[RFC] Proposal to disable Wubi Installs from 12.04 (but maintain the separate .exe)

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[RFC] Proposal to disable Wubi Installs from 12.04 (but maintain the separate .exe)

Rick Spencer-2
Hello all,

This email regards wubi, a tool used to set up Ubuntu in a dual boot configuration in a manner that does not require disk partitioning. Wubi is a windows program. It is currently delivered as a standalone executable downloadable from the web, as well as part of official Ubuntu images. You can read about wubi in the excellent user guide:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WubiGuide

I am proposing a small but notable change to how we deliver wubi for 12.04. I am proposing that:

 1. We continue to test and bug fix wubi.exe as the separate Windows program
 2. We cotinue to offer wubi.exe for download as the separate Windows program.
 3. We disable the ability to do a wubi installation from the Ubuntu 12.04 ISOs. (wubi will remain on the images for the purpose of providing Windows users some feedback and functionality if they put a Ubuntu CD into a running Windows computer, but won't offer to install).

Separating the wubi.exe experience from the ISOs will give us the following important benefits:

 1. We will be able to do maintenance and enhancements to wubi outside of the Ubuntu development cycle.
 2. Significant reduciton of QA work for an already over-streched QA team.
 3. Better overall 12.04 quality, and less stress at release time.
 4. We won't get stuck with a poor (or worse) user experience on the CD since is a good chance that wubi will not work properly with Windows 8.

I am proposing these changes to the plan because:

 1. The key use case for wubi is being able to download and run the installer on Windows, not installing from the ISO.
 2. Wubi is difficult to test, so has been difficult to assure that it will meet the quality standards we have set for 12.04.
 3. There are no developers treating wubi as their top priorities. This combined with the QA difficulties has historically caused late breaking changes that add stress at release time and frequentily invalidate already executed ISO testing.
 4. Most significantly, Windows is changing it's boot system with Windows 8, and it's not clear how wubi will work with Windows 8, if at all.

Cheers, Rick

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Re: [RFC] Proposal to disable Wubi Installs from 12.04 (but maintain the separate .exe)

Kees Cook-5
Hi,

On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 05:15:02PM +0100, Rick Spencer wrote:

> Separating the wubi.exe experience from the ISOs will give us the following
> important benefits:
>
>  1. We will be able to do maintenance and enhancements to wubi outside of
> the Ubuntu development cycle.
>  2. Significant reduciton of QA work for an already over-streched QA team.
>  3. Better overall 12.04 quality, and less stress at release time.
>  4. We won't get stuck with a poor (or worse) user experience on the CD
> since is a good chance that wubi will not work properly with Windows 8.
>
> I am proposing these changes to the plan because:
>
>  1. The key use case for wubi is being able to download and run the
> installer on Windows, not installing from the ISO.
>  2. Wubi is difficult to test, so has been difficult to assure that it will
> meet the quality standards we have set for 12.04.
>  3. There are no developers treating wubi as their top priorities. This
> combined with the QA difficulties has historically caused late breaking
> changes that add stress at release time and frequentily invalidate already
> executed ISO testing.
>  4. Most significantly, Windows is changing it's boot system with Windows
> 8, and it's not clear how wubi will work with Windows 8, if at all.

How much space is reclaimed on the ISO with the removal of Wubi?

-Kees

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Re: [RFC] Proposal to disable Wubi Installs from 12.04 (but maintain the separate .exe)

Steve Langasek-6
Hi Kees,

On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 09:27:41AM -0700, Kees Cook wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 05:15:02PM +0100, Rick Spencer wrote:
> > Separating the wubi.exe experience from the ISOs will give us the following
> > important benefits:

> >  1. We will be able to do maintenance and enhancements to wubi outside of
> > the Ubuntu development cycle.
> >  2. Significant reduciton of QA work for an already over-streched QA team.
> >  3. Better overall 12.04 quality, and less stress at release time.
> >  4. We won't get stuck with a poor (or worse) user experience on the CD
> > since is a good chance that wubi will not work properly with Windows 8.

