Step-by-step beginner's guide to installing Ubuntu 11.10

By Leeky ยท 50 replies
Oct 15, 2011
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  1. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    Err, my bad. I know of a fix to the "invisible grub", but it requires booting into Ubuntu. I thought the links were relevant. Anyhow, I'll look up your issue again. Don't worry and kindly be patient. :)
  2. ps1946

    ps1946 TS Rookie

    I really think that this is more a Win question than a Unix one. Thanks for your help.
  3. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    The problem as I see it:
    The Windows installation broke GRUB by replacing it's own bootloader. Have you tried rebuilding GRUB with a rescue disk?
  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Sorry for the delay, its been a pretty busy few days for me, and this somehow got missed when checking up on notifications.

    You should still be able to use this to rebuild Grub given your circumstances.

    Out of curisoity, what is your partition layout for the disks in your computer? (both Windows and Linux please)
  5. HuntForTheWOrst

    HuntForTheWOrst TS Member Posts: 27

    Nice guide I'll try it tommorow I guess on my desktop but nice guide.
  6. ps1946

    ps1946 TS Rookie

    Hi Lee,

    Well I made a clean install of Windows 7 using my Acer AM3970 recovery disks (had to erase the disk drive FIRST).

    That creates three partitions on the disk: Recovery partition, Boot partition and Windows 7 partition.

    I then reduced the size of my Win7 partition by 1/3 to create space for Ubuntu (I have a 1.5 terabyte drive).

    When I installed Ubuntu this time, I created a Logical partition rather than a Primary partition, since you can only create 4 primary partitions. I reserved 8 GB for the swap area, since I have 4 GB of on-board memory:
    Screenshot at 2012-07-13 17_28_07.

    When I set it up like that, everything works just fine. I get see GRUB menu, Win7 and Ubuntu 11.10 are available, and I'm a happy camper!

    Now, all I have to do is find out what is causing the GRUB error ("error: no such partition") when I install Ubuntu 12.04 LTS...

    Paul S.
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    It could well be something to do with the way it is implemented when installed with the newer release of Ubuntu. For the record, you should be able to update to the LTS release from 11.10 anyway, essentially side-stepping that problem.

    Linux will only recognise 4 primary partitions or 3 primary and one logical (which allows for considerably more) by default anyway. So the way you've set it up is correct. I've found the new LTS to be unreliable when trying to pick up the first Windows partition for the bootloader for some reason.
  8. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    Yes, which is why I'm looking forward to Quantal.
    Kernel 3.5 sounds good, but I had real trouble upgrading from 2.6.x. So I guess I'll stick to it until I finish Project LFS.
  9. vector

    vector TS Rookie

    Hi sir,
    your tutorial is so nice and its very usefull to me. and can I copy your tutorial with your permission

  10. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

  11. vector

    vector TS Rookie

    Thnx for +ve responce..!!
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    You're welcome Utham. :)
  13. Ratnakar

    Ratnakar TS Rookie

    Hi Lee,
    thanks for a wonderful post a step by step installation of Ubuntu and that too with all screen shots enclosed.

    yesterday I have installed ubuntu in my old laptop. usually I am bit careful while installing OS especially when im working with partitions and when I want to preserve the data.
    But yesterday I was very drowsy and I selected the option (7.B) "Replace Windows 7", I thought only the windows partion (c:) will be formatted since I dont save much data in c: drive I thought to format it and oops the entire hard disk got formatted.

    could you suggest any way I can recover my files. the previous partitions are all NTFS.
    I have lost pretty important photographs and several programming examples.of course no need to say it again I dont have any back up for them . :(

    please suggest what to do. I have stopped using the laptop so as not to disturb the file system again and minimize the loss.
  14. rrplay

    rrplay TS Rookie

    Sorry to hear that you may have accidentally reformatted those pics and data on your Windows install. Unless you had those pics and data on a separate back up or data partition like D: or have that data elsewhere they would be hosed from selecting that option (7.B) with your Ubuntu install.

    very good idea not to be using the drive and take a look here these guides and option may be of help to you in getting some of that data back .There are rather time intensive but could recover some of the data that you lost.

