Friday, February 06, 2009

Ever seen a Linux install modified Windows software?

Ok, this is a new one on me.  At work I have a laptop, lid closed, connected to an external monitor.  I run Windows XP, forced to by The Man.  Today I fire up the Wubi installer to grab myself a couple dozen gig of drive space easily, and make a Linux partition.

Everything goes smoothly, I reboot, get an Ubuntu option, and presto I’m in Linux.  First step, naturally, is the whole “get it updated and customized” thing.  As Linux often does on laptop installs, it tells me “The graphic driver is proprietary for your card, do you really want to install it?”  I say yes, what the heck.

Machine installs something, then tells me I have to reboot, no problem.  Monitor doesn’t come back.  Odd.

I open the lid of the laptop to find that it has booted Windows.  Hmmmm, I think – perhaps the dual boot thingie must be done from the main screen?  I reboot, select Ubuntu.  Ubuntu does not come up – halts on bootup.

I reboot into Windows.  And here’s where it gets odd….my second monitor still won’t come up?  I see that a whole new piece of software – the Intel Graphics For Mobile Manager or something – is installed and running on my machine, and it only likes my main laptop screen.

That’s weird.  I did not install that.  My best guess is that the proprietary driver I installed from Ubuntu somehow also installed this thing!?

I uninstall that, and I’m back to normal – I get my second monitor back.

I have not yet gone into the Ubuntu install because I’m at work and can’t waste the productive time.  But has anybody heard of such a thing?  Is it something in the nature of this Wubi thing that I never really left Windows, and it was really installing Windows software even when it told me I was in Linux?

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