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I do have XP on my PC. I want to shift to Ubuntu 10.04. I want to format whole PC & want to keep only Ubuntu.

Should I have to keep partition for it like we do in previous version of Ubuntu. Doesn't it waste my space ?

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The Lucid Boot CD will even offer to copy your XP settings and data files off the XP drive, and get it right. I only dist-upgraded my own machines, but installed from a boot CD for a friend who had root-kitted XP install but wanted to keep her bookmarks and photos. It just worked, I was impressed. –  msw Jun 18 '10 at 7:44
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"Use the entire disk" is definitely the option you will want to use. However, note the following:

  • The disk will be partitioned using the default scheme from Ubuntu
  • You will have a single large partition for most of the disk, and a small swap partition at the end, which should be sized based on the RAM you have.
  • The size is pre-determined, and you don't have much to say
  • The entire disk is erased, before you can import any existing profile from an existing XP

If you can backup/export your data/bookmarks/settings/etc first, and can put them back manually, this is the way to go. It will also avoid GRUB problems you may encounter having an XP machine as well.

If you want to test the water first, and see how it is, install it co-located with XP, and once it is fine, having imported your preferrences, bookmarks, etc. You can then copy your entire /home/username/* into a USB disk using tar, and re-import it once you re-installed Linux on the entire disk. Look at the commands tar and gzip to compress everything to a single large file.

If you are not happy with the default partitioning, you can then go manual, where you can first delete everything from the existing XP, and create different partitions, each with their different mount points. Some people prefer to separate directories such as /var from others, as they can grow up faster than. say, your home directory, or your application directory. This can avoid filling the disk with files that could cause problems to your applications, for example.

Be careful when you select your disk to install to. Make sure you have only this disk available/connected. Otherwise, if you do not select the right disk (and this happened in a USB environment), you may erase your external drive instead.

BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP !!!!!!!!!

Update: Fixed two typos.

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I think you can just run the installer and choose the "Use Entire Disk" option when it gets to the partitioning section.

There might be an optional choice to use LVM and thats up to you but the "Use Entire Disk" (paraphrasing) should be the one you want. It'll appropriately allocate the swap and operating system partitions as necessary.

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