Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2008 17:21 UTC, submitted by CIozzio
Windows "If there's ever been an operating system that could use some slimming down, it's Windows Vista. Enter vLite, a donation-supported software tool by Dino Nuhagic that lets you create a Vista installation DVD that leaves out drivers and programs you don't want, installs Vista so that it begins with settings and options that you do want, and lets you install Vista without responding to any prompts. It does this by automating procedures that are thoroughly documented by Microsoft , but which normally require hours of work modifying installation files by hand. I used vLite to create a slimmed-down automated Vista installation DVD that let me get a new system up and running faster and more efficiently than the DVD that I bought from Microsoft. As long as you make these changes only to your own copy of Vista, and you don't distribute the resulting DVD, this seems to be a perfectly legal way of automating changes that Microsoft supports anyway."
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I had some time to kill and installed Windows 2008 Server as a workstation. I was really surprised that it performs much better than Vista. Even on hardware that isn't really the hottest and latest.
While I don't think that this is really an option for the masses, I could recommend it if you need a recent and decent version of Windows for testing and development and don't mind the hefty price tag.

I got the idea from a Microsoft blog [1] but left out the stupid and ugly eye candy that Vista is bothering its users with. I must say it is very usable indeed.
As a server I still find it pretty much inacceptable but as a Windows desktop it is quite reasonable.


Reply Score: 1

Ventajou Member since:

I did that too! I installed the x64 version on a P4 HT and it's working very nicely. The only painful part was to find a mix of xp/2003 and vista x64 drivers that would work.

I have yet to try Vista though so I don't know how it compares.

Reply Score: 2

v I too had some time to kill
by jensa on Mon 14th Apr 2008 19:11 UTC
by Frenetic on Mon 14th Apr 2008 20:12 UTC
Member since:

Why should we have to pick up the screwdriver (and hammer) just to force an OS to work the way most users want it to? Is vLite aimed at enthusiasts who like to tinker, or is it being offered to any Vista user who isn't happy with the OS but will find vLite easier than trying an alternative?

People often criticize Linux, too, for requiring tinkering instead of providing quality base functionality "out of the box".

But anyways, I already have a "lite" version of Vista. It's called Windows XP. *ducks*

Reply Score: 6

Oh, They've Discovered xLite
by segedunum on Mon 14th Apr 2008 20:53 UTC
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vLite, and nLite (xLite), are about much more than just doing customised installs of Windows, chopping out features, saving disk space, cutting 'bloat', enabling the uxTheme patch and all those things tinkerers tend to do do. Summary:

1. Do you have a Vista/XP/2003 disc, but don't have the latest version that includes the latest service pack and you don't want to faff about installing it in Windows? No problem. xLite will slipstream the latest service pack, and give you an installable CD/DVD that includes the service pack by default. This also means that XP with SP2 can finally handle SATA disks at installation, and get over that whole 137GB size limit.

2. Don't like mucking about with driver discs? Fine. Just slipstream all your drivers on to your new installation disc with xLite and don't worry about them. If you can't install them for whatever reason, like the ATI or nVidia drivers, just include them on the disc for installation later.

3. Tired of installing the same software over and over? Fine. Just pop your applications on to the disc and they will be installed when your new installation boots up.

4. Forgetting your installation key? No problem. Just create an installation disc where it's embedded into the installation procedure for you. You'll never have to enter it again.

5. Just plain tired of installing Windows, and operating systems in general? Fine. Just start the installation, and with your installation settings already done you can go away, have dinner and Windows will have booted when you get back.

6. There are some useful patches that xLite can do for you such as getting rid of the silly Windows TCP/IP connection limit which is useful for P2P applications, and patching uxTheme so you can theme to your heart's content. This was a serious issue for me, as I was using SeamlessRDP and needed to use Plastik for Windows so that applications looked OK on a Linux desktop.

These days I create slipstreamed ISO images for VMware with xLite ;-).

Edited 2008-04-14 20:55 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: Oh, They've Discovered xLite
by WorknMan on Mon 14th Apr 2008 22:50 UTC in reply to "Oh, They've Discovered xLite"
WorknMan Member since:

The only downside to packing in drivers/apps/etc into the install is that if you only install once a year or less often as I do (who said you needed to reinstall Windows every 6 months?), by the time you get around to installing again, many things are now out of date, esp if you have replaced some hardware in the meantime. This is the reason why I like the fact that Windows doesn't package any apps with the OS, because some apps would become outdated a week after its release.

I usually slipstream the service packs, but not much beyond that.

Reply Score: 6

by xeoron on Tue 15th Apr 2008 23:58 UTC
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And here I always thought Sever 2008 as Vista lite... I will have to call it something else now.

Reply Score: 2