> > I am proposing these changes to the plan because:

> >  1. The key use case for wubi is being able to download and run the
> > installer on Windows, not installing from the ISO.
> >  2. Wubi is difficult to test, so has been difficult to assure that it will
> > meet the quality standards we have set for 12.04.
> >  3. There are no developers treating wubi as their top priorities. This
> > combined with the QA difficulties has historically caused late breaking
> > changes that add stress at release time and frequentily invalidate already
> > executed ISO testing.
> >  4. Most significantly, Windows is changing it's boot system with Windows
> > 8, and it's not clear how wubi will work with Windows 8, if at all.

> How much space is reclaimed on the ISO with the removal of Wubi?

From Rick's mail:

  3. We disable the ability to do a wubi installation from the Ubuntu 12.04
  ISOs. (wubi will remain on the images for the purpose of providing Windows
  users some feedback and functionality if they put a Ubuntu CD into a
  running Windows computer, but won't offer to install).

At this time, we don't expect to be able to reclaim any space on the ISO
with this change.  In the future we may consider splitting the autorun menu
out of wubi.exe to save some space (this is how it was structured
originally), but it's very late in the cycle to attempt such a refactoring
for 12.04.  It's safer to simply disable the "install" option when run from
the CD.

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Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
[hidden email]                                     [hidden email]

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Re: [RFC] Proposal to disable Wubi Installs from 12.04 (but maintain the separate .exe)

Scott Kitterman-3
On Tuesday, March 20, 2012 09:37:06 AM Steve Langasek wrote:

> Hi Kees,
>
> On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 09:27:41AM -0700, Kees Cook wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 05:15:02PM +0100, Rick Spencer wrote:
> > > Separating the wubi.exe experience from the ISOs will give us the
> > > following> >
> > > important benefits:
> > >  1. We will be able to do maintenance and enhancements to wubi
> > >  outside of> >
> > > the Ubuntu development cycle.
> > >
> > >  2. Significant reduciton of QA work for an already over-streched
> > >  QA team. 3. Better overall 12.04 quality, and less stress at
> > >  release time. 4. We won't get stuck with a poor (or worse) user
> > >  experience on the CD> >
> > > since is a good chance that wubi will not work properly with Windows
> > > 8.
> > >
> > > I am proposing these changes to the plan because:
> > >  1. The key use case for wubi is being able to download and run the
> > >
> > > installer on Windows, not installing from the ISO.
> > >
> > >  2. Wubi is difficult to test, so has been difficult to assure that
> > >  it will> >
> > > meet the quality standards we have set for 12.04.
> > >
> > >  3. There are no developers treating wubi as their top priorities.
> > >  This
> > >
> > > combined with the QA difficulties has historically caused late
> > > breaking
> > > changes that add stress at release time and frequentily invalidate
> > > already executed ISO testing.
> > >
> > >  4. Most significantly, Windows is changing it's boot system with
> > >  Windows> >
> > > 8, and it's not clear how wubi will work with Windows 8, if at all.
> >
> > How much space is reclaimed on the ISO with the removal of Wubi?
>
> From Rick's mail:
>
>   3. We disable the ability to do a wubi installation from the Ubuntu 12.04
>   ISOs. (wubi will remain on the images for the purpose of providing Windows
> users some feedback and functionality if they put a Ubuntu CD into a
> running Windows computer, but won't offer to install).
>
> At this time, we don't expect to be able to reclaim any space on the ISO
> with this change.  In the future we may consider splitting the autorun menu
> out of wubi.exe to save some space (this is how it was structured
> originally), but it's very late in the cycle to attempt such a refactoring
> for 12.04.  It's safer to simply disable the "install" option when run from
> the CD.

The major limiter in testing is the lack of people with Windows to run tests.  
It seems like based on this proposal there would still be some need for each
ISO to have Windows based QA testing (although less than before).

Since, with the demise of shipit, the project has moved significantly away from
pre-printed CDs, I don't see much value in shipping a Wubi variant in order to
tell Windows users "This isn't the installation method you want."

Based on the discussion so far, I think removing it entirely makes more sense.

