ubuntu dual boot illustrated site ubuntu dual boot windows 7 maverick meerkat
Ubuntu / Windows Dual Boot 'C'

Edited: Friday, February 25 2011  Document made with KompoZer

This web-page is part of a larger site giving examples of how to install Windows+Ubuntu Linux operating systems 'dual boot' in a computer.  Illustrated Dual Boot HomePage

This web page is a joint effort by
kansasnoob and Herman, as discussed here, [ubuntu] Understanding the new live installer/ubiquity.

This web page is about how to use the Ubuntu 'Desktop' Live CD to install Ubuntu Linux in a computer that had Windows installed in it. This example of how to install Ubuntu shows you how to prepare the hard disk partitions ahead of time with GParted partition editor before starting the Ubuntu installer.

The example shown here has been tested with Windows 7, and it should work with Windows Vista, Windows XP and earlier versions of Windows too.
NOTICE:
This website contains information that is getting out of date and may be  harmful to new computers. The author only has old computers and is not contemplating the purchase of any new equipment now or in the near future. 
The information below should be okay for PCs up to and including Windows 7 era.  The author of this website has no knowledge of Windows 8  computers.


The version of Ubuntu you'll see being installed in this web page is Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat and it is a little different to install than previous versions of Ubuntu. The appearance of the installer has been changed, but the same basic techniques still apply.
 
A lot of people are still uncertain about how to partition their hard disks.
I have made two similar web pages, they both end up with exactly the same installation.

The difference between this web page and my other one is that in this installation the partitioning work will be performed in advance of the installation with the Gnome Partition Editor (GParted), in the Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat Live CD.

The other web page shows how to use the Ubuntu installer's built-in partitioning program, which is also based on Gnu Parted, but with a different graphical interface. Ubuntu / Windows  - Graphical Installation B

Most experts recommend using Windows own Disk Manager for shrinking the Windows partition from within Windows 7 or Windows Vista. This is not only possible, it is quite quick and easy too.
If you think you would prefer to use Windows own disk manager to resize your Vista or Windows 7 partition smaller to make room for Ubuntu before going any further with your installation you are welcome to.
The How-To Geek has the how-to for that, 'Resize a Partition for Free in Windows Vista'.

There are some limitations and caveats involved with using Windows own Disk Manager to shrink Windows.
For one it requires defragmenting the drive first, and defragging usually takes a lot of extra time.
Secondly and probably worse, the Windows MFT and page files show up as 'immovable files' which the Windows Disk Manager can't deal with. The most you can possibly shrink Windows is half way, (where you bump into the MFT), and that's only if you're lucky enough not to run into stray fragments of page file first.
Thirdly there's also a risk is your hard disk might fail to be recognized by the Ubuntu installer and not appear in the list of disks it's possible to install Ubuntu in.

There's no evidence to suggest that Windows own partitioning software is really any more reliable than any other partition editor but if you damage your Windows system with its own software it's no concern for me or other proponents of open source.
No matter what software you choose for shrinking Windows, I recommend running a thorough file system check such as CHKDSK /R beforehand, repeating until no more errors are found.
You should have a backup copy of all your files stored on some other media, operating system installation DVDs/CDs and installed software disks before using any disk partitioning program.

This website is about how to use open source software so the installations in this site demonstrate the use of open source programs. Both GParted and the Ubuntu Installer's partitioner based on GParted can resize Windows regardless of the state of fragmentation or so called 'immovable' files.

No operating systems were harmed in the making of this web page.

This installation example presumes that some version of Windows has already been installed in the first hard disc and occupies the entire hard disk. Here's a link to a good Windows 7 installation guide, Windows 7 Installation Guide / Tutorial, in case anyone needs it.

The CD used for this installation was made from ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso, which is downloadable from http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop - free download.
For relevant information, see Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Technical Overview - wiki.ubuntu.com
For a list of all Ubuntu Hashes, use this link, UbuntuHashes.
herman@amd-quad-lynx:~$ md5sum ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso
59d15a16ce90c8ee97fa7c211b7673a8   ubuntu-10.10-desktop-i386.iso
How to run an md5sum integrity test on your downloaded .iso file (before you burn it to disk).

Why integrity check your downloaded .iso?

