Thursday, May 8, 2008

Wubi shows vision for Linux, but documentation is still lacking

I've been looking to make a meaningful leap to Linux for quite a while now. It wasn't far into the oughts that I tried my first Linux installation. I traded my keyboard to get a friend to setup the networking on it. Well versed in most things Linux he still had to do a fair bit of trial and error to get things going.

Now enter Wubi 7 years later. The good news is that the installation is now a breeze. It is quite simply idiot proof. If you can install a program, you can get Wubi to work for you. I downloaded an installer and 4 hours later--even with a high speed connection--I had Ubuntu Linux installed on my computer right beside Windows.

Please be warned there are stories of the Wubi installer corrupting Windows installations. So be sure to back up before you use it.

Now a word about my computing habits. I spend about 90% of my computer time on Firefox. There is some other reading, media use and troubleshooting. So all I really want to have a good go with Linux is reliable networking. And I didn't get it.

First off, when I first booted to Linux my wifi card didn't have a driver. I have been around computers for a while and don't mind getting my hands dirty. I can harness the power of a command line and pour through forums looking for solutions to my issues.

I tried a few strategies to get my network connected and everyone of them threw an error before completion. There is documentation out there for Ubuntu Linux, and even some for Wubi, but not enough to make it worthwhile installing without your own personal Linux guru.

The installation is now super simple but you will likely not get much beyond that unless you are that super savvy tech guy. And if you are that guy then the installation probably didn't give you much trouble anyhow.

Wubi is a step in the right direction. It shows a vision to make Linux accessible to the Windows user, but there is a ways to go.


  1. Linux (especially newer versions such as ubuntu) have more than enough online help, but if you ever need something I do have the current Linux bible here and don't mind lending a hand :D

  2. The main problem is that I can get my wifi adapter to work. It is a Broadcom 802.11 b/g. All of the possible solutions I looked up, I couldn't get through it without an error. If you want to give it a shot I won't stop you.