Template:U Maverick/Installation


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Installing Ubuntu

Warning: During installation, there is an advanced option (Ready to install -> Advanced) to install the GRUB2 bootloader into the same partition into which the (K)Ubuntu OS is installed but not to change the MBR (Master Boot Record). Pay careful attention during this step if your system uses a boot partition, uses multiple OS (more than 2), or chainloads bootloaders. For systems with such a boot partition, it is best not to overwrite the MBR.

Hardware requirements

Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat runs well with as little as 384 Mb RAM. (The GUI installer requires a minimum of 256 Mb RAM, while the alternative text-based installer can run using only 192 Mb RAM.) Netbooks can run Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat.

The installation takes between 3-4 Gb hard drive space, and 8 - 10 Gb will be needed to run comfortably. (However, at least 25-30 Gb will likely be needed for routine usage.)

If you have an older computer with less memory than this, consider Lubuntu (if 160 Mb RAM or greater), PuppyLinux (if 256 Mb or greater), or DSL (if minimal RAM, limited hard drive space, running from a USBdrive, or running from within another OS).

Fresh Installation

See this guide for burning the ISO image to a CD ("LiveCD").
Use the LiveCD for installation.
  • The Alternate CD version also allows the use of the same fast text-based installer used in the Server version (requiring less RAM), and there are more installation options than on the Desktop CD ("Regular Download").

Dual-Booting Windows and Ubuntu

A user may experience problems dual-booting Ubuntu and Windows. In general, a Windows OS should be installed first, because its bootloader is very particular. A default Windows installation usually occupies the entire hard drive, so the main Windows partition needs to be shrunk, creating free space for the Ubuntu partitions. (You should clean up unnecessary files and defragment the drive before resizing.) See changing the Windows partition size.

After shrinking a Windows partition, you should reboot once into Windows prior to installing Ubuntu or further manipulating the partitions. This allows the Windows system to automatically rescan the newly-resized partition (using chkdsk in XP or other utilities in more recent versions of Windows) and write changes to its own bootup files. (If you forget to do this, you may later have to repair the Windows partition bootup files manually using the Windows Recovery Console.)

Newer installations of Windows use two primary partitions (a small Windows boot partition and a large Windows OS partition). An Ubuntu Linux installation also requires two partitions -- a linux-swap partition and the OS partition. The Linux partitions can either be two primary partitions or can be two logical partitions within an extended partition. Some computer retailers use all four partitions on a hard drive. Unless there are two free partitions available (either primary or logical) in which to install Ubuntu, however, it will appear as if there is no available free space. If only one partition on a hard drive can be made available, it must be used as an extended partition (in which multiple logical partitions can then be created). Partition management can be done using the GParted utility.

If there are only two existing primary partitions on a hard drive (and plenty of free space on it) then there will be no problem installing Ubuntu as the second operating system and it is done automatically from the Ubuntu LiveCD. Allow the Ubuntu LiveCD to install to "largest available free space." Alternatively, if there is an extended partition with plenty of free space within it, the Ubuntu LiveCD will install to this "largest available free space" as well.

The main Windows partition should be at least 20 Gb (recommended 30 Gb for Vista/Windows 7), and a Ubuntu partition at least 10 Gb (recommended 20 Gb). Obviously, if you have plenty of disk space, make the partition for whichever will be your favoured operating system larger. For a recommended partitioning scheme, see this section.

Conversely you can install a retail version of Windows (but not an OEM or recovery version) after Ubuntu by creating a primary NTFS partition using GParted. (You may have to use GPparted from a Live CD/USB). Once the primary NTFS partition is created you can boot your Windows CD/DVD and choose to install Windows to that NTFS partition. When installation is complete, reboot to insure Windows boots properly. Once that is ascertained, use the Ubuntu Live CD/USB to install GRUB back to the MBR. (This is necessary because Windows overwrites the MBR and designates its own bootloader as the master bootloader.) Once GRUB is installed you will be able to boot either OS.

Alternatives include:

  • Wubi (Windows-based Ubuntu Installer), an officially supported dual-boot installer that allows Ubuntu to be run mounted in a virtual-disk within the Windows environment (which can cause a slight degradation in performance). Because the installation requires an intact functioning Windows system, it is recommended to install Ubuntu in this manner for short-term evaluation purposes only. A permanent Ubuntu installation should be installed in its own partition, with its own filesystem, and should not rely on Windows.
  • EasyBCD, a free Windows-based program that allows you to dual-boot Windows 7/Vista and Ubuntu (as well as other operating systems) by configuring the Windows 7/Vista bootloader.

Installing multiple OS on a single computer

Warning: During installation, there is an advanced option (Ready to install -> Advanced) to install the GRUB2 bootloader into the same partition into which the (K)Ubuntu OS is installed but not to change the MBR (Master Boot Record). Pay careful attention during this step if your system uses a boot partition, uses multiple OS (more than 2), or chainloads bootloaders. For systems with such a boot partition, it is best not to overwrite the MBR.