Checking the integrity of your .iso in Ubuntu

Checking the integrity of your .iso from a Linux live CD

Checking the integrity of your .iso in Windows

The computer used for this demonstration
is one I assembled myself for less than half the price I would have paid for a factory made model with equivalent hardware.
It's a fairly standard computer, nothing too fancy, but it's capable enough to run Ubuntu and even Windows 7 or Vista. It has an ASUS P5QL PRO motherboard, and the CPU is an Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8400 @ 2.66GHz. It only has  2x1GB DDR2 800 mhz RAM at the moment, and the graphics card is a GeForce GTS250.
My regular Ubuntu installation is in an OCZ Vertex Series SSD which can boot Ubuntu in 3.03 seconds.
I'm leaving that uplugged for now while I'm demonstrating these dual boot installations.

The boot loader I use and recommend is called the Grand Unified Boot Loader, known as GRUB for short.
The GNU GRUB Manual contains the official documentation for GRUB, and there is some information on GRUB in a special section in this website, GRUB2 Pages.

This installation shows you how to install GRUB to the MBR of the first hard disk.
That means the boot.img will be written to appropriate area in the MBR, and GRUB's core.img will be embedded in the otherwise empty sectors following the MBR.
That's safe for most normal versions of Windows as the boot..img fits in the MBR without altering the 'disk signature' which is important to Windows 7 and Windows Vista's BCD bootloader.
If you have a special Windows installation and there's some reason why you shouldn't install GRUB to MBR you'll probably know about that because you probably paid extra for it. If in doubt, you may optionally want to make a backup of the boot loader code area of your first hard disk's Master Boot Record for safety's sake, just to be sure.
Here's a link about how to back up and restore your MBR (optional), MBR backup and restore.
NEW: I also show you how to make a backup copy of the first track of your hard disk too, (optional).

Super Grub Disc
You may want to take the precaution of downloading a copy of Super Grub Disk in case you have any problems booting after the new operating system is installed.  Boot loader problems are generally easily fixed, but most of the time you need to be able to boot the computer first in order to be able to fix the booting problem. That creates a circular arguement. Super Grub Disk can boot your computer until you get the regular boot loader fixed.

You should always make a backup of at least your most important files before using any hard disk partitioning software.


The first step is to boot the Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat 'Desktop' Live/Install CD.
If your Live CD doesn't boot, make sure you have the boot order in your BIOS set to boot from a LiveCD. If you're not sure how to do that, look at this link, BIOS Page .

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This is the first thing you see when the Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat Desktop Live CD boots up.
It's a progress screen, just to reasure you something's happening and to give you something nice to look at while you're waiting.

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In this screen we're offered the chance to try Ubuntu out first by booting the rest of the way to the Ubuntu Live CD's 'Desktop' , or finish booting now and go right to the Ubuntu installer.
I recommend choosing the first option, 'Try Ubuntu'. This page is about showing you how to use the stand-alone GParted to partition your disks ahead of time before starting the installer. If you're going to use GParted as described in this web page, you'll need to load the Live Desktop first.
An advantage of loading the Desktop and trying Ubuntu out is you can make sure everything works okay with this version of Ubuntu and your hardware.

If you choose 'Install Ubuntu' and skip loading the Ubuntu Desktop, you'll save the extra minute or two it takes for the Desktop to load, and you'll have more RAM to spare during the installation too, which could be worth thinking about if you're computer is a little low on RAM. If is very low on RAM, consider using the Ubuntu 'Alternate Installation' CD instead. This website contains pages with examples about how to use the 'Alternate Installation' CD too.

TIP: Here's a tip for anyone installing Ubuntu in a computer that's a little bit low on RAM. (Less than 512MB).
Try using a partition editor such as GParted for creating a small partition somewhere in a hard disk or USB external disk that you are not planning on using to install Ubuntu in this time. Format it as a linux swap area.
Then reboot your Ubuntu Desktop Live/Install CD. The Ubuntu Live CD will find that extra swap area and start using it automatically and you'll notice a big improvement in the performance of the Live CD.


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Here we are in the Desktop of the Live CD.
If you have it this far then you know that your computer is working okay and Ubuntu supports your hardware. You can see that the graphical display is good, try out your sound card, and make sure the internet is working okay and so on. Here's a link for more ideas for things you can do with your Ubuntu Live CD - Ubuntu Live CD.



