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Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Community Veteran
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Registered: 07-03-2008

Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Hi Folks,
Tried Ubuntu forums without much help, thought that I might sound you experts out!
My elderly laptop is running 8.04 quite successfully, but feel the need to go on to 10.04. I am loath to lose contact with you all by ditching Hardy and am considering a dual boot to Lynx to work (or not) separately. I have a spare 80GB external USB HD which has nothing on it except 3 partitions which are empty. I guess that installing Lynx will repartion these appropriately. I have the Linux Format CD with Lynx all ready to go.. Questions that I have are:-
1. When I start the installation, I assume that the program will ask me which HD I want to use (probably sdb) provided that I mount the drive first. Do I format it to ext4 first or is this part of the partitioning?
2. Can I assume that the new OS will seek out my existing hardware?
3. I imagine that on firing up the machine I will have the option to choose which OS I want to boot up. Is this so?
4. I will try to put a new /home on its own separate partition which I assume is an option when partiioning. correct?
5. Are there potential problems in accessing ext3 folders from /home in Hardy from Lynx or do I have to start again ? Is it possible to combine the two /homes or do the two format types prevent this?Huh
Any help will be gratefully received!!!!
Smiley  Smiley
18 REPLIES
VileReynard
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Assuming you have a separate /home at present, why not just take a backup and do an upgrade?
In order to check that your machine is OK with 10.04 (Lynx) download the live CD and check major apps (especially Firefox and networking) are working OK.
You need at least 512MByte main memory to do this though.
Otherwise no problems regarding file systems.
You probably won't like the positioning of the minimize etc controls on the windows - but this can be easily fixed.

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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Gosh that was quick!
I have not got as far as getting /home on to a separate partition yet and will do so before I get more adventurous. I find that if I go to /home/colin I get a list of my folders therein. When I "save as" a document, I get an extra listing of what seem to be aps above the folders and string of logs etc., below the folders as well. Which of these ought to be put into the new partition? The lot would be in GBs.rather than MBs. I do have a 16GB USB Pen drive for back-up.
I am glad that the ext 3 & 4 are compatible, it would be handy to work with Hardy folders alongside the Lynx ones at times.
Your words are comforting!!!
Cheesy  Cheesy
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

You can install them side by side especially as you have a spare disk.
If you boot from the cd with the additional disk installed/plugged in when you choose install it will ask WHERE, just point it to the second disk, no need to format it it will do that as needed.
Community Veteran
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

You are nearly as quick as Fox!  But thanks for confirming that I had roughly the right idea.
Cheesy  Cheesy  :Cheesy
VileReynard
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Quote from: colintivy
I am glad that the ext 3 & 4 are compatible, it would be handy to work with Hardy folders alongside the Lynx ones at times.

ext3 and ext4 are not compatible - but 10.4 is quite happy to use either ext3 or ext4 in the same way as before.
If you install a fresh 10.4 install it will default to ext4, whilst your current version is probably ext3.
I'm not sure if 8.04 can reliably access ext4 though.
AFAIK it is possible to convert ext3 to ext4 (with difficulty) but you gain very little unless you have giant databases.
If you have a separate ext3 /home it would be possible to point your /home to both 8.04 and 10.04 - but probably not recommended.
(you really can't expect 8.04 to access any 10.04 setups and still work properly)
Since 10.04 was written after 8.04 it can interpret any setup details properly!

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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Thanks Jeremy. I do not expect to use 8.04 to play with 10.04 stuff, rather the other way round. Once 10.04 is stable and working as well as 8.04, I will use it as my main OS. Might use the 8.04 space for some other OS.
Would it be worth keeping 10.04 on the external HD and using the internal HD for playing with? or should I put 10.04 (when on its own) on the internal one and leave the external drive for playing?? The more generous capacity of the latter might be of benefit for larger OSs.
Cheesy
VileReynard
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

