Installing to arbitrary block devices

Colin Watson cjwatson at
Tue Oct 10 14:37:58 BST 2006

On Wed, Oct 04, 2006 at 06:20:37PM +0100, Jody Belka wrote:
> When I was installing ubuntu onto a new system last night, using the server
> expert installer, I found my life made much more difficult than it needed
> to be by the fact that Ubuntu does not seem to want to let me install to
> arbitary block devices. Instead, it wants to have full control over where
> I am installing to.

What particular block devices are you talking about here? If this is
really just a bug under the hood, it may be fixable.

> With Debian it used to be possible (haven't looked in a while) to manually
> mount volumes to the /target tree, and then continue with the install.
> Unfortunately, even this isn't possible with Ubuntu.

I think that's a feature that was lost in Debian too upon moving from
boot-floppies to debian-installer. You can actually do it, I believe -
you just have to make sure that udpkg thinks partman-base is configured,
and remember to set up /target/etc/fstab by hand.

> What would be really useful, is a dialog driven option to manually specify
> block devices and associate them with mounts. Or as a quick workaround, if
> Ubuntu would let you set things up manually from the console.
> How likely is something like this to make it in?

I'd have no problem with incorporating a feature that allowed the
installer to proceed normally if /target appears to be correctly
mounted, but the internals are going to be fairly complicated, so it
needs a competent installer hacker to sit down with a gallon or so of
coffee and think very hard about it ...


Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at]

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