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Upgrading linux to ubuntu





jmraker
I really really need to upgrade my laptop's linux, it's running Mandriva 2006 and it can't do Firefox 3 or Flash 10 for reasons of library oldness.

I tried to upgrade to Ubuntu from a live CD once a few years ago but it wouldn't install unless it reformatted the disk (it's EXT3). Is it possible to install ubuntu from a live CD or some other CD without it reformatting? If not, I'll just install Mandriva 2010.

Also I read once that Ubuntu had a feature that let you upgrade versions like if you installed Windows 2000 and you could run a command to upgrade to Windows XP, then later to Windows 7 (with no need to download and install XP or Win7). What is the version update feature called? so I can google it

I would love it if I never have to install the old way again.
microkosm
jmraker wrote:
Is it possible to install ubuntu from a live CD or some other CD without it reformatting?


No. You have to reformat the disk or partition in order to install ANY and ALL operating systems to the hard disk drive. On the other hand you could be running the ubuntu live cd perpetually, but that's a crappy solution.

jmraker wrote:
Also I read once that Ubuntu had a feature that let you upgrade versions like if you installed Windows 2000 and you could run a command to upgrade to Windows XP, then later to Windows 7 (with no need to download and install XP or Win7). What is the version update feature called? so I can google it


It's called upgrading. Seriously, see http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/upgrading.

I think backing up your important files and documents and installing ubuntu is your best bet at this point. Mandriva doesn't have that much going for it like it used to in the early 2000's. Also I upgrade my ubuntu installations every time a new version is released and it's very easy. Again check the link above for screenshots and a walkthru.

Good luck. Smile
jmraker
I don't think it's required to reformat the hard drive I've installed old mandrake and the previous mandriva linux over the previous versions and it didn't need to install to a newly created partition.

If the old linux distros can do it, then there should be a way the almighty ubuntu can do it, I would hope.

The partition is already there and formatted.

My backup drive is formatted as NTFS and it's NTFS driver is too old to write to it.
microkosm
jmraker wrote:
I don't think it's required to reformat the hard drive I've installed old mandrake and the previous mandriva linux over the previous versions and it didn't need to install to a newly created partition.


You installed the exact same linux distro on top of itself. That's why you didn't have to reformat. If you try that again with Mandriva 2010 or whatever it's called, you might not be so lucky because Mandriva itself has changed in the four years since you last installed it. Then again it may work since its the SAME linux distro.

Don't count on this working if you install ubuntu over mandriva.

By the way you really need to start making some backups if you're gonna try this sort of stuff.
saratdear
jmraker wrote:
I don't think it's required to reformat the hard drive I've installed old mandrake and the previous mandriva linux over the previous versions and it didn't need to install to a newly created partition.

If the old linux distros can do it, then there should be a way the almighty ubuntu can do it, I would hope.

The partition is already there and formatted.

My backup drive is formatted as NTFS and it's NTFS driver is too old to write to it.

As you put it, it seems that you merely tell the Linux distro that the partition that you want it to install to is so and so. Then it formats the partition automatically. That is a solution; you don't need to format the partition because the installer does it for you. And I guess Ubuntu will be able to do it too. But as far as I know, no two operating can be installed in the same partition simultaneously. Unless, of course, it is a virtual machine software.
Flarkis
if you have enough space left on the drive try booting into a liveCD and making a backup partition on the HDD. Than copy all your important files onto the backup partition. Install ubuntu on the old partition and copy your data back.

To avoid this in the future i would advice partitioning your disks to take advantage of some of linux's better though out features.

Mine old one looks like this:

sda1 ext2 /boot 200mb
sda2 swap swap 767mb
sda3 ext4 / 12gb
sda5 ext3 /home 200gb

Having a boot sector means that even if your file system gets damaged you should be able to at least get grub running and even boot into another OS or even repair linux. The /home directory means all your personal data will be stored on its own partition, this will allow for reinstalls, upgrades, crashes, etc without loosing anything. The root partition its self does not need to be that large depending on the programs you have installed.
Fire Boar
Definitely agreed on having /home in its own partition. I'd say / typically only needs 10 GB absolute maximum. A separate /boot partition is not necessary and can be a little confusing to have, but if you know what you're doing it can be a good idea.
Flarkis
i find that for a seperate boot partition is very important. Say you are doing something on your computer and it hard crashes, and corrupts the root beyond repair. You will not loose grub if it is on its own partition meaning that you can still boot. But that is just my opinion, I've also had this happen a few times so i may be a little paranoid.
albuferque
A question that keeps tossed around every new Ubuntu release is what's better a clean install or an upgrade? . Common wisdom would suggest that a clean install would probably be better, however the inconvenience of losing current installed apps and configuration makes most of us shy away from this path. But you could have the good of both worlds A fresh install and keeping your apps and configuration intact

Just backup your /home folder onto an external drive or whatever. Make sure you also grab the hidden files, it would also be wise to have your /home in a seperate partition, back up /etc, and use the tar command to back up home (it will preserve your structure and permissions)
jmraker
I installed kubuntu last night and I found out that the installer didn't need to reformat the disk. The installer deletes the important directories, but not all of them because the installer crashed because a directory already existed. I tried again with the formatting. I kept a terminal window open and got a few cd-rom errors (via dmesg command) during the install but the install seems to be ok.

I can finally run Firefox 3.5 and Flash 10 on it.
darthrevan
It is correct, there is no need of reformatting the partition to upgrade Linux distros, unless the distro doesn't provide a good package manager. Distros like, Debian, Fedora, Mandriva, (*)ubuntu, Gentoo, Arch Linux will allow you to upgrade easily.

The best time to reformat during an upgrade is to fix a problem that maybe you can't fix unless you do reformat and install the newer distro.
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