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The Performance Impact Of Ubuntu’s Wubi Windows Installer

“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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