Ubuntu+1 inside a sandboxed partition

Andrea Corbellini corbellini.andrea at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 17:51:23 UTC 2012

On 19/08/12 20:36, Dražen wrote:
> Hi all,
> is there a way to run the development Ubuntu version dual boot, but by
> using the OS installer (and other related stuff) from the stable version
> so that there is little or no chance of it damaging other partitions
> with the stable production installation?
> I'd like to run an Ubuntu+1 version for development and testing
> purposes. Now, I prefer having a dual boot installation to VMs, because
> of the ability to test on actual drivers (which are often the cause of
> why I want to hack something in the first place). After reading the
> description of this method on the wiki page
> (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UsingDevelopmentReleases/OtherWays) it seems it
> has a major drawback because a bug inside the installer (or, I guess,
> parts of the OS related to mounting other partitions etc.) could cause
> the loss of data on the production installation, which is quite
> unacceptable even with backups, as it takes a lot of time to recover and
> get the system back to a usable state (especially if you have other OSs
> alongside Ubuntu).
> What I'm wondering is if there is a way to run a development version,
> but with certain crucial parts that could tamper with other partitions
> taken from a stable release, where there is a higher level of confidence
> that it won't cause data loss on other partitions. This would in an
> essence be a sort of Ubuntu+1 installation sandboxed inside a single
> partition.

You can do this:

1. create the target partition and mount it somewhere;

2. use debootstrap(8) like this: `debootstrap quantal /somewhere';

3. chroot into the /somewhere and install the tasksel package;

4. run `tasksel install ubuntu-desktop';

5. update grub's configuration as you like.

This is basically what the Ubuntu installer does. You'll get a perfectly 
functioning Ubuntu Desktop without running the live cd.

> If something like this doesn't exist, would it be very complicated to
> create as, for example, an automatically generated remix? I think it
> would encourage many people to try out the development version on their
> own machines, detecting driver-related errors (which get masked by using
> VMs) much sooner. Also, it would allow developers to run a development
> version straight on their bare metal production machine, which would be
> a performance boost during their work.
> Dražen Lučanin

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