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When you're ready to begin installing Ubuntu, you may make the partitions to install in beforehand using GParted.
You can find GParted in 'System', 'Administration', 'GParted Partition Editor'.
A lot of people prefer to do it this way because GParted has such a nice clear and easy to use Graphical User Interface. You can 'see what you're doing' and there's less chance of being mixed up and confused or making a careless mistake.

Gnome Partition Editor, (GParted for short), is definitely the best partition editing software available today, free or for any price. This installation will show you how to partition with Gnome Partition Editor (GParted).
Before partitioning your hard disk there are a few things you should know, like the 'partitioning rules', and what sort of partition scheme will suit you best.
We don't have room for all that in this page.
Here is a link to another page with some information about that, Help on Partitioning.

In case you're new from Windows I want to explain about the Linux way of numbering disks and partitions before you get too confused and upset.  There's no such thing as a 'C: drive' in Linux or any other drive letter for that matter. I hope you'll see why the Linux partition naming system makes a lot more sense.

In Linux the word 'disk' means an entire disk, such as a hard disk drive, SSD or flash memory drive.
Disks are numbered with letters, starting with 'a' for the first disk and 'b' for the second and so on.

Partitions have numbers.
Only primary partitions including the extended partition if there is one can have the numbers 1, 2, 3 or 4.
Logical partitions (inside the extended) are always numbered counting from 5 upwards.
If you're not sure what I'm talking about here and you're curious you may use this link, Help on Partitioning.

If you look in the screencap below, you'll see a spinbox over in the top right-hand corner for changing between one hard disk and another, including and USB drives you may have plugged in.
My first disk is called /dev/sda in Linux speak.
My second disk is called /dev/sdb.
My third disk will be called '/dev/sdc', and so on ...
The first part, '/dev/' stands for 'device', and the second part, 'sda', means hard drive 'a', for the first hard drive.
It used to be 'hda' in the old days, for 'hard drive a', but they changed the 'h' to an 's' for reasons that are outside the scope of this how-to.

The first partition in my /dev/sda disk is /dev/sda1.
The second partition is called /dev/sda2.
If I had more partitions they'd be numbered /dev/sda3, and /dev/sda4.
Partitions don't necessarily need to appear on the disk arranged in numerical order.

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This is the way my Windows 7 partitions looks when viewed with GParted.
Windows 7 is different from Windows Vista and earlier versions of Windows in that it usually installs in two partitions. A small 200 MiB 'boot' partition contains the boot loader files. The larger partition is the main 'system' partition or 'C: drive' and it contains the rest of the operating system and the user's files.

In some computers there may be a 'Recovery' partition of some kind too, and some computers have a 'D: drive' as well, for storing files and backups.
We can have a maximum of four primary partitions, or up to three primary partitions and one 'extended' partition which can contain a large number of other partitions called 'logical' partitions.
If you're not sure what an 'extended' partition or a 'logical' partition is, see Help on Partitioning.




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It's worth pointing out the fact that since Vista came out the first partition in most Windows computers starts in sector number 2048. You can see that by right-clicking on the partition and clicking 'Information', as illustrated above. Windows XP and earlier versions right back to and including DOS always had partitions lined up on cylinder boundaries, so the first sector is traditionally sector number 63.

Microsoft Vista users in particular have experienced problems with this because most partitioners including GParted like to 'move' the entire partition to where they think it should begin, at sector 63.
Moving an entire partition and all of its contents is a lot of extra work and is an excessively time consuming operation, and most often requires repairs to the boot loader afterwards as well.
In the earlier version of this web page I showed readers how to remove the checkmark from the 'align to cylinders' checkbox to save themselves all that time and trouble.
This problem has been fixed in the version of GParted that Maverick Meerkat uses, and now GParted features a new spinbox which offers MiB alignment by default. All you need to do is leave it alone.




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All you need to do is right-click on your main Windows operating system partition and choose 'Resize/Move'.


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This is the new 'Align to:' spinbox in Maverick Meerkat's GParted version 0.6.2, all you need to do is leave it set to 'MiB'.


Vista or Windows 7 WARNING: IF YOU ARE USING AN OLDER VERSION OF GPARTED

Because of deficiencies in Windows BCD loader, the Windows Vista and Windows 7 may fail to boot at first if the file system is moved. The boot loader lacks any kind of file system support, unlike our GNU/GRUB Boot Loader, so it relies on block addressing stored in the boot sector.

