Ubuntu+1 inside a sandboxed partition

Nicholas Skaggs nicholas.skaggs at canonical.com
Tue Aug 21 22:36:37 UTC 2012

I'll toss my 2 cents in here as well. Part of testing is to test out the 
installer. However, if your afraid of losing data (and you should have a 
plan!), one trick I like to use is to simply crack open my case and 
disconnect the hard drive(s) containing my crucial data. Boom, problem 
solved. No way is the installer going to nuke me now :-) If you only 
have one disk, then this isn't an option for you. But I like to have 
separate physical disks for testing for this reason. For example, if I 
had a two disk setup I would do this:

Disk 1:
Partition into as many slots as you'd like, using any partition on the 
disk as the root filesystem

Ubuntu 10.04|Ubuntu12.04|Ubuntu12.10

Disk 2:
your home folder.. the entire disk, one partition, guard with your life 
and have backups :-)

Now when installing, disconnect disk 2. Do whatever you'd like on disk 
1, and if for some reason the installer wipes the disk and kills my 
ubuntu 10.04 and ubuntu 12.04 partitions, I can report the bug and not 
lose any sleep over it. Re-installing takes 20 mins. Re-attach my home 
drive to it and re-sync my installed packages and I'm back in business.

Naturally after installing, you could decide if you wanted to mount disk 
2 as /home on any of the root filesystems.. it would be your choice :-)



P.S. Ohh, btw, this applies to the stable releases too :-) Things can, 
will and do break at any time. If your messing with a disk that has 
important data (aka partitioning, installing grub, installing an OS), 
you better have a impenetrable backup.

On 08/21/2012 02:53 PM, Dražen wrote:
> OK, thanks everybody for your quick suggestions!
> I think what Bryce and Andrea are suggesting would be what I had in 
> mind (using lxc containers would still prevent me from testing the 
> latest drivers).
> I'll try it out and add it to the mentioned wiki page as another 
> method if it works.
> Dražen
> On Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 7:51 PM, Andrea Corbellini 
> <corbellini.andrea at gmail.com <mailto:corbellini.andrea at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     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 Luc(anin

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