Scott K

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Re: [RFC] Proposal to disable Wubi Installs from 12.04 (but maintain the separate .exe)

Kees Cook-5
In reply to this post by Steve Langasek-6
On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 09:37:06AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:

>   3. We disable the ability to do a wubi installation from the Ubuntu 12.04
>   ISOs. (wubi will remain on the images for the purpose of providing Windows
>   users some feedback and functionality if they put a Ubuntu CD into a
>   running Windows computer, but won't offer to install).
>
> At this time, we don't expect to be able to reclaim any space on the ISO
> with this change.  In the future we may consider splitting the autorun menu
> out of wubi.exe to save some space (this is how it was structured
> originally), but it's very late in the cycle to attempt such a refactoring
> for 12.04.  It's safer to simply disable the "install" option when run from
> the CD.

Oh, whoops. I re-read Rick's email a few times and continued to miss that.

What kind of feedback is shown with this change? Is it actually useful
(i.e. not just "install" greyed out)?

-Kees

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Re: [RFC] Proposal to disable Wubi Installs from 12.04 (but maintain the separate .exe)

Evan Dandrea-3
On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 5:07 PM, Kees Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 09:37:06AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
>>   3. We disable the ability to do a wubi installation from the Ubuntu 12.04
>>   ISOs. (wubi will remain on the images for the purpose of providing Windows
>>   users some feedback and functionality if they put a Ubuntu CD into a
>>   running Windows computer, but won't offer to install).
>>
>> At this time, we don't expect to be able to reclaim any space on the ISO
>> with this change.  In the future we may consider splitting the autorun menu
>> out of wubi.exe to save some space (this is how it was structured
>> originally), but it's very late in the cycle to attempt such a refactoring
>> for 12.04.  It's safer to simply disable the "install" option when run from
>> the CD.
>
> Oh, whoops. I re-read Rick's email a few times and continued to miss that.
>
> What kind of feedback is shown with this change? Is it actually useful
> (i.e. not just "install" greyed out)?

Apologies for the late reply.

It would look something like this (not sure what happened to the
anti-aliasing there):
http://people.canonical.com/~evand/tmp/wubi_without_wubi.png

The "demo and full installation" option puts the Ubuntu installation
medium into the Windows bootloader, so the user doesn't have to faff
about with their BIOS settings. The "learn more" option takes you to
http://www.ubuntu.com.

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Re: [RFC] Proposal to disable Wubi Installs from 12.04 (but maintain the separate .exe)

Rick Spencer-2
Hello all,

To complete the discussion, based on the below comments and others, I logged the following bug:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/wubi/+bug/975251
"please hide the "install ubuntu" option from wubi.exe on the CD"

It seems to be Fixed Relese already.

Cheers, Rick

On Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 4:43 PM, Evan Dandrea <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 5:07 PM, Kees Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 09:37:06AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
>>   3. We disable the ability to do a wubi installation from the Ubuntu 12.04
>>   ISOs. (wubi will remain on the images for the purpose of providing Windows
>>   users some feedback and functionality if they put a Ubuntu CD into a
>>   running Windows computer, but won't offer to install).
>>
>> At this time, we don't expect to be able to reclaim any space on the ISO
>> with this change.  In the future we may consider splitting the autorun menu
>> out of wubi.exe to save some space (this is how it was structured
>> originally), but it's very late in the cycle to attempt such a refactoring
>> for 12.04.  It's safer to simply disable the "install" option when run from
>> the CD.
>
> Oh, whoops. I re-read Rick's email a few times and continued to miss that.
>
> What kind of feedback is shown with this change? Is it actually useful
> (i.e. not just "install" greyed out)?

Apologies for the late reply.

It would look something like this (not sure what happened to the
anti-aliasing there):
http://people.canonical.com/~evand/tmp/wubi_without_wubi.png

The "demo and full installation" option puts the Ubuntu installation
medium into the Windows bootloader, so the user doesn't have to faff
about with their BIOS settings. The "learn more" option takes you to
http://www.ubuntu.com.

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