You are obviously wary of performing an upgrade. Cheesy
Note that 10.04 is not noticeably bigger than 8.04 (this is not Windows).
You have two problems:-
1) You want/need a separate /home directory
2) You want to run two linuxes side-by-side
To overcome (2) I'd suggest you install 10.04 onto the USB drive with the intention of deleting it at some future date.
If you delete 8.04 you will lose your current /home and its contents - since it is not on a separate partition.
Don't know what to advise on creating a separate /home
(Take a backup!!!!)
a) create a fairly big partition with gparted
b) create a mount point e.g. /newhome this will involve a command line stuff Smiley
If you look at the file /etc/fstab it contains all the mount points.
c) Carefully(?) move all your /home folders to /newhome
d) comment out the mount point for /home, change /newhome to /home in /etc/fstab
e) reboot
There are quite a few steps missing there - but you could practice doing this in 10.04 with a scrap /home on the USB drive (before throwing it away).
If you use nautilus (or similar) to look at your current /home/xxxx directory (with the option to view all files) you will see that there are a lot of folders/files that start with a "."; these are hidden files and contain any personal configuration data.
This is why it really helps to have a separate /home.

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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

If you want to move your /home to a new partition look <a href="http://embraceubuntu.com/2006/01/29/move-home-to-its-own-partition/">here</a>
That is how I did it a few years back.
I would not recommend using the same home folder for both 8.04 & 10.04 you can however use a different username so you have :-
/home/<8.04 user>
/home/<10.04 user>
On the same partition and copy your essential stuff between them. Config files will have changed so when you start up 10.04 the config it saves for your desktop will be different than the 8.04 version, so causing issues if you want to swap between them.
OR create a full backup and just install 10.04 on the system and restore only what you want from 8.04's /home - hobson's choice.
If you are unsure everything will be recognised use the Live CD and have everything plugged in.
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Hi H. B.
Many thanks for the above. I have made some progress which has showed me that there is much to favour 9.10 over 8.04, especially in it automatically detecting quite a lot of settings, particularly those needed for a wired network. It also revealed that the minor irritation of losing my Shift+3 to give GBP Symbol is overcome by proper detection of keyboard,  which has been a subject (yet unresolved) in posts elsewhere. Why am I talking about 9.10 you may ask?? I could not get 10.04 to go to Live CD so far (it tries to look like I had installed it and asked for a log-in every time) so as I had a copy of 9.10 I tried that and it worked first time. I understand that there is a work-round for the 10.04 issue which is not unknown, this will be put on the back burner for the time being. I have now installed 9.10 on my USB external drive to play with but have hit the stumbling block that my laptop BIOS only knows about the one HD within and does not let me prod another boot-loader. There appears to be a way (probably complicated) to get round this but before I get that involved I thought that I might benefit from your expertise.
Incidentally I did have a hiccup for a time when I initially failed to notice the need to stop the 9.10 boot-loader from installing itself on to the first drive ie sda in the laptop. This had the effect of making both OSs unbootable. Research back to posts in 2006 found a simple solution so that i am able to post this now on 8.04 thank goodness.
Cheesy Cheesy
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Simple answer:-
Have both disks plugged in.
Open a terminal window
enter "sudo update-grub"
This should detect that the second drive has 9.10 on it and add it to the grub menu, so when you boot you are offered 8.04 or 9.10 from the menu.
Even if the usb drive is off you can still use the 8.04. and I would have let it update the install on sda! Then you would have had the above!
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Thanks H B,
It sounded very simple but I found that there might be a couple of snags..Firstly, the USB drive is formatted to ext4 by its installation and 8.04 will not mount it and says so (it does appear as a drive in Places however),.although the drive did briefly do something when I put the code in.  Secondly, there might still be another problem because 9.10 uses grub2 which seems to be more than a bit different from its ancestor. The update did list a stack of kernals OK. Any clues?Huh
Community Veteran
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Thanks H B
Tried your  solution but I think that it may be a bit more complicated than that. The update listed all sorts of things and a list of  consecutive kernals and seemed to complete its task. I re-booted and got an error message that the drive could not be mounted because it was formatted to ext4, which it was when 9.10 installed. The drive is listed in Places however. A further difficulty might be is that 9.10 uses grub2 which is more that a bit different from its ancestor.  Any other clues?Huh
Roll eyes,
Community Veteran
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Sorry about the repeat...thought that the first of these did not actually go at the first button press!!
Community Veteran
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Re: Ubuntu 8.04 to 10.04 dual boot

Ok well you had to complicate things by formatting to ext4  Grin
Only easy way is to install grub2 on 8.04 (assuming it is compatible, should be  Lips are sealed)