Installing Ubuntu on a laptop that has Windows 7 and Linux Mint

Liam Proven lproven at
Tue Mar 6 19:05:05 UTC 2012

On 2 March 2012 17:12,  <taodoe9.amabel at> wrote:
> We currently have a laptop with Windows 7 and Linux Mint 11. We plan
> on installing Ubuntu 11.10 and Linux Mint 12. What is the best way of
> installing these two linux distros? I'm particularly uncertain of the
> best way to answer the partition questions that the installation will
> ask.
> I booted up the "Ubuntu 11 Iso" on my computer. The installer was
> aware that I had "other operating systems". It asked me whether I
> wanted to install Ubuntu 11.10 alongside them. I did, and then I was
> led to "Guided Installation". I saw this screen:
> But that worried me. Where were was Linux Mint? And why was Ubuntu
> going to be installed in sda3? sda3 is Windows Recovery Environment
> loader (ntfs), according to the "Manual Partition" option. The screen
> does say that "4 smaller partitions are hidden", but that scared me.
> So I went and clicked onto Manual Partitioning.
> See
> sda1 ntfs 1.6GB Windows 7
> sda2 ntfs 209GB Windows 7
> sda5 ext4 93.9GB Linux Mint 11 Katya
> sda6 swap (linux-swap) 4.1GB
> sda3 ntfs 11.1GB Windows Recovery Environment
> Some questions:
> 1. Why is Windows 7 split into sda1 and sda2?

Don't know. Best leave it well alone! Otherwise you risk damaging Windows.

> 2. Do I need sda6 linux-swap?

Yes. Leave it. It is safe to share this between 2 different distros.

> 3. What's the proper way to make room for Ubuntu? What must I click on
> the screen?

Shrink the Mint partition. Put the Ubuntu partition after that.

> Also, I'd like the 2 distros to share the same "home" folder. By this,
> I mean that I want both of them to point to the same place for where I
> save my stuff (same Downloads folder, same Photos folder, same
> "Recent" stuff, etc)

You can't. It's too late. You don't have a separate /home partition
which is what you need to do this.

If you want that, then here is what to do, as a minimum:

[1] Back up all your data
[2] Make a 2nd backup of all your data in Mint as it will be lost
[3] Remove the Mint root partition; leave the Windows and swap partitions
[4] Use the space to make 3 new partitions:
 - [a] 16GB for Mint root
 - [b] 16GB for Ubuntu root
 - [c] the rest of the space for /home

Reinstall Mint using the separate /home partition.
Install Ubuntu using the same /home partition.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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