XP and Linux (Ubuntu) on same disk, Can I install Ubuntu on not-yet partitioned portion of disk?

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Operating Systems Linux Ubuntu XP and Linux (Ubuntu) on same disk, Can I install Ubuntu on not-yet partitioned portion of disk?
# 1  
Old 10-20-2009
XP and Linux (Ubuntu) on same disk, Can I install Ubuntu on not-yet partitioned portion of disk?

My PC (Esprimo, 3 yeas old) has one hard drive having 2 partitions C: (80 GB NTFS, XP) and D: (120 GB NTFS, empty) and and a 200 MB area that yet is not-partitioned.

I would like to try Ubuntu and to install Ubuntu on the not-partitioned area . The idea is to have the possibility to run the computer as a double boot PC.

Is that possible to achieve this? Any disadvantages?
The description of the Ubuntu installation process mentions that this process can partition empty drives for a pure Ubuntu installation or can split a Windows partition in order to be able to install
Ubuntu on the newly created partition. It does not mention if there is an option to install Ubuntu in an not partitioned portion of a disk holding a Window system .

(I am a newcomer to Linux and have run Ubuntu 9.04 from the DVD-drive of the Esprimo computer but have not installed the Linux files on the harddrive yet. Ubuntu is installed on another, 10 years old, slow PC)
# 2  
Old 10-21-2009
You will need more than 200MB to install Ubuntu, however, you can always boot off the CD to "try" it, though the experience of booting a live distribution is never the full experience you would get from an install.

If you were to do this, you would have to shrink the 120GB NTFS partition or delete it, and allow Ubuntu (or some other distribution) to manage the space as a Linux compatible partition. Most likely it will be Ext3 or Ext4.

Alternately, you can install a virtualization software package to have a "Virtual" computer within your windows install that will allow you to try out most of the features of the OS, though the hardware will likely be abstracted so you won't get things like 3D effects.

That may be the simplest and safest route to take until you are comfortable with what you want, as a dual boot will change your boot loader to GRUB.
# 3  
Old 10-22-2009
You will need more than 200MB to install Ubuntu,
Tnanks Mark54g for your answer. Do you really mean that 200 GB, (not 200 MB) is too small fur Ubuntu ?.

But at moment my main questions are:

Is it possible to install Ubuntu on the not yet partitioned area of a 500 GB disk having at timittene of installation only one partion of 80 GB containing Windows and get a dual boot installation? What procedures?

I have put this question - maybe redundant to others- because the Ubuntu installation guide process offers an option to create a double boot system Windows - Linux by shrinking an existing Windows partition and then installing Ubuntu on a partition that is createed in the disk space created by the shinking. The guide however does not mention if there is a possibility to install Ubuntu in a not partitioned portion of a disk holding a Window system .
# 4  
Old 10-22-2009
200 GB should be enough for any Ubuntu installation. However, the 200 MB you mentioned in your original post wouldn't.

The difference between shrinking an existing Windows installation and installing into unpartitioned space is that you have 1 step less to do: shrinking the Windows partition. Otherwise it should be completely the same.
# 5  
Old 10-22-2009
As pludi mentioned, you said the unpartitioned space was 200MB not 200GB. If you were talking about the unused NTFS partition, that is not unpartitioned space, and should not be used, even if there are read/write drivers for NTFS available now.

There are always risks with modifying a partition, especially one that is not supported as well under Linux, as is the case with NTFS. If you have unused space, it would be best to use that.
# 6  
Old 10-26-2009
I just successfully shrank a Windows Vista partition to free up some space on my laptop and then installed Ubuntu on the newly "unused" space. It loaded GRUB as the boot loader and I now have a fully functional dual-boot system. I gave 30GB to Linux and it seems to be perfecly happy there.
# 7  
Old 10-27-2009
XP -Ubuntu 9 Nordic Version double boot

Thanks for all responses so far.

In the mean time I made some experiments using slow and aged PC:s in order to get a feeling for what might happen of (or when) I will install Ubuntu (or Debian or ...) on my 'production PC'.

Experiment 1
PC Bell 450/b1r, 1999, Pentium II, Ram 640
10 GB Drive was partitionated in a PC using the Win 2000 Disk Manager (Scaleo 400C, 2001, Ram 256 MB)
When the Drive was in condition 'partitionated' neither Debian 5 or Ubuntu 9 could be installed successfully.
When the Drive was in condition 'Partitionated and then Partition Deleted', Debian could be installed successfully (swedish keybooard ok). I noticed that the install program asked where to install grub. This is of interest for Experiment 2 (below)
Ubuntu 9.04 Nordic Version could not be installed sucessfully, black screen before user was asked where are you or where install ...
A sideeffect was that inititial test results demonstated yhe old truth that drive cable select settings mist be set with care..

Experiment 2
20 GB Drive. I installed XP on a first Partition (10 GB)- Free space 9 GB for intended installation of Uubuntu.
The free space waas obtained by using XP Manage Disk (Make partition, followed by delete partition)
Installation of Ubuntu 9.04 Nordic Version failed.
Another evening I will test Ubuntu-9.04-desktop-i386.iso
and perhaps Debian 5

Last edited by C.Weidemann; 10-27-2009 at 09:04 PM.. Reason: Replaced MB by GB
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