Various pre-install queries from potential user

Colin Watson cjwatson at
Thu Sep 30 11:46:37 UTC 2004

On Thu, Sep 30, 2004 at 03:47:51AM -0000, David Marsh wrote:
> How flexible is Ubuntu regarding custom partitioning?
> It just so happens that, as it's not possible to buy anything other
> than a ridiculously large hard disk these days(!), I have 'shadow' 
> partitions already prepared on my (ridiculously large) hard disk for 
> any alternative distro that I might happen to install..
> I took the following arbitrary decisions regarding sizes, with an eye to
> stability/reducing disk problems:
> /      = 500 MB (intended for *only* files that *need* to be in / )
> <swap> = 2*RAM
> /usr   = large
> /var   = large
> /tmp   = 1 GB
> /opt   = large
> /home  = very large ;-)
> Will Ubuntu happily install itself in these partitions?

That should be perfectly fine, yes. We don't use /opt, so only bother if
you're using it yourself.

> What bootloader does Ubuntu use, lilo or grub?


> Is there anything I should be aware of when attempting to install Ubuntu
> onto a hard disk with a distro already installed? Can I have Ubuntu and
> another distro (currently SuSE) coexist happily?

Ubuntu should autodetect the other distribution during installation and
set up a /boot/grub/menu.lst entry for it.

> To what degree is KDE 'officially' supported in Ubuntu?

Not at all. Provided, but unsupported by the current Ubuntu development
team (at least until such time as community maintenance for it evolves).

> So I'd like to install KDE. I'm not remotely fussed as to whether it's 
> the bleeding edge KDE (although it has to be at least KDE 3 - and fairly
> secure), but I need to ask: is KDE supported to at least the extent that
> there _will_ be security updates, periodic major updates (= shorter
> period than with Debian itself although no rush to the edge required), 
> and (most importantly) that KDE all won't break horribly if other parts of 
> the system are upgraded?

We don't have the resources to provide security updates for universe,
and this includes KDE, I'm afraid. There'll be periodic major updates as
we'll resync universe with Debian every release cycle. The most likely
way for KDE to break would be due to library shift underneath it; I
think somebody would kick off automatic rebuilds if that happened,
although again we can't promise support in this area.

> Or is it entirely suck-it-and-see? 

Right now, that's probably a better description. Some of us are willing
to try to make certain bits of universe work reasonably well in our
spare time, but our spare time already comes with a great deal of
contention. :-)

> And finally (possibly daft question), will it be possible to apt-get
> upgrade-in-place like traditional Debian, or will it be necessary to
> reboot/upgrade from CD at each major release?

Upgrading in place is supported.


Colin Watson                                    [cjwatson at]

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