The typical steps for installing involves using a USB-bootable version of Debian and then partitioning the hard-drive for the new OS. Unfortunately, my BIOS has been locked and for various reasons, I can't get the password.

The current OSs on the system are: 1. Windows XP 2. Ubuntu 11.10

Someone told me that I could install Debian from within Ubuntu 11.10 but that would be "risky".

Could someone please help me with detailed step-by-step instructions on how to install Debian alongside Ubuntu when the only boot option is from the Hard-Drive, and not from USB or CD media? More details about the system will be provided on asking.

  • @don_crissti Please list that as an answer so that I can mark it as an answer and close this question. I'm sorry I didn't see that before. Somehow it show when I googled for this! Thank you – shikharraje Jun 8 '13 at 12:15
  • * Somehow it didn't show – shikharraje Jun 8 '13 at 12:24

There are at least two ways to do that:

"poor man's install":

Debian Installation Guide (see Installation Media > Hard Disk, Preparing Files for Hard Disk Booting)

or "bootstrap":


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If your system is capable enough, you could run Debian as a virtual machine within Ubuntu. You can do this by installing VirtualBox (package name virtualbox), creating a new VM, and installing Debian from boot media.

In this way you circumvent the BIOS restriction, and you have the advantage that you can run Ubuntu and Debian simultaneously.

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  • Thank you for the reply, but I can't mark this an answer, since I wanted a native Debian. But you're right, if one wants a Debian server as a VM, then VirtualBox would be the way to go. I'm not an expert on it, but I've heard that setting up a Debian server VM is easier on VirtualBox than VMWare. – shikharraje Jun 8 '13 at 12:29
  • Fair comment: thought I'd give the option anyway. I've run more VMware than I have virtualbox and I couldn't say that one is easier than the other... but one is definitely cheaper :) – Flup Jun 9 '13 at 21:55

I think this might help. It shows you how to set up your existing grub (on an installed Ubuntu system) so that you can boot the Debian installer from it. Having done this, you can proceed to install Debian normally. The instructions at the link show you how to install Debian using a netinstall image. I think, however, that you should be able to adapt them to a full install image (a DVD ISO, say).

Please note that I haven't tried such a thing myself and only posted it as a possible solution you may want to look at.

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  • I can't upvote, since I don't have the requisite reputation, but this answer was helpful. Thank you! – shikharraje Jun 8 '13 at 12:22

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