Please
avoid moving the start point of any Windows Vista or Windows 7 partition with any partition editing program. 

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx uses GParted version 0.5.1

The inbuilt partitioner in the Ubuntu installer is okay, (partitioning with that is illustrated in other pages of this website), and will not move the start point, but only resize Windows Vista or Windows 7 partitions from the end.

IF YOU ARE USING AN OLDER VERSION OF GPARTED, GET A NEWER VERSION, IT'S FREE
Or at least
make sure you remove the checkmark from the 'round to cylinders' checkbox before touching any Windows 7 or Vista partitions.
Moving the start point of a Vista/Win 7 partition will make the operating system unbootable and it may require a little additional work to be able to boot Vista/Win 7 again.
You may only resize your Windows Vista or Windows 7 partition from the right-hand end.
Try not to 'move' the entire partition at all.

When using older versions of GParted, please uncheck the "round to cylinder" box to avoid moving the start point by accident.

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If you do really need to move the start of a Windows Vista or Windows 7 partition for some reason, you can fix the problem of not being able to boot anymore merely by booting from the Vista CD, choose "Repair Computer" and the CD will reconfigure the Vista Boot loader for you.
If it doesn't work, go to the command prompt and run BOOTREC /FIXBOOT.
That should fix it.

Vista and Windows 7 booting help:  VISTA and WINDOWS 7 - boot errors and how to fix them.


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All you need to do in GParted is grab the right-hand end of your Windows partition and drag it to the left to the amount you want to resize it to.

You can see how much space your files are occupying by looking at the area shaded in pale yellow, the white area represents empty space in your file system. If you're going to continue to use Windows it is recommended to leave a bare minimum of 20% free space to allow breathing room for the operating system. The defragmenter needs a little spare room to shuffle files around in. Otherwise, it's up to you how large or small you wish to resize Windows.

You will need to make at least 4 GB of free space in your hard disk at the very minimum to install Ubuntu in, but I recommend at least 10 GB.
If you want to try Ubuntu out to its full potential and install all kinds of free software, extra Desktops like KDE maybe and have files in it that you're working on, make sure you make yourself a generous amount of free space for Ubuntu.

Another space eater is the habit some people have of installing Ubuntu with a separate /home partition.
While it must seem like a novelty when you're new from Windows to have an operating system you can split into multiple partitions, think twice about that. You need to allow extra space in each partition for an unpredictable amount of future expansion, plus you have the overhead of several separate file systems all eating up your hard drive space.
Your files will still need to be backed up in some separate media anyway, so it doesn't really mean 'your files will be safe'. If your hard drive dies from a burnt out bearing or a blown kafoofitator on the doohickey, your data will be toast regardless of how many partitions you divided your Linux installation into.

When the ability to be able to install one operating system over multiple partitions is useful is when you have a little room on one disk and a little room on another. This website's netboot install illustrates a 4 GB / in the SSD drive and a separate /home in the camera card. With hard disk drive, you might get extra speed from dividing the work over a number or separate hard drive too, many websites recommend making a swap area on a different disk than your main operating system to spread the work over two sets of read and write heads. That idea makes sense to me.

In this web page as in most of my web pages, we're only making one integral / partition, aka main operating partition, equivalent to a 'C' drive in Windows language, plus a small swap area, (like a 'page file' if you speak Windows, except in a separate partition).


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You can make fine adjustments by using the 'New size' spinbox.

When you're happy with the size you have chosen to resize Windows 7 to, click 'Resize/Move' to proceed.


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Click on the checkmark button to confirm.



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Hit 'Apply' to again confirm that you definitely do want GParted to perform the proposed operation for you.



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When the resize operation has been completed you can close the window.


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Now I right-click in the free space and choose 'New', because I want to create a new partition for Ubuntu in the free space.


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Before I make my Ubuntu partitions I'm going to make an 'extended partition', which is like a container for another kind of partition called a 'logical' partition. This trick allows us to make more than just four partitions per hard disk.

Ubuntu can boot and run in a logical partition just as easily as it can in a primary partition.
We can make a large number of these logical partitions.



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The 'Add' button needs to be clicked, then the checkmark button needs to be clicked and the 'Apply' button needs to be clicked again to confirm the operation before GParted will do anything.



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Now GParted has added the new empty extended partition for me and I'm about to make a logical partition inside it.



