Problem installing from alternate CD

Barry Titterton titterton.barry at
Thu Feb 7 15:44:26 UTC 2013

Hi All,

This is my first post on the Lubuntu mailing list. I have been using 
Ubuntu for three years but this is my first experience of Lubuntu, and 
it didn't go very well.

I used to attend a computer club in Derbyshire and had been evangelising 
Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular for over a year. A couple of 
weeks ago a club member asked me to help him install Linux on an elderly 
laptop. The machine in question is a Toshiba S2410-504 with only 256Mb 
of RAM. I decided that this was a good candidate for Lubuntu, and the 
low RAM suggested that I needed the Alternate Install CD. The install 
went well until the very last item when it failed to install GRUB, after 
this the laptop would not boot. I spent several hours trying, and 
failing, to fix this manually. Most of the proposed solutions for a 
failed GRUB install referred to a dual boot situation or required 
running a live CD but this machine really struggled to run the live CD. 
I did manage to run GParted which suggested that the partitioning of the 
disk was faulty. I had chosen the default partitioning option of 
"Guided. Use whole of the disk.", however GParted showed that the 
partition 'sda' didn't have a mount point (should have been '/') and was 
not flagged as being bootable. I therefore repeated the installation but 
chose a different partition option "Guided. Use whole of the disk with 
LVM". This time the installer gave me feedback screens which confirmed 
what partitions would be created and their size and mount points. This 
feed back was missing from the first install attempt. The rest of the 
install went smoothly, GRUB included, and the laptop booted into Lubuntu.

Does anyone have experience with the Alternate CD?
Is this unusual behaviour for the Alternate CD?
Does it need reporting as a bug with the installer?

This whole episode was rather embarrassing as it happened in front of a 
potential convert to Linux. It could get even more embarrassing as he 
intends to report back to the club members with an account of the 
installation attempt. As a small apology to him I have also invested a 
few pounds in more RAM boosting it from 256 to 768Mb, which has made a 
big improvement in the performance.

I have two more points to make about my first encounter with Lubuntu:

Firstly the Alternate CD comes with Chromium as the default browser, 
however my experience showed that Chromium would not work reliably on a 
machine with only 256Mb of RAM. Should the Alternate CD build have a 
lighter weight browser as its default?

Secondly Lubuntu has the touchpad 'tap to select' feature turned on as 
the default. I could turn this off after installing the software but it 
made using the live CD very difficult indeed: it was so sensitive that, 
unless I was very gentle, when I tried to scroll the curser I would 
unintentionally selected something.

Both of the above points are merely annoying to an experienced Ubuntu 
user but they could make a bad impression with a brand new user.

Barry T.

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