    Best of luck
  15. Ratnakar

    Ratnakar TS Rookie

    Thanks rrplay

    I will try those tools listed in the links and tell u the result.
    Thanks again.
  16. InstantVenom

    InstantVenom TS Rookie

    Hi Leeky, I have Windows 7 installed on my computer with two partitions (Windows C partition - 100 GB and A Personal files partition D - 400 GB) I want to install Ubuntu on C partition and use it instead of Windows 7,but I don't want my files on partition D deleted. So basically I want to format my partition C,but keep all my files on D, could you please help me, I got the CD for Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS and I get to the point when I go to : ''Something else..'', but the things there are confusing to me, could you please give me a little more detailed explanation on how to do this? (how to instal Ubuntu on C and don't touch the D partition)
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    You'd have to do the something else option and then manually remove, then create the partitions required for Linux in place of C Partition.

    The following steps will work (but make a backup of your data partition first!):
    1. Choose something else option.
    2. From the partitioner, remove the first and second partitions (Windows C and System Reserved). Do not touch the third, data partition at all.
    3. Create 30GB Ext4 partition for root.
    4. Create xxGB partition 1.5x your RAM for SWAP.
    5. Create remainder of space for Ext4 partition for /home
    6. Continue installation as before.

    You'll be advised to edit fstab to automount "data" when booting (unless you want to manually mount it every time you load Linux), as well as ensure "ntfs-progs" is installed. If you decide to move to Linux full-time you can just create a Ext4 partition and mount it as /data if you prefer.
    Siavash likes this.
  18. baN893

    baN893 TS Enthusiast Posts: 83   +10

    Leeky, you are heaven sent. Once again it is you who solves my problems. Thank you.
    Leeky likes this.
  19. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    Thank you, I'm glad my experiences can be put to use in helping others. :)
  20. ozandernek

    ozandernek TS Rookie

    Hi leeky

    There is something I could not understand. In the installation type part, it says " this computer currently has no operating system ". If I choose "erase disk and install ubuntu" does it harm my mac ?
  21. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 3,797   +117

    ozandernek No, as long as the hard drive doesn't already have any operating systems on it, it'll be fine. But verify the hard drive in question is clear of any important files or operating system files before proceeding.

    The "this computer currently has no operating system" is normally encountered when installing Linux to a second hard drive, or a brand new, unused hard drive. You won't see this if you're installing Linux to the same physical hard drive used for Windows, OS X or other operating systems.

    As always, making backups first will give you a means to reverse any changes should something go wrong.
  22. sparun1607

    sparun1607 TS Rookie


    Your tutorial is so nice and its very useful to me.

    I'm new to Linux installation, Why we need to create a swap partition and what use of it? I'm searching for this answer but I couldn't find it.


  23. sparun1607

    sparun1607 TS Rookie

    Hi All,

    Can somebody let me know if my Hard disk is 1TB and 8GB Ram what SWAP size should be given.

    Thanks advance for your answers.

  24. Facundo

    Facundo TS Rookie

    Great instructions!

    I have already a partition with Fedora on it, I want to replace it with Ubuntu. I understand that I have no choice but to use step 7-c. I should leave all the ntfs and SWAP partitions untouched and pick the ext4 for ubuntu, I this correct? Would that replace fedora with unbuntu leaving everything else as before?

    My other questions is about the booting. I have a very small partition at the beginning (it is 40mb and my hard drive is 700gb) that I believe is the partition that the laptop uses to boot giving me the choice between fedora and windows, it this correct? Should I do something with it? Does ubuntu replaces those booting files from Fedora with the ubuntu ones?

    Thank you in advance.

  25. ptoye

    ptoye TS Rookie

    I'm not a great UNIX expert, but no-one else seems to be answering, so I'll try to help.

    For your first question, the reason for a swap area is that the amount of RAM isn't always enough for all the programs and data that are in use at any one time, so the operating system moves some of it out to disk (called "swapping"). When it's needed again it's swapped back in and something else is swapped out. This is invisible to the user except that it takes a bit of time, so slows the system down. If you load too many programs at once into limited RAM the system spends most of its time swapping and very little actual computing; this is called "thrashing" (from the image of the disk heads moving backwards and forwards fast) and should be avoided, either by buying more RAM or reducing the load.

    Now for the hard one: how much swap space? The correct answer is: it depends on what you're doing. If you do a lot of memory-intensive work (like video editing) you'll need more than simple spreadsheeting. A normal estimate is twice the RAM size. 16GB in your case.

    Hope this helps.

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