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I'm going to choose the ext4 file system, that's the latest in the ext series of file systems and it's the default file system for Ubuntu so it's the one most other Ubuntu users have.
The ext4 file system by Mr Theodore Tso and friends is my favorite file system for most purposes.

Ext4 (and Ext2/Ext3) Wiki -  kernelnewbies

Ext4 How To - kernelnewbies





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The size for the new partition needs to be adjusted so I'll have room for a small swap area after the partition.
I have decided to leave 2690 MiB after my new partition free for a Linux swap area.

Swap FAQ - Community Ubuntu Documentation

Another thing about a swap area is, we don't really need one. We can use a swap file instead.
HOWTO: Use swapfile instead of partition and hibernate - by iva2k.




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I had GParted create this Linux swap area for me, shown as a red rectangle in the above screencap.

Tip by kansasnoob:
Please make sure you make a note of your partition numbers at this point.
Write them down on a scrap of paper or something, to refer to later.
For example '/dev/sda5 is /', and '/dev/sda6 is /swap'.
The new installer's partitioning window is very small and restricted so you can't see what you're doing very well, so having your partition numbers written down now may help you to avoid making a potentially catastrophic mistake later on.
Thanks kansasnoob.

And now we're finished with the partitioning work, we can close GParted now.

=====================================================

It's a good idea to shut down the Ubuntu Live CD and reboot the computer back into Windows 7 now.
You can expect Windows to run a file system check the first time you try to boot it. This is normal and expected, because GParted inserts the 'dirty' flag in the Windows file system when it resizes Windows just to be on the safe side. That induces Windows to run a file system check on itself, then it will reboot and be ready for use.
All computer users should run file system checks regularly, file system checks are good for the health of the operating system.

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Here's a screencap of the Windows 7 desktop just so you can see Windows 7 is still fine and dandy after being resized with GParted.

This is the oldest website about how to install Ubuntu and I have to install Ubuntu a good number of times repeatedly in order to make each installation page. I also install Ubuntu for friends and relatives. I have never had any Windows operating system damaged by GParted. I have actually used GParted to help successfully recover a Windows installation from a physically damaged hard disk. The operation involved by resizing Windows smaller to not include the damaged area of the hard disk where the read and write heads crashed on the disk platter because someone got so impatient with Windows Vista they slammed the lid of the laptop while it was still running. I was able to use GParted to help recover Windows even under those adverse circumstances.

This website is still the only one I know of on the internet that shows people the right way to use GParted for resizing Windows partitions that start at sector 2048.
I have been using GParted as my main partitioning program since GParted Live CD Alpha 3 version 0.0.9.
GParted has been included in Ubuntu since Dapper Drake 6.06 which featured GParted version 0.1 and was the first Ubuntu Live CD to have its own graphical installer. Before that there was only the 'Alternate Installation' CD.

I have not read any bug reports yet about GParted failing to safely resize a Windows partition that clearly identifies any problems in the GParted program as the likely cause. The bug reports I have read are all about user mistakes or hardware glitches that happened to occur at a critical time during disk partitioning.
I have read a number of the bug reports here and here. Although there have been a few bugs against GParted I don't think it's an excessive number for the amount of use GParted has had over the time.
I prefer to use a partitioner that is honest and does make its bug reports available for public reading than to use software that with holds that information and tries to pretend nothing bad ever happens.
There are no partition editors that don't come with the warning to make a backup of your data before editing any partitions.



==============================================================================================================

Okay, so now I'll boot the Ubuntu Desktop Live/Install CD again and we'll continue with our Ubuntu installation.




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Click on the 'Install' icon to start the installation. I usually right-click on it and click 'Open'.



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If you have your computer plugged in to the internet while you are installing Ubuntu, it can automatically download updates while installing.  Some updates could be bug fix updates and some could be important security updates, so we recommend you enable this under most normal circumstances.

'Third party software' means software that is not necessarily made by the same people as make the main parts of your Ubuntu operating system, but they are necessary to make Ubuntu work better. For example, Maverick Meerkat can play most music and videos immediately after installation. Earlier versions of Ubuntu could only play a few kinds of music and video file types without extra work to enable them the play a wider range of files.

Ultra security concsious people may want to install third party software later or not at all, maybe they don't care about music and videos. Strict GNU fans may decide to abstain from installing third party software for ethical reasons.

