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Provide Windows users an easy alternative to using physical CDs
This feature would provide Windows users with a graphical utility to create bootable Fedora liveUSB media or boot in Live mode from the hard drive, such as UNetbootin , and make it readily available from the Fedora Project download page as an alternative to liveCDs for Windows users.
- Name: GezaKovacs
- Targeted release: Fedora 10
- Last updated: 2008-04-07
- Percentage of completion: 50%
Ubuntu has implemented a similar feature, in the form of Wubi . This is different, in that Wubi required extensive modifications to Ubuntu's boot system for loopmounted booting (and given its dependencies on ubiquity and Ubuntu-specific boot behavior, it will all have to be re-implemented for Anaconda); therefore, using a loopmounted installation approach would be unrealistic. Additionally, supporting loopmounted-installations on an enterprise-grade system such as Fedora would lead to countless issues, including not only issues with hibernation and suspend, Windows bootloader and host NTFS filesystem dependencies, reduced performance, and other potential problems.
Instead, this proposes to simply provide a Windows fronted to create liveUSB drives or boot in Live mode from the hard drive, thereby requiring no modifications to Anaconda or Fedora's boot system, while reaching a similar degree of user-friendliness.
When installing from the LiveUSB, no partitioning issues will be encountered, though when booting in Live mode from the Windows partition, Anaconda will be unable to resize that partition. Therefore, users will have to pre-partition their disks, before launching the installer, if not installing from liveUSB. This can be accomplished on systems running Windows Vista and newer via their built-in partition resizing utilities (optionally, with a custom, more user-friendly frontend integrated into the Windows installer executable). On pre-Vista systems, users will either need to boot into a partitioner utility such as Parted Magic (also currently supported by UNetbootin) beforehand to pre-partition their disks, or they can install directly from FTP rather than via pre-downloaded install or live media.
Benefit to Fedora
Most new Linux users (existing Windows users) seeking to test, install, and use Fedora download the liveCD iso file, burn it to a CD, and boot from it to try and install it. However, this poses a few inconveniences; namely, not all users can or are willing to burn CDs (no spare CD-Rs, no CD/DVD burner), and not all computers can boot CDs (namely newer ultraportable laptops without CD drives). While bootable live USB drives and netboot installations appear to be the logical solution to this problem, these options currently are only readily and easily available to existing Linux users, since Fedora's existing liveUSB creation scripts and utilities don't run on Windows, and manual netboot installations are nowhere near as user-friendly as the livemedia approach.
Fedora branding (logos, naming) for UNetbootin. Internationalized translations for UNetbootin (current version is English-only, but is ready for translation via Qt Linguist).
A more convenient way to create liveUSB disks and install Fedora for Windows users.
mingw32 (for building Windows executables on Fedora)
Don't include any such Windows-based installer for Fedora in the official Fedora 10 distribution, and retry for next release.