Installing Ubuntu 13.04

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Ubuntu Flying Solo

Installing Ubuntu by itself takes up the entire hard disk and writes all files into the /dev/sda1 primary partition. Also, the Ubuntu install creates the /dev/sda2 extended partition and, within it, the /dev/sda5 logical partition that houses the swap area (see the "Hard Drives in Ubuntu" box). The swap area includes the swap file that takes over when working memory is overloaded, although writing to the swap area is noticeably slower than direct access to main memory.

Hard Drives in Ubuntu

Ubuntu names device files on hard drives according to a particular schema: /dev/sda addresses the first detected hard drive, with /dev/sda1 its primary partition (/dev/sda2 through /dev/sda4 are the three other primary partitions). The /dev/sda5 device is the first logical partition located in the /dev/sda2 extended partition. Windows should always be located in the first primary partition (/dev/sda1 ), and generally also in /dev/sda2 . If you plug a USB stick or external hard drive in the USB slot, these external storage devices get the designation /dev/sdb , with everything else following the same schema. Using the sudo fdisk -l command, you can get an overview of the available hard disk and USB memory and the partitions and filesystems within them.

Ubuntu Neighbors

Windows often takes up the entire hard drive, so if you want to install Ubuntu alongside Windows, you must shrink the Windows partition and completely defrag it, as described in the "Windows and Ubuntu" box. Ubuntu 13.04 then invokes the GRUB 2 bootloader, which boots both systems and can handle new computers supporting Secure Boot.

Windows and Ubuntu

Windows likes to save its files across the entire hard disk. By defragging the Windows partition, you arrange the scattered file fragments in a contiguous region. You can then shrink the partition without disrupting any installed programs. In Windows 7, you can start the defragging with Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools . If you freshly installed Windows, a program called chkdisk routinely looks for damages to the partition, and then Windows can boot normally.

After defragging, you can begin shrinking the Windows partition. At the bottom of the Start menu, type hard and click Create and format hard drive partition . Windows XP and Vista have similar functions.

Next, select the Windows partition you want to shrink. Right-click and choose Shrink Volume , enter a desired value in the Total size after shrink in MB field and click Shrink , and restart Windows.

In any case, after you install Ubuntu and restart Windows, Windows resorts to chkdisk to check for possible damages. The system then restarts the computer again before starting up normally. Wubi [2], the tool to install Ubuntu on Windows, is not included with this version of Ubuntu because of severe bugs that will probably be sorted for Ubuntu 13.10.

Installing Windows after Ubuntu is so complicated that I don't recommend you do it. But if you do plan to do so, choose to create a manual partition in the Ubuntu installer (as described in the "DIY Ubuntu" box) while reserving an empty /dev/sda1 partition for Windows.

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