If you do enable these two options, you may notice a small increase in the time taken for the installation to complete if you have a slow internet connection. You won't need to do these things yourself later on after the installation is over, so you'll save time and effort in the long run.



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 This website has always been about how to specify your partitions manually, (advanced), so as usual, that's the only option we'll be using in this web page.

The other two options,  'Install alongside other operating systems' and 'Erase and use the entire disc' used to be the simpler options. In the past it wasn't  worth bothering to make a web page for explaining them. They were too easy and anybody should have been able to figure out what to do.
Now though, in Maverick Meerkat's new installer it seems like they tried to make them even simpler than simple, but it seems to have backfired and they have inadverently made them confusing instead. I have taken a look at those two options and I have to say I can't recommend them to new users, thanks to kansasnoob for alerting us all to the problems in the following thread, Understanding the new live installer/ubiquity.

'Specify partitions Manually' is the only choice I think people should use for Maverick Meerkat.



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The new partition editing Window in the Maverick Meerkat installer is very small and only allows one or two lines to be seen at a time. It's hard to tell which partitions are which here.
Be very careful to select the partitions you created earlier, back when we were using GParted.

If you're going to dual boot, be careful here not to select your Windows partitions.
In this computer the Windows partitions are numbered /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2 and this would be the same in most people's computers. Please be careful and check in case yours is different.
Partition numbers are not always the same in different computers, so it's best if you wrote down which were your Ubuntu partitions back in step 24.

The buttons you can see below the partition window here are:
  1. New partition table - will only be available if you select a disc/drive, selecting this will erase everything on that drive!
  2. Add - should only be available if you select a device with free space available.
  3. Change - well, just what it says. This is usually the only option you'll use if you pre-created partitions as previously recommended.
  4. Delete - does what it says!
  5. Revert - should revert any change before it’s been applied if possible. Don’t count on it!
You should always make a backup of at least your most important files before using any hard disk partitioning software.

Since, in this example, you've already created your partitions using Gparted the 'Change' option is all you'll be using.




After selecting the proper device (/dev/sda5 in this example) you’ll see the following four options:

(1) New partition size
(2) Use as
(3) Format the partition
(4) Mount point

Since we already set the new partition size using Gparted no change is needed there, the other three options are detailed below.
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I want to use the ext4 file system, I already formatted this partition with an ext4 file system using GParted, but we're asked to select a file system here in the Ubuntu installer's partitioner so we'll just specify ext4 again.





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Since we already formatted the partition earlier, it seems superflous to have it formatted a second time with the same file system. It's possible to have the installer go ahead with this checkbox clear, but there would be a warning message.



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This will be my main Ubuntu operating system partition, designated with a slash symbol in Linux, '/', (shorthand for 'root file system').

Some people like to create a separate /home partition, and others like to have a separate partition for almost all of the directories. Personally, I don't think it's necessary these days, and it might become very confusing in a mutiple boot set-up too.
More than one operating system can share the same /home directory, some people like to try that out. I like each operating system to have it's own /home directory, (just my personal preference).
 



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Now that I've completed those four fields I can just click OK.




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Our partitioning scheme is all set up now.
No changes need be made to the pre-created SWAP partition.

The next thing to do is decide where we want to install the boot loader.

Ubuntu boots with GNU/GRUB, and the most recent versions of GNU/GRUB are very different from the old  'Legacy GRUB'.
GNU/GRUB still comes in three parts the same as always.
The part that goes into the first 446 bytes of the MBR and used to be called 'stage_1' is now called 'boot.img'.
It's role hasn't changed, it's still the first stage of the boot loader, and its job is to point to the second stage, now called core.img.
The second stage which is 'embedded' in the next 48 to 51 sectors or so of the total 62 normally empty sectors in the first track of the hard disk. If youre worried about clobbering something and you want to be particularly careful, you may make a backup of the MBR and first track, refer to this website's MBR Backup and Restore.

The third stage of GRUB, which replaces the old stage2 is called normal.mod, that's the part that lives inside the Ubuntu partition and it can have a large number of other modules attached to it as required.




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GRUB Boot Loader
One of the nice things about the new design of the Ubuntu installer is it's easy to look and see which hard disk and partititon belongs to your new Ubuntu installation in case you forgot.
In this example, it's in /dev/sda6, the 'a' at the end of 'sda' part indicates the first hard disk and the 6 means partition number 6.

