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I have two computers running dual-boot under Windows (one XP, the other Win 7) and Ubuntu Linux (one 11.10, the other 11.04.) I'd like very much to replace the Ubuntu ...
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  1. #1
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    Question How Can I Replace One Distro With Another?


    I have two computers running dual-boot under Windows (one XP, the other Win 7) and Ubuntu Linux (one 11.10, the other 11.04.) I'd like very much to replace the Ubuntu distributions on each with Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon but am running short on possible partitions on the hard drives. Windows backup and recovery seems to have used two primary patititions leaving one primary for the actual Windows partition and one for the Linux partition. So.... my question is, can I overwrite the current Ubuntu distro with Linux Mint and, if so, how do I go about doing this without losing my personal data?

    Thanks.

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    Since you have no other partitions, you would need to backup whatever data you have and install Mint to the partition on which you currently have Ubuntu. Then copy the data to the Mint partition. YOu could have created an Extended partition so that you could then create a number of logical partitions. Not having any specific information on your drives/partitions, it is difficult to give anymore specific advice. You could open a terminal in Ubuntu and run this command: sudo fdisk -l(Lower case Letter L in the command) and post the output.

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    How Can I Replace One Distro With Another?

    Besides what yancek replied, which is very valid, you could backup your data using dd command or creating a tar.gz file with the content you'd like to save.
    Also, I'm not sure if there' s a GNU/Linux equivalent to norton ghost for repartitioning without formatting. You might find that useful as well.

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    On my Acer laptop, the fdisk -l command resulted in:

    Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x0df1e778

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 2048 29362175 14680064 27 Hidden NTFS WinRE
    /dev/sda2 * 29362176 29566975 102400 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda3 29566976 296024063 133228544 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda4 296026110 488396799 96185345 5 Extended
    /dev/sda5 296026112 480481279 92227584 83 Linux
    /dev/sda6 480483328 488396799 3956736 82 Linux swap / Solaris

  5. #5
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    In your initial post you indicate you have Ubuntu 11.04 as well as Ubuntu 11.10 installed. If you have them on the same disk, one must be a wubi install inside one of your windows partitions. sda5 is the only Linux partition available so do you want to install Mint as a wubi install with mint4win or on a separate partition?

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    Quote Originally Posted by yancek View Post
    In your initial post you indicate you have Ubuntu 11.04 as well as Ubuntu 11.10 installed. If you have them on the same disk, one must be a wubi install inside one of your windows partitions. sda5 is the only Linux partition available so do you want to install Mint as a wubi install with mint4win or on a separate partition?
    Sorry, yancek. I had a cat trying to help me type and failed to include enough detail. I have one computer, an Acer laptop, that came with Win 7 installed and upon which I added Ubuntu 11.04 immediately upon getting it home. That is the one whose fdisk -l output I posted above.

    I have another computer, a 2004 or so era eMachine with two drives. One drive is devoted entirely to Windows XP, the other drive entirely to Ubuntu 11.10. I don't expect to have as much trouble creating a new partition on that machine if that's what it takes so I figured I'd start with the difficult one, the laptop. That's the one I use the most anyway. I'm tired of "upgrade" messages telling me that my OS is outdated and no longer supported and it will be a cold day in Hell before I install another version of Ubuntu which defaults back to Unity. It took me almost a week of searching when I first installed 11.04 to learn how to enable the "classic" Gnome login and, while I can quite likely be mistaken, I'm under the impression that option is no longer offered in 12.04 and later versions.

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    I had a cat trying to help me type
    I have a cat like that too which is why I'm missing keys on my notebook.

    I'm not sure about 12.04, but previous versions were supposed to work with:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

    Maybe you've tried that already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yancek View Post
    I have a cat like that too which is why I'm missing keys on my notebook.

    I'm not sure about 12.04, but previous versions were supposed to work with:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

    Maybe you've tried that already.
    No, I didn't know about that. I'll try it tonight. (I'd say immediately but I've learned that such things generally are not immediate. <grin>)

    Okay, it was more immediate than I thought.

    "gnome-sesion-fallback is already the newest version."

    Should I have tried a dist-upgrade first?

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    You could go to latest Ubuntu Studio, Xubuntu, Kubuntu or Lubuntu. They should offer the option to exactly replace the current Ubuntu when installing.

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    The 'askubuntu' site below has some info on gnome-fallback. Haven't tried it myself but you might take a look at it

    How to revert to GNOME Classic Desktop? - Ask Ubuntu

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