NOTE: This is NOT intended to be a complete or comprehensive installation guide!
A new live installer (aka: ubiquity) was introduced in the Maverick release and there were quite a few changes so, whether you're an experienced user or a new user that might be looking at some older guide(s), I think it's worth having a look at just what to expect.
Both Aysiu and HowtoForge have assembled some very good screenshots describing an “Entire Disc” installation so I’m not going to reproduce everything they’ve done:
Softpedia also has a good guide here that shows a bit about creating partitions "on-the-fly":
But I'd like to point out some of the most prominent changes between this version of ubiquity and earlier versions.
#1: There is no longer an option to “Install in largest continuous free space”. There's a bug report filed regarding that:
#2: The option to choose where to install grub is now only available if you choose “Manual partitioning”, and there is no option to not install grub. AFAIK if you don’t want to install grub to the mbr of a drive you must now install grub to the pbr of the new "/" (aka: root) partition or the “/boot” partition if one is being created. More about using a separate “/boot” later.
#3: I personally find the “Install alongside other operating systems” option to offer some rather confusing options (more about that later), up to a total of eight decisions to be made:
Allocate drive space by dragging divider
Offer to use advanced partitioning tool
Use entire partition
Use entire disc
I have filed a bug report regarding that:
And this bug may exacerbate the problem:
#4: There is no longer a final screen where you can review changes before proceeding with the installation! (That’s where you used to change the bootloader install location). After you complete the user/computer name and password categories the installation begins!
NOTE: The user name must not include CAPS!
Always follow basic pre-installation safeguards! Just a few that come to mind:
#1: Since it’s always a good idea to test the Live CD/USB anyway, by all means select “Try Ubuntu” instead of simply choosing to “Install”! Then while you’re trying out the Live Desktop lets find out how Ubuntu recognizes your existing drives, partitions, operating systems, etc. The most useful tool for doing this is Gparted which is installed in the Live Desktop by default, it’s found in System > Administration. You’ll notice in the upper right hand corner you can toggle between, and display, each recognized drive.
Since you’ll be installing with this Live CD/USB you need to understand Ubuntu’s device designations. For quite some time Ubuntu has used the “sd” designation regardless of hard drive architecture while others continued to use “hd”, but since you’re installing Ubuntu you’re only concerned with how Ubuntu recognizes your drives/discs & partitions!
Basically device designations begin with “/dev/sd”, the first character following “sd” indicates the drive/disc number, and the second character following “sd” indicates the partition number. So /dev/sda = drive #1, /dev/sdb = drive #2, /dev/sdc = drive #3, etc. And /dev/sda1 = drive #1/partition #1, /dev/sda2 = drive #1/partition #2, /dev/sdb1 = drive #2/partition #1, /dev/sdc2 = drive #3/partition #2, etc.
NOTE: If any of that is unclear please post a new thread here:
And don’t just take the first advice offered. If we’re serious users we understand people are concerned about doing things right the first time. One saving grace of the new ubiquity is the option to QUIT until you’ve completed the username info!
#2: Once you feel comfortable about installing you should still back up anything important! Bad things can happen no matter how careful you are, like an unexpected power outage during repartitioning or resizing operations.
#3: Only resize Windows Vista or Windows 7 using their own partitioning tools, and only after defragging and cleaning up!
Now onto what the new ubiquity options look like, as previously mentioned there is no longer an option to install to largest free space. Depending on the existing configuration you’ll see up to three options:
Install alongside other operating systems
Erase and use the entire disc
Specify partitions manually (advanced)
As previously mentioned I've been discussing (and cussing) the "Install alongside other operating systems" option and you will find a brief summary here along with a screenshot:
I've literally installed Ubuntu hundreds of times as an iso-tester and I find that very confusing.
In spite of my personal dislike for the new "Alongside" option in Maverick I decided to go somewhat more comprehensive in post #15:
I hope that may save someone from data/OS loss.
And I assume that everyone knows if they choose the “Erase and use the entire disc” option it will do just that! It will erase everything on the chosen drive - period! And even if you have more than one drive are you sure you selected the proper drive? Also remember that you can no longer choose where to install grub unless you choose the manual partitioning option.
So I think everyone needs to understand the “Specify partitions manually (advanced)” option. And there is no real reason to be scared, I’ve long believed the safest and smartest process is to create the new partitions in advance somewhat as described here:
But things look different so I created some screenshots. The first shows what you'll see after selecting “Specify partitions manually (advanced)”:
Basically you see (from top to bottom) a graphic displaying the current partition arrangement, the section listing all devices, and the section allowing you to change where grub will be installed. The graphic is just eye candy, do NOT rely on it for accuracy! Let’s concentrate on the section listing all devices for now.
Just below that you can see five options:
#1: New partition table - will only be available if you select a disc/drive, selecting this will erase everything on that drive!
#2: Add - should only be available if you select a device with free space available.
#3: Change - well, just what it says. This is usually the only option you'll use if you pre-created partitions as previously recommended.
#4: Delete - does what it says!
#5: Revert - should revert any change before it’s been applied if possible. Don’t count on it!
Since the Change option is what you'd likely be using you’ll see four options:
(1) New partition size
(2) Use as
(3) Format the partition
(4) Mount point
I think (1) is fairly self explanatory. If you’ve created your partitions in advance as suggested you’ll be using the existing size. The “Use as” option allows you to choose the file system type. The current default is Ext4. At this time I’d say using either Ext3 or Ext4 is fine for your “/” (aka: root), and “/home” partitions. Of course SWAP will be used as swap area, but if you already assigned the SWAP using Gparted you’ll find that the installer will use any and all existing SWAP partitions. I multi-boot a lot and quite often have a SWAP on each of two or more drives, so if I don’t want the SWAP on a certain drive to be used with a new installation I simply choose the “do not use this partition” option.
I assume everyone knows that “Format” will erase everything on that specific partition! Commonly if you’re creating a new “/” and “/home” you will want to format the new partitions. However, if you’re using an existing “/home”, you would not want to format that “/home”! Doing so will erase all data in “/home"! There is no need to format a SWAP partition.
In the next screen you'll see the “Moint point” options displayed. Normally you’d only be concerned with “/” (aka:root) and “/home”. IMHO it’s seldom necessary to create a separate “/boot”, I’ve found doing so can create more problems than it solves. By default the automated installation creates only a “/” and a SWAP.
The next shot shows “Device for bootloader installation” options:
I'm aware that a lot of this may seem overwhelming and I will try to provide some partitioning examples in the near future.