The MBR of the first hard disk is the ideal location to install the boot.img and core.img of GRUB.
In the top of the list, /dev/sda is highlighted by default and that's normally the best choice.

Another location for installing GRUB's boot.img which used to be popular was the partition boot sector of the Ubuntu partition. In this case that's /dev/sda6.  Although it can still be done if you insist, this practice is now discouraged. GRUB's core.img cannot be embedded when we install the boot.img to a partition boot sector, and although GRUB will still work with the copy of core.img in /boot/grub, (within the file system), it would need to rely on block addressing to locate that would make GRUB less reliable.
Just look at all the trouble Windows Vista users have when their partition's boot sector is moved accidentally by a partition editor and you'll see why.
Some people still like to install GRUB to their Ubuntu partition boot sector anyway though, especailly if they use GAG Boot Manager for multibooting several GNU/Linux Distros and possibly Windows.

Anyone installing Ubuntu in a removable drive, such as a USB drive, should NOT install GRUB to their first hard disk's MBR, but to MBR in their USB drive instead.

There's no option in this installer to install an alternative boot loader like LiLo.
It's not possible to skip it and continue the without any boot loader at all.
If for some weird reason you need either of these two things, you should use the 'Alternate Installation' CD for installing with and not the Ubuntu 'Desktop/Install' CD.

 It's a good idea to have a copy of Super Grub Disk ready just in case, whenever you're messing around with boot loaders and partition editors.
A full Ubuntu installation in a USB flash memory stick that boots with GRUB makes a great emergancy boot disc too. You can boot the USB Ubuntu and run grub-mkconfig to scan the computer for OSesand add them to the USB's GRUB menu and then reboot. When you reboot the USB again, just select an internal operating system entry and in most cases your operating system will boot, (sometimes not, depending on what the problem is exactly).



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This is your last viable option to quit or go back if you have any doubts, if you're sure ............. click on Install Now






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Your name as you type it here will be used by programs such as email, so make sure you don't type anything funny here in case you forget and send an email to somebody you need to impress such as a potential emplyer or someone like that.

Your username needs to be in lower casem, no capital letters please.

Your password should be a mixture of letters, numbers and characters and you can change between upper and lower case if you want to.

Here is a link to an easy way to choose a secure password that's easy to remember but hard to crack, password tip.

It might be a good idea to have your home folder encrypted, especially if you are installing in a laptop, netbook or USB flash memory stick. If you decide to have your home folder encypted, make sure you keep backups in a safe place and try to find out how to unencrypt it to rescue your files in case you might need to for some reason.



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 Ubuntu, with Linux  2.6.35-22-generic                
 Ubuntu, with Linux  2.6.35-22-generic (recovery mode)
  Memory test (memtest86+)
 Other operating systems:
 
Microsoft Windows 7 (on /dev/sda1)







    Use the | and | keys to select which entry is highlighted.
    Press enter to boot the selected OS, or 'e' to edit the
    commands before booting, or 'c' for a command-line.


     The highlighted entry will be booted in 10 seconds.





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This is my new Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat Desktop.


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You can expect Windows to run a file system check when it tries to boot up for the first time

It's a good idea to open up our repositories and get an update, install the software we want, and start configuring, personalizing and customizing our Ubuntu installations.
Here's a link to a page with some information to get you started, Post-install Page.

If you used this installation as a guide for setting up a Ubuntu/Ubuntu or Ubuntu/other Linux dual boot, your /boot/grub/menu.lst file will probably be set up with a 'direct kernel boot' for the other Linux operating system.
I recommend you amend that and change it to a chainloader or a config file boot command so that both Linux operating systems can update their kernels without the GRUB menu needing to be manually updated. Please read the following link, Operating System Entries for Multiple Booting More Linux Systems.


 Here's a link to a very important new websiteUbuntuHCL.org                    
That's the new Ubuntu Linux Hardware Compatibility Site.

No longer do we need to risk bringing our new hardware home after a trip to the computer store with our hard-earned cash only to find that the new hardware we bought isn't usable with Linux.

Help your fellow Ubuntu users by entering details of hardware that you own that you know does work well with Ubuntu so others will know what to look for when we go shopping for new computer parts.

Look in UbuntuHCL.org first to see what other Ubuntu users had to say about a computer hardware item you are considering before you go ahead with a purchase.


That's all for this page. I hope you enjoyed it.