  • Example, from the Desktop version GUI installer, a point in the installation will be reached:
Summary -> Advanced -> Device for boot loader installation: /dev/sda6

In this example, this setting will cause the GRUB2 bootloader to be installed into /dev/sda6 only (the partition into which the new (K)Ubuntu OS is being installed). The MBR (Master Boot Record) will not be changed. However, if the default setting of /dev/sda is allowed, then GRUB2 will not only be installed into partition dev/sda6 (into which the (K)Ubuntu OS is installed) but also the MBR (MasterBootRecord) will be changed so that the copy of GRUB2 stored there will be designated as the master bootloader for all Operating Systems on the entire computer. This may be undesirable if you wish to use bootloaders other than GRUB2.

If you want to install more than 2 operating systems on a single computer, check out these tips. Also see these tips regarding manipulating partitions.

Use Startup Manager to change Grub settings

Grub is a bootup utility that controls which OS to load by default and other bootup settings. You can change Grub settings from Startup Manager, a GUI that is able to manage settings for Grub (Grub Legacy), Grub 2, Usplash, and Splashy. Also see the Ubuntu Community help page for Startup Manager usage instructions. Install:

sudo apt-get install startupmanager menu


Menu -> System -> Administration -> Startup Manager

Note: You can also edit the Grub settings manually from the command-line interface.

Dual-Booting Mac OS X and Ubuntu

Mac OS X has a similar structure to Linux (it is BSD Unix based). Dual-booting Mac OS X and Ubuntu detailed instructions can be found here.

Installing Mac OS X after Ubuntu

  • If you decide to dual boot with OS X, choose ext2 as your partition type during the Ubuntu installation. (For this the Super Grub Disk CD is a useful utility. You can download the Super Grub .iso image file at forjamari.linex.org and burn the image to a CD-ROM.)
  • Once you have installed Ubuntu, edit the Grub start-up list:
sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst
and add the following lines:
title Mac OS X
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

Reboot your Mac and go to the terminal in Max OS X (if you have any issues booting, boot from your Mac OS X DVD). Press F8 and enter -s. Enter:

fdisk -e /dev/rdisk0
flag 2 <--note that flag 2 is my Mac partition number two
  • If are still unsure whether it is working correctly, use the Super Grub Disk CD and make grub active.

Installing Ubuntu after Mac OS X

  • If you get an error message during boot such as HFS+error in the bootloader, you can also use the Super Grub Disk for recovering Linux GRUB and the Windows MBR (Master Boot Record).
  • Once you have installed Ubuntu, edit the Grub start-up list:
sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst
and add the following lines:
title Mac OS X
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
If you have issues with Mac OSX or Windows in GRUB, try changing the Mac OS X Grub entry
change root (hd0,0) to root (hd0,1)

This means you will boot into partition number 1. You can try any partition number until you get it right.

Upgrading Jaunty or Karmic to Lucid

There are several methods for upgrades from the command-line interface (Terminal) (which can be used for both the desktop and server editions of Ubuntu/Kubuntu).

  • This is the preferred method:
sudo apt-get install update-manager-core
sudo do-release-upgrade
  • You can also use the update-manager (all editions):
sudo apt-get install update-manager
sudo update-manager -d
  • You can also use:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
(Note: the first two lines simply make sure your current distribution is current before upgrading the entire distribution, and are optional.

Reinstalling applications after a fresh installation

If you upgrade your Ubuntu system with a fresh installation, it is possible to mark the packages and services installed on your old system (prior to the upgrade) and save the settings ("markings") into a file. Then install the new version of Ubuntu and allow the system to reinstall packages and services using the settings saved in the "markings" file. For instructions, see this Ubuntu forum thread. In brief:

  • On the old system:
Synaptic Package Manager -> File -> Save Markings
  • Save the markings file to an external medium, such as a USB drive.
  • Complete the backup of your system's other important files (e.g. the /home directory) before the installation of the new system.
  • In the freshly-installed new system:
Synaptic Package Manager -> File -> Read markings and load the file on your USB drive (or other external storage) previously saved.

Note: Many packages, dependencies, and compatibilities change between version of Ubuntu, so this method does not always work. Automated updates remains the recommended method.

  • Alternatively you can use this command-line method.
  • Prior to the clean installation. run:
dpkg --get-selections > ~/my-packages 
This creates a my-packages file in the ~ (home) directory which will contain a list of the packages installed on the old system. Copy this file to a safe place (as you will need it after the new installation).
  • Proceed with the clean installation. Enable the same repositories that were enabled in the old system.
  • Now copy the my-packages file to the ~ (/home) folder. Run:
sudo dpkg --set-selections < my-packages && sudo apt-get dselect-upgrade
Any packages that you had installed (that are in the new repositories) will now be installed. Excluded will be any manually-installed packages (that are not in the new repositories) and any packages that were compiled from source.
  • Here are some of the steps I have sometimes needed to take when performing upgrades.
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