Ubuntu STABLE + Ubuntu TESTING

Everyone loves to see how GNU/Linux will be in the next months but have a stable installation that always just works is essential when the computer is not just a toy, here I will explain how to make a dualbool with two ubuntu versions.


Of course you need different partitions, this is the schema I’ve followed but you can do what is better for your needs :

/dev/sda1 SWAP 2 GB       //  Used as SWAP partition
/dev/sda2 ReiserFS 15 GB  //  