ubuntu everywhere

Bug #376807 reported by phonixor on 2009-05-15
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Portable Ubuntu for Windows
Ubuntu One Client
Matt Griffin
Ubuntu One storage protocol

Bug Description

- not all my files are everywhere
- my favorite programs/setting/bookmarks/msn history are @home
- i don't have install rights @school
- i need that windows program!
- they don't have ubuntu at work (the sacrilege!!!)

The ultimate USB stick, that allows you to run your own desktop and favorite apps anywhere!
- If you boot it it should act as a normal live usb distro, but this time one that will save any changes you make, and allows you to install stuff...
  (not sure how its now... i somehow failed to make one... will test later :P)
- portable ubuntu like if put in windows box, this will run ubuntu apps in windows!(described more in detail bellow)
  similar for mac if possible (though this is less important, cause there are just many more windows pc's out there, and you should shun mac users anyways!)
- if you put it in a foreign ubuntu machine, you should load a guest like account for ubuntu, but this time with your favorite settings
  (maybe also use the packages/programs on the usb if not on the host pc... might be a dependency hell... so you'll have to think about this :P)
All of these should make use of the same data!!!. you want all programs everywhere!!! and you want everything similar!!!

From this point it is just a better usb live implementation but Canonical is creating a new dropbox like service,
All the files (program settings, plugins etc..) (and maybe later packages, but that could be solved by my solotion bellow) should be synced by this service, so that if you lose your usb stick its not a complete disaster), and it makes integration with the desktop even more awesome (objective post are for noobs).
also this makes it possible to make full use of the ubuntu one features on a foreign computer, on windows environments!
(they werent planning on making any ports)
This also allows you to use ubuntu one on offline computers!!!, cause the moment you get home, all data is synced.

Stick it in UBUNTU!:
It would be great if not only your documents, but also your applications would stay the same on your home pc.
what if once you add it into your ubuntu machine (or any ubuntu pc on which you have admin rights i guess..)
you can get the options:
- sync the packages from my computer to the usb stick.
- sync the packages from my usb stick to my computer (might be usefull for computers without internet connection).
- clone this USB stick (make it viral!)
- create a package/repository list document
  (Space on an usb stick is limited, but once you get to an other computer, you should be able to select to install all packages from this list aswell
  (you will download, this way cloning will also be possible for smaller usb sticks).

Stick it in Windows!/Mac!:
There should be an autorun.ini (something simular for mac) that opens a menu with the following options:
- startup portable ubuntu
- open file browser
- startup ubuntu as virtual box (for those who can't live without there favorite background)
- install as dual boot / full install / install portable ubuntu / clone me!
- stop bugging me! (close the window)
- remote desktop to my home pc (or a cloud version...)
  (this also gets you to use your remote desktops if you don't have the admin rights to install the tools you might otherwise need)
most of these options should have a radio button behind them to set them as the preferred action, so that the next time you insert the USB stick,
it wont open the damn menu, for this will become very annoying...
(implementation... make the autorun.ini run the .exe with a flag, that will auto pick the default setting, this way if you manually click the .exe, it will open the menu again, so you can change the default, or pick an other action :P)

Boot it!:
- start default live session
- install normal ubuntu (you like to share ubuntu with the world, but you dont want to share your files)
- sync the usb stick to the computer (clone it :P)
- (the other options the live usb/ live cd offer...)

Implementation thoughts:
- the file system should not be supported by MAC OS X!! cause if you insert your USB stick in a mac hole, you'll guaranteed to get aids!!
  (2 files in every directory, that are supposed to store the map display settings or something... BAD MAC!!)
  instead the open file browser option in the menu should translate it.
  (though you need a very small partition that is supported with the autorun and the menu of course...)
- windows trash can's are also annoying... as are the .trash dirs made by ubuntu...
  (there only annoying if there empty... else its a nice feature...)
  so it might be nice to do it here aswell, though its less mandatory...
- normally i prefer a separate partition for /home/
  (cause ubuntu update still isn't good enough... this should be fixed :@!!!...
  it should be made that it will update everything to look exactly like a fresh install.. (unless you changed settings...))
  though on a usb stick you only have limited space...
- the /home/ partition could be FAT if you don't like the idea of having to depend on the menu option :P
  (might be an option during installation of the usb stick, i seriously would prefer an unreadable one... (ext4 would do great i guess))
- program settings should also be synced (with help of ubuntu one), this is very important,
  and you don't want users to manually add the folders of there programs to ubuntu one
  though of course they still should have this option
  so either add programs like pidgin and firefox and stuff by default to this list...
  i think adding the entire home dir might get a little internet connection expencive,
  and you only have 2gb in a free ubuntu one account, and limited size on your usb stick, so this would be impractical
- Sync entire desktop to the cloud...
  (you should be able to remote login into these, with remote login available from both usb stick, and native windows/mac protocols)

next step:
add android / ubuntu mobile / moblin / iphone app, that installs these functions on the flash of your phone:
so that all the above works of your mobile phone!! (you will boot from your phone
(don't know if this is possible for all phones, but it sounds awesome)),
including that your phone will become a wireless router/adapter/Internet connection!

