Problem installing from alternate CD

Aere Greenway Aere at
Thu Feb 7 17:04:12 UTC 2013

On 02/07/2013 08:44 AM, Barry Titterton wrote:
> 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.
> Cheers,
> Barry T.

My comments on this are addressing only a part of the situation.

When I originally started using Lubuntu, it was level 11.10, which I was 
delighted to find, would run well on only 256 megabytes of RAM!

My elation with this was somewhat dampened, when I discovered that the 
new 12.04 level wouldn't run very well on only 256 megabytes of RAM.  It 
still works well with 384 megabytes of RAM (though you have to use the 
alternate install).

Given my most common usage of my computers being MIDI audio production, 
and needing to use quality soundfonts (FluidR3_GM.sf2 is 142 megabytes 
in size), I have grudgingly upgraded all of my machines to a minimum of 
512 megabytes of RAM.

Of course, I still have to use the alternate install, though I have 
successfully installed it (with 512 megabytes of RAM) from the live CD 
desktop by (before starting the install), using Synaptic Package Manager 
to remove the "ubiquity-slideshow-*" (the asterisk denotes the 
particular ubuntu 'flavor') package.

512 Megabytes of RAM used to be the 'gold-standard' for all of the 
Ubuntu variants, but that, alas, is no longer the case.  And I realize 
there is little Lubuntu can do to shield us from the ever-increasing 
memory requirements of the Linux kernel.


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