu-9.04-dvd-amd64.iso
    11-22 19:03 DEBUG Distro: wrong size: 4593190912 > 900000000

    Is there any setting I can use to overcome this error?

  2. I'm not aware of any such setting. But did you try to verify the MD5 of the ISO and see if it is correct (per what is published on the ISO download site)?

  3. Hi, I tried several times to install Ubuntu on XP, SP3, via Wubi. It installs but fails to recognize my keyboard (USB) so I cannot select Ubuntu on the grub boot and by default, goes on into XP. I don't have ps2 keyboard nor should I need one as on another computer with Jaunty 9.04, no problem with my keyboard. Possible problem with 9.10.

    Also, when I remove the Wubin ubuntu, (as I can't access it) the boot info still comes up offering XP or Ubuntu, which, due to keyboard not working, means a 27 second delay before xp loads by default. How do I get rid of this xp/ubuntu roadblock? Thanks

  4. This is a good question for the appropriate Ubuntu/Wubi forums.

    But since you're already here... my bet is that the issue has nothing to do with Ubuntu (9.10, or any other version), but that for some reason your USB keyboard doesn't function before any OS loads. The reason for this is that the boot menu isn't Ubuntu's at all, but it's the WindowsNT loader. Try and see if the keyboard works prior to that stage, e.g, access the BIOS.