some urls from which i stole the ideas:
ubuntu applications in windows:
Android stuff:

Additional ideas:
i personally think this idea is very very very cool...
this could also help solve the nr 1 bug.
as it makes the threshold very low, cause you could sell it as a windows/mac application!!
and as an telephone app!! (just the installer, and only if you are on fast wifi i guess... )

sales strategy for Canonical:
- sell the phone thing... but then fully configured already... (or an ubuntu phone :P)
- sell usb sticks that already have it installed and configured (including proprietary formats and stuff)...
- sell usb stick+wireless+3g(or whatever network) combo...
all should include the free account from ubunto one (you can also bundle it with 3g acces plan... much like the amazon kindle...)

Remember this will get you:
ALL your favorite apps fully configured everywhere!!!, never forget your passwords!!!,
your msn convo's!!!, you bookmarks!!! ALL your favorite files everywhere!!!
Your favorite OS everywhere!!! All your favorite firefox addons!!!
full ubuntu one features everywhere!!!

any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

brainstorm idea:

phonixor (phonixor) on 2009-05-19
description: updated
phonixor (phonixor) on 2009-05-21
description: updated
phonixor (phonixor) on 2009-05-21
description: updated
DemonCcC (demonccc) wrote :

Hi, everyone.

I'm working on join Coubuntu and Portable Ubuntu. The main idea is make an Windows installer that permit install Ubuntu on Windows and permit run it standalone (such as Wubi) and on Windows (Such as Portable Ubuntu). Also I'm creating some .deb packages to add this feature on Ubuntu on an clean way.

phonixor (phonixor) wrote :

ooh thats very cool!
i couldn't find on the portable/colinux websites, if these USB's would still be bootable / live session (or did you mean that by standalone?). Cause if this is, it would mean pretty much the most work of this will be done!!!
(least i think...)

and i think the ubuntuone people will place nicely in sinking most program settings,
(they where very enthousatic about this in some other bugs.)
they already put the usb support as a wish list item (triaged)!

but i figure we will hear more about there plans after the UDS.

Paul Sladen (sladen) wrote :

u1storage is depended upon by u1sync anyway.

Changed in ubuntuone-storage-protocol:
status: New → Invalid
Agostino Russo (ago) wrote :

DemonCcC, let me know if you need any help on the Wubi side. FYI at UDS there was some concern about the efforts involved in maintaining another kernel. I haven't spoken with the kernel devs since. For the time being, the best avenue is probably to have a package in ubuntu (ppa?) + a windows installer that can use an existing wubi installation. It looks like you are already working on that, which is great! It would be nice to have wubi set-up a windows menu as explained in the mailing list, and have it download and install portable ubuntu the first time a user tries to run ubuntu apps inside of windows from the menu. But then users might expect support for the colinux kernel. So again a separate app might be a good approach for this cycle and if it goes well we could make plans for the next cycle. That said, you could already use wubi codebase to create an app that downloads and install the colinux bundle and (if required) the ISO.

Matt Griffin (mattgriffin) wrote :

Cool idea. Adding to our wishlist for considering in the future.

Changed in ubuntuone-client:
assignee: nobody → Matt Griffin (mattgriffin)
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Joshua Blount (jblount) wrote :

Just swapping to confirmed, New is for bugs we haven't touched yet, but I can confirm this is a solid wishlist feature / bug for ubuntuone-client :)

Changed in ubuntuone-client:
status: New → Confirmed
Agostino Russo (ago) wrote :

For Colinux / Wubi integration you might be interested in https://wiki.ubuntu.com/FoundationsTeam/Specs/KarmicWubi

DemonCcC (demonccc) wrote :

Ok, I would like to work on this. Tell me when we can start it. The next installer for Windows is coming!

phonixor (phonixor) wrote :

any progress?

_r1_ (elegall) on 2010-02-07
Changed in live-creator:
status: New → Invalid
Philip Muškovac (yofel) on 2010-03-16
Changed in ubuntu:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
nUboon2Age (nuboon2age) wrote :

Note that I succesfully ran some of the funcions of Ubuntu One gnome client on Portable Ubuntu and my discussion about it is located at http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=9540784&postcount=2

phonixor (phonixor) wrote :

i think it would only be usefull if you could make a directory on your USB stick a UDF (user defined folder)
which is harder if you make it cross platform, because windows mounts the USB differently then ubuntu i suppose...
though i haven't given this much thought...

i haven't really tried ubuntuone on different ubuntu desktops i must admit... will first have to study its behaviour before i say things to stupid :P
though i think by default UDF shouldn't be shared anyways, cause you don't always want the same mount points on the same machines...
No idea how it is now though, hope it already is good :) will look into it...
(The implementation of windows live mess, was on this point pretty decent, though it was horrible in combination with roaming profiles... a real little disaster :) )

Changed in ubuntu:
status: New → Confirmed
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