Incorporate the Lupin project within Ubuntu

Registered by Agostino Russo

Lupin ( is a project that allows to install and boot Ubuntu (or any Debian based distro) from within a loopmounted file. The main advantage is that the installation can be performed without having to burn a CD-Rom, and without having to modify existing partitions. This implies that Ubuntu can be installed/uninstalled as an ordinary program. User feedback so far has been extremely positive, even for pre-release versions. This blueprint aims to port lupin functionalities (namely support for loopmounted installations) to the official initrd and the hd-media/alternate ISO.

Lupin works already as a stand-alone product, but since lupin essentially generates a modified initramfs as well as a patched ISO, it is well possible to incorporate most of its functionality directly upstream within the default initrd (so that it can also boot from a loopmounted file) and within the liceCD/hd-media initrd/udebs (so that they can support loop installations as well as ordinary installations). Loop installation at the moment requires an Alternate ISO, but It is also possible to make it work with the Live ISO, among other things copying the files from squashfs would be faster than installing from deb packages.

Note that in order to perform an loopmounted installation, a front-end application is also required to gather information, setup the bootloader, and download the ISO file required by the installer (d-i based). A Windows front-end has been developed in You can test Lupin and Wubi today by downloading the Windows installer at (still in beta). Note also that lupin requires write access to the host file system, which, considering the target audience, in practice means that ntfs-3g has to be installed by default.

Blueprint information

Colin Watson
Agostino Russo
Needs approval
Colin Watson
Series goal:
Accepted for gutsy
Milestone target:
Started by
Colin Watson
Completed by
Colin Watson


The beta status refers to lupin as a stand-alone product. The work to merge lupin functionality upstream will start once this blueprint is approved.

2007-06-05 kamion: Assigning evand to take responsibility for the merge work. Noted that lupin is beta as a stand-alone product, but this spec is about the merge rather than the product itself so I'm setting the implementation status back to "not started".

2007-09-21 kamion: This ended up being mostly me, and is done in gutsy.


Work Items

Dependency tree

* Blueprints in grey have been implemented.