Do you need more than one partition to run an Ubuntu installer? Or can you download it, save it, and install it all in the same partition? (without mounting others, nor using the Windows installer).

On the partition in question there is a pretty old Ubuntu installation, but it is enough to get the installer started. The graphical stuff is not running in this version, but the command line is OK. It doesn't matter if this version gets completely deleted and there is something like that 40 GB free.

  • 1
    I'd try making a partition, putting the ISO there and follow the advice on help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot to boot from an ISO on the HDD.
    – jordan
    Nov 3, 2013 at 22:47
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    Just to be factually accurate, it is technically possible to do this, but it is not a simple technique.
    – phemmer
    Nov 4, 2013 at 2:35

2 Answers 2


If you download the installer and run grub in such a way to boot from the iso on /dev/sda1 (for example) Then you can not delete /dev/sda1 without risking serious problems.

You need to run the installer from a drive or partition you are not going to format for it to work correctly.

  • OK, I'll make a new partition to install ubuntu over the old Ubuntu partition. Do I put the ISO there and run grub update? Or is it more complicated?
    – jordan
    Nov 3, 2013 at 22:41
  • If you configure grub to use the iso on a partition that's fine, but it's tricky. You would be better off burning to CD or creating a USB boot disk. help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2/ISOBoot
    – coteyr
    Nov 4, 2013 at 0:56
  • note: if you are going to basically rm -rf the filesystem, but not actually destroy the superblock and reformat the partition, you can probably have the image on the same partition as you're installing from.
    – strugee
    Nov 4, 2013 at 5:20

I don't understand what you mean.

Generally one boots from a Live CD and uses the installer from there. This requires no partitions except those needed to burn the disc.

If you are talking about installing the ubiquity package, then yes, I believe this will require another partition. You may be able to install on the same partition as you're running the installer from if you don't format the file system, but I would strongly recommend against it. Just don't do it; that's a fool's errand.

  • I was thinking in downloading the ISO, mount it with: mkdir /media/iso; modprobe loop; mount filename.iso /media/iso -t iso9660 -o loop and then run it. sda1 has Windows on; sda2 has old Ubuntu; sda3 has a partition that can also be mounted. The computer also don't have a CD-ROM. But yes, maybe I should create a new partition and boot from there.
    – jordan
    Nov 3, 2013 at 22:43
  • @jordan please edit your question to include this information.
    – strugee
    Nov 4, 2013 at 0:24

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