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Thread: Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

    I saw there is a System76 forum, but this area seems more appropriate.

    I just purchased a new System76 Laptop (16" Pangolin) with 32GB Ram and 2TB SSD. I have a lot of data and eventually intend to add a 4TB SSD.

    Their OS of choice is Pop_OS, a derivative of Ubuntu, but they will install Ubuntu on request, which I did. My intention is to add Kubuntu on top of the Ubuntu (22.04 LTS for now), as I had done with my desktop years ago (using Ubuntu server). I use KDE desktop but on occasion some Gnome apps.

    So I thought that's what I was doing-adding Kubuntu to the existing Ubuntu from the USB flash drive. But it required me to choose: either install Kubuntu as the only OS, or share the Kubuntu with the Ubuntu installation, and it divvied up the SSD into two partitions, each about 1TB. I'm not happy with that - I'd rather have it all on one partition.

    What I have on my desktop is the Kubuntu install on a 256GB 2.5" SSD (sda) and all data on a separate WD Black SATA drive (sdc). That seems to work well.

    My plans also include setting up a VM for a Windows install for some Win programs I still need. I was never happy with WINE, so I went the VM route. But if I use one partition for the Kubuntu/Ubuntu OS, then I'll want a much larger (or expandable) VM configuration. When I set it up years ago, I set aside 4GB RAM and 40GB disk space, not really acceptable as I discovered.

    So my question is, should I try to keep the two partitions on the OS drive (and why?), or if it might be better to just wipe the Ubuntu off and do a clean install of Kubuntu. If I really wanted Ubuntu, I could add it in the VM.

    Also, if I choose to wipe the drive, how would I go about doing it (It's been only been one week, so there's really nothing on the box yet).

    Thank you for any thoughts on all this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

    I like to have partitions for (at least) two root partitions, and a large data partition (and any ESP of course). Two root ps to allow running an upgrade in parallel while working out any kinks. Keep the homes on the roots (since the dot config files are likely system specific) and make links of the Pictures, Music, Documents, etc. to a user owned dir on the data partition (those probably may be shared between systems). 100GB for root seems my current basic size, any smaller and I'm spending too much time shuffling things around to make space. If you really wanted to, you should be able to expand the lower partition into the upper (losing all data in the process), and if the partition tool you select didn't do it, run resize2fs to expand the filesystem.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

    Ubfan1, thank you for your comment. I'm still trying to process what you said I'm sure it all makes sense; but you seem to have a better understanding of system configurations than I do. Do you have two root partitions for the same OS, running one or the other as being more current, or better debugged? Or are you running Ubuntu in one partition and some other OS in the other? You didn't say, but is your setup a dual boot situation? (for me that doesn't make a lot of sense).

    My desktop (which I'm sort of hoping to replicate to the extent I can) has the OS on a 256GB SSD while all the data is on a separate HDD (WD Black). With that, I'm not running two OS in dual boot or otherwise. I do run Win7 in a separate (VirtualBox) VM for the programs that Linux does not yet have suitable alternatives. Luckily, the data generated by the Windows programs can be stored on the regular SDC drive (in case the VM craps out).

    Just as background, when I built the desktop many years ago, I started with Ubuntu Server as I intended to set up RAID 1.0 with SDA and SDB. Later I discontinued the RAID. But I also installed Kubuntu over the server install, giving me a KDE desktop (I hope that all makes sense).

    So this laptop came with Ubuntu and I wanted to install Kubuntu on top of it (just like my desktop). But instead it forced me into a situation with two partitions and (I presume) a dual boot scenario. I don't anticipate actually using Ubuntu separately, and if I do, I supposed I could put it on the VM as some sort of testing or sandbox. Other than the desktop and perhaps a few utilities, it seems like the same OS anyway, and with the current two partition setup, it seems to be a waste of 1TB.

    I've had the laptop less than a week and there's no data on it yet, so I could easily start over. I'm just wondering if that course of action makes sense? And if so, what would be the best way to wipe the existing two partitions off the SDD before I reinstall Kubuntu from the USB.

    I hope that's clearer. Again, thank you.
    Last edited by Lappert; April 3rd, 2024 at 04:43 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

    I'll provide some thoughts (mine) but they're not likely addressing all your issues.

    Multi-desktop installs

    I've had multi-desktop installs for years.. fifteen+ years ago I could download Ubuntu Desktop ISOs quota free from my ISP, but all flavor ISOs were counted in my monthly usage, thus I always installed Ubuntu Desktop, then adjusted the mirror so I was using my ISPs' mirro (it was quota free), then adjusted packages (remove what I didn't want & installed what I wanted). Doing this saved me being restricted to dialup speeds on the last days of the month... as a result I'd not re-install Kubuntu Desktop on your system & just modify packages.

    I actually got lazy & often didn't remove the `ubuntu-desktop` package, and thus ended up with a multi-desktop install; meaning I'd select which DE I'd login with at greeter (DM), and don't see an issue if you do that either (ie. keep Ubuntu Desktop/GNOME installed; plus add `kubuntu-desktop` for KDE Plasma).

    The current system I'm using now is logged in with Lubuntu (LXQt), but yesterday & the two days before that I was logged in with Ubuntu Desktop (GNOME), the three days before that I was logged in using Xubuntu (XFCE).. I don't have `kubuntu-desktop` installer here though, but do on other boxes of mine (I usually link it with Lubuntu/LXQt more & not Ubuntu/GNOME).

    Summary - I wouldn't re-install, just modify what you were given!

    FYI: Adding multiple desktops can have issues; eg. I'll provide a link here that maybe worth reading... why I don't have `kubuntu-desktop` on this box can be read there

    Partitioning

    I'd use whatever you want to use. If you plan on switching to a non-Ubuntu system in the future, I'd recommend having your /home partition in a separate partition, as whilst all released Ubuntu Desktop (inc. flavors) can non-destructively re-install where installed on a single partition (no /home partition), this is NOT the case with most non-Ubuntu systems.

    FYI: I'd be tempted to do it on Ubuntu too currently.. as an issue appeared in QA of Ubuntu noble (first with Xubuntu) that may result in this option being removed for 24.04, at least initially.

    You mention data on a second drive; but didn't actually give details as to what directory you were talking about there.. DATA to me implies non /HOME (ie. all my data exists on a network share so I can use it from multiple devices; but /home is local with device specific detail only, so I can boot up if not connected to the network; being specific is helpful).

    Before Re-install

    If the machine came pre-installed with a Ubuntu system, I'd ensure you explore how different what they actually installed differs to an ISO you can download yourself. Kubuntu LTS will install with various kernel stacks with the default set by the ISO used to install, I gather you're on 22.04 but did you look at what kernel stack you're using (GA? HWE? or an OEM?) and were any other non-standard OEM type options present....

    Take note of any non-standard sources they've added, and what was installed from there.. If you're unfamiliar with what is included by default; download & try (ie. boot live) an equivalent Ubuntu ISO (older Ubuntu ISOs are easier to find than the flavor ISOs, as Canonical by default only keep the latest flavor ISO, so 22.04 media with the GA kernel stack won't be easy to find now)..

    Anyway, this exploration is something I'd do before you re-installed. If they put some work to ensure Ubuntu Desktop worked better on your device than default; take note of those changes.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

    Guiverc,

    Thank you for your insights. Much appreciated. I'm not on any bandwidth quota, so that's not an issue. From the laptop (using the pre-installed Ubuntu) I downloaded the latest version of Kubuntu 22.04 desktop LTS from the Kubuntu web site, and used Startup Disc Creator to write it to the attached flash drive. I'm looking for the full install (and have plenty of space), so no need to remove packages in the process.

    The issue I'm having is - if I keep the Ubuntu:

    1. On my desktop I have Kubuntu installed on top of the initial Ubuntu Server (I did that so I could set-up RAID, since abandoned). Those co-exist in one partition, so I have no need for a dual boot. If I really want to check out another distro (or have a Windows install), I can do that using VM. I hear VM is more seamless these days, and perhaps WINE is now workable for Windows, so it's actually easier in my opinion to do this rather than use a dual boot.

    2. With two full installs, in their own partitions, I'm just replicating most of the OS other than the desktop, and just using space for no reason.

    3. Using VM one doesn't need to login and logout. It's just all there.

    So really I'm only looking to verify it's OK to wipe the drive and start with a fresh and full install of Kubuntu in one partition. That's where I'm leaning, but will appreciate tips on the best way to do that.

    I can appreciate your situation as you prefer to have different OS's on separate partitions. I'm looking to do the opposite: reduce it all down to one partition. And Kubuntu is just my preference, not a statement that one is better than the other.

    You ask about my data ... (on my older desktop, all SATA HDD)
    for installed drives, it's: /mnt/sdx/Documents - and /mnt/sdx/Download (where sdx = sdc, sdd, etc.).
    for external (archival) drives, I have a few: it's /media/username/Drive01/ etc.

    I could use /home, but that would put the data on the OS drive (my desktop OS drive is only 256GB - at the time SSDs were a lot more expensive). Using /mnt also allows me to put it on a separate drive when mounted. My intention was always to put data on lower cost SATA HDDs (I use WD Black).

    I also use an offsite cloud service, but that's not my immediate concern.

    Again, thanks for your help.
    Last edited by Lappert; April 3rd, 2024 at 01:09 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

    I was thinking of a distribution upgrade (e.g. 22.04 to 24.04), where I like to keep the old (running) system around until I get all the new system programs working. I have a lot of old code, which may break when tools change, like changing default from python2 to python3. Once I get things working on the new system, I pretty much ignore the old system (unless I need it to answer a question about that release), until the next dist upgrade, which gets put on the old system's partition. Not as critical these days to have a totally running system, so for my last system, I just combined my two 50GB roots into one 100GB, and am much happier about free space. If your kubuntu partition is a fresh install, I'd just expand it -- delete the ubuntu partition (just after it, right?) and increase the kubuntu partition size into that now free space. That should be trivial. If the file system size does not expand (some partition tools will do that for you , some don't), just run sudo resize2fs and the filesystem expands to fill the free space on the partition, also pretty trivial.

  7. #7
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    Xubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

    Re: Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lappert View Post
    So really I'm only looking to verify it's OK to wipe the drive and start with a fresh and full install of Kubuntu in one partition.
    Yes, it is OK, if you install the System76 Driver in your new Kubuntu installation.

    Also see this related thread.
    Xubuntu 22.04, ArchLinux ♦ System76 hardware, virt-manager/KVM, VirtualBox
    If your questions are resolved to your satisfaction, please use Thread Tools > "Mark this thread as solved..."

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lappert View Post
    Guiverc,
    I can appreciate your situation as you prefer to have different OS's on separate partitions. I'm looking to do the opposite: reduce it all down to one partition. And Kubuntu is just my preference, not a statement that one is better than the other.

    You ask about my data ... (on my older desktop, all SATA HDD)
    for installed drives, it's: /mnt/sdx/Documents - and /mnt/sdx/Download (where sdx = sdc, sdd, etc.).
    for external (archival) drives, I have a few: it's /media/username/Drive01/ etc.

    I could use /home, but that would put the data on the OS drive (my desktop OS drive is only 256GB - at the time SSDs were a lot more expensive). Using /mnt also allows me to put it on a separate drive when mounted. My intention was always to put data on lower cost SATA HDDs (I use WD Black).

    I also use an offsite cloud service, but that's not my immediate concern.
    I think you misinterpreted what I was trying to say...

    My current system is dual boot (most of my systems are), but the dual boot options I have are Ubuntu LTS on this box (ie. 22.04) and the current development release, ie. current Ubuntu noble (what will be 24.04 on release). I was talking about my current system, where I'll show some current mounts

    Code:
    guiverc@d7050-next:~/uwn/issues/833$   df -h
    Filesystem           Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    tmpfs                1.6G  2.7M  1.6G   1% /run
    /dev/sda6             96G   74G   17G  82% /
    tmpfs                7.8G  278M  7.5G   4% /dev/shm
    tmpfs                5.0M  8.0K  5.0M   1% /run/lock
    efivarfs             256K  227K   25K  91% /sys/firmware/efi/efivars
    /dev/sda7             94G   56G   34G  63% /lts
    /dev/sda1             96M   53M   44M  55% /boot/efi
    ..
    ie. I consider this install a single partition install, ie. I'm only counting the `/` partition. Yes technically there is also the ESP (`/boot/efi`) and other system mounts (some are shown, but I didn't cut my paste off there thus excluding my network shares & tmpfs).. You can see my mount for my 22.04 system (`/lts`) which is my dual boot..

    Both this system and my LTS system are multi-desktop installs, ie. I have multiple desktops installed via packages... My mention of bandwidth quota was probably red-herring, but also explains why I started replacing packages INSTEAD of the more common (usually CLEANER & thus easier for newbies) idea of download a new ISO & just clean install.

    Another option & partitioning consideration:


    You can also switch desktops via re-install too; eg. my most recent QA tests of this were on noble (what will be 24.04 later this month) where I'd started with a Lubuntu install, adding some additional (non-standard) packages/apps & of course some data, then non-destructively installed Xubuntu noble (expecting my data to remain untouched & the manually-installed apps I added to auto-reinstall)... which was then repeated with by replacing it with Ubuntu Desktop (ie. the re-installs were just to switch LXQt from Lubuntu with Xfce from Xubuntu, then GNOME from Ubuntu Desktop). In my case I had problems with Xubuntu & Ubuntu-Desktop (looking for problems is what QA or Quality Assurance testing is for) so whilst this type of switch has been possible with prior releases, it's marked as 'will be disabled' for Ubuntu 24.04 when using the `ubuntu-desktop-installer` (at release anyway WHERE a single partition is used!), but if using a currently released system this will still work (or using a `calamares` ISO with noble or 24.04 too).

    Ubuntu 24.04 LTS as its expected to be released will have non-destructive re-install disabled at release time where a single partition is used (format will be required).. which is why I mentioned it.. Most non-Ubuntu systems are like that anyway; its a different default to prior Ubuntu Desktop release though; but the issues I talked about last paragraph were noted too late to be fixed for 24.04's release (thus plan to disable it in installer; thru forcing of format). What we'll have though is still unknown, as Ubuntu noble is still in alpha, with beta now delayed a few days.. so we'll have to wait & see.

    External data drive/partitions

    I don't see any problems with putting data (external or network drives) on other directories.. (eg. `/mnt` or other), in fact numerous of my mounts (I removed from prior paste) are like that (network only on this box, but other boxes I have have multiple external drives).



    I'm not trying to recommend anything; just laying out what I consider facts I'd consider.



    When I installed my current system (early 2023) I'd intended to make & use a separate /home partition (as the system this box replaced had used) EXCEPT I used QA test installs to do my installs, and I'd not have been able to use existing QA testcases if I'd setup what I actually wanted.. As I'm very aware that non-destructive re-installs on release up to and including 23.10 didn't require seperate /home, I wasn't worried about not having /home. I'm still hoping that whilst 24.04 will release without single-partition non-destructive re-installs (with ubuntu-desktop-installer ISOs), the issue will be fixed in May-August 2024 and thus simply updating the installer will allow these types of re-installs again (I can always use Kubuntu, Lubuntu & Ubuntu-Unity which use the calamares installer.. hey as stated I'm pretty experienced at switching flavor via package changes anyway)

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

    Thank you to all who replied. I appreciate your efforts and knowledge, but I'm really only looking to confirm it's OK to erase the Ubuntu and install the Kubuntu (although as one person said, I'll need the System76 driver.

    In my own experience with my old desktop (soon to be replaced), I run Win7 in VM. There are still Win programs I'll need so I'll be adding that. If I have an interest on any other OS, I can always add them to the VM.

    BTW, I'm not a newbie . I was programming machine and assembly on PDP-8 boxes back in the 1970's. I'm not a tinkerer, but I applaud those of you that can put in the effort. At my age I'm looking for simplicity

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu and Kubuntu together, or just wipe clean and install Kubuntu?

    To those who helped with my situation above (ubfan1, guiverc and halogen2), well, it's done, but it wasn't all that straightforward.

    I was under the impression one could just wipe the desk from the BIOS and reinstall. Not true. Some sources said to open Gparted from Ubuntu and rearrange things from there. First, whatever I had done, bringing up Ubuntu wasn't really working, and the mouse kept freezing.

    Some said I had to bring up Kubuntu from the Live Disk (USB) to do it. On reflection that made sense as the act of removing the old partitions and old installs (old meaning last week) really had to be done from an external source.

    But the BIOS had no way of doing it ... that was until I discovered I couldn't choose the boot order unless there was a USB inserted. So once I discovered that, I switched the boot order and up came Kubuntu with an option to try, or install. I chose install. Most of that process was pretty easy, and then it gave me the option to use the existing two partitions (no) or use the entire SSD (yes). That was what I was after. The rest of the install was pretty easy, so now I have one partition (2TB) with just Kubuntu, nothing else. If and when I want to install Windows, Ubuntu or anything else, I can always use a VM.

    There may be more elegant solutions, but that is what I was after.

    I'm sure I'll have more questions, but this gets me started. So thank you for your insights.

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