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The Performance Impact Of Ubuntu's Wubi Windows Installer

Oct 21, 2010, 19:02 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

"Being developed since 2007 and integrated in Ubuntu since 2008 with their Ubuntu 8.04 LTS release has been Wubi, the Windows-based Ubuntu Installer. While most Linux users tend to install Ubuntu using the LiveCD or the alternate CD installer, by using Wubi you can setup a full desktop from within Microsoft Windows. Wubi places Ubuntu into a disk image still residing on the Windows partition, thereby making it easy to install and remove without risking any problems of messing up your drive's partitions. While Wubi may lower the barrier for entry to trying out an Ubuntu Linux desktop, it does not come without some performance penalties associated to using the loop-mounted device stored on the Microsoft file-system.

"Coming out of a reader request that pointed out an AskUbuntu.com question regarding Wubi performance differences, we decided to run some simple tests to quantitatively show the performance differences. We carried out a clean install of Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 with its NTFS file-system taking up the entire disk. After Windows 7 x64 was installed, we immediately ran the Ubuntu 10.10 Wubi installer to carry out some benchmarks. After those benchmarks of Ubuntu 10.10 via Wubi were carried out, we wiped the disk using a clean install of Ubuntu 10.10 from the LiveCD with its default EXT4 file-system occupying the entire hard drive. All operating systems were left in their default configurations."

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