Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is it possible to install Ubuntu NBR on a harddisk that is currently installed in another Linux system (Gentoo in my case).

I want to reinstall my Media Center and Home Router (running Ubuntu NBR 9.10) on a harddisk that is currently installed in my Desktop PC (running Gentoo).

I found that debootstrap can do this, but all documentation and "How_To"s I found are quite old and I fear that with this method the result is not the same as with the official installer?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You're looking for Lubi

share|improve this answer
+1, didn't knew about that, and as it's from the author of unetbootin it should work fine: unetbootin never failed, but official installer "Wubi" failed, eh, always in my case. – whitequark Aug 14 '10 at 3:29
Thanks for the hint - looks exactly what I was looking for. – IanH Aug 14 '10 at 20:24

You can certainly install two Linux versions on one hard drive. First you need to backup all your data since things CAN go wrong.

Next, use the partition editor to make sure your hard disk has room for the new system. How you set it up originally and how you plan to use the new system are very specific to the user so I can't give you any advice there. You can use either Gentoo's partition editor or wait for Ubuntu to launch its version during the install. Be careful not to commit to partition changes unless you really understand the changes its going to make as you could potentially mess up BOTH installations if you make poor choices.

Once you boot the Ubuntu install CD it will ask if you want to run live or install. Probably best to run live at least once to make sure you can use the stuff you need to use - wireless, ethernet, USB drives etc. After testing thoroughly and assuming you really do want to install then just restart and pick the installation option instead of live. Since you say this is a reinstall I'm assuming that won't be a problem. If everything goes well grub should allow you to pick either Ubuntu or Gentoo on bootup.

I can't stress enough - back up the stuff you need before you try this. I've done installations like this many times and I can say from experience that "Murphy is alive and well and living in your computer."

share|improve this answer
I don't want to use the install cd, I want to install ubuntu from my running Gentoo. I tried with debootstrap, but this does no configuration at all (no hostname, network config, dns, apt/sources.list etc.) - and no bootloader (grub). Everything has to be done manually. – IanH Aug 1 '10 at 19:57
@IanH - sorry, I guess I misunderstood the question. – hotei Aug 2 '10 at 12:43

Presumably you want to move the hard disk back into your Media Centre afterwards.

If so, you could investigate using PXE networky booting stuff ie install over your network while the hard disk is in the machine it going to live in. Here is a description of how to go about it.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .