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Thread: Non Obvious Install

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Virginia, USA
    Ubuntu Mate Development Release

    Re: Non Obvious Install

    Quote Originally Posted by NomadTW View Post
    Ok so I have a laptop that I want to put ubuntu on, currently the laptop has vista on it.
    I want the laptop to appear and act to the untrained eye as though it only has vista installed.
    no grub loader loading
    no default popping of any OS lists showing anything out of the ordinary on.
    ideally to hide the ext3 partition so it doesn't show up in windows at all.
    I would like it to just automatically boot to windows with no interaction, and perhaps a key to press during boot to choose to boot into ubuntu.

    is any/all of this possible?
    I have a laptop that has both Vista and Ubuntu on it, and I've experimented with what you want to do -- for different reasons, but with much the same result in mind.

    I'm not an Ubuntu "expert", but I'll pass along what I've learned ...

    1) GRUB. Menu is hidden, have to press Esc key to see it. Tried timeout of zero but the boot was too fast to allow me to press the key before the machine dropped into Vista. Had to end up allowing one second, and that displays the message on the screen about pressing the key.

    2) Ubuntu file system. Routine usage of Vista will not "see" the filesystem because Windows (currently) doesn't understand Ext3 filesystems. So, Windows Explorer and other file manager tools will not show the Ubuntu partition. However ... the Disk Management console plugin shows ALL the partitions, hidden or otherwise, regardless of format. So, if the person using Vista knows about the console plugins, they will be able to find the Ubuntu partition(s).

    3) Accessing your "private" stuff. You can search in this forum for details about adding and using passwords to prevent booting into Ubuntu (to prevent launching Ubuntu if the person does press Esc). That will at least keep folks out of the Ubuntu file system on a casual basis.

    If they do get into Ubuntu (using a boot CD for example), you can encrypt files to prevent access. But, they will be able to discover those files, and encrypting files on a machine you use at work could be in violation of some IT "policy".

    Better solution would be to keep your files on a plugin external drive -- but then, you have to physically protect that.

    One final thought ... if you connect your machine to the internet at work, it's common practice today for companies to monitor internet usage -- and when they do so, they do it silently. While a history of accessing non-work-related sites is not likely to get you fired, on the other hand, IT policies are generally so vaguely worded, that such activity COULD be used to fire someone.

    Hope some of this helps ...
    Last edited by Mark Phelps; October 8th, 2008 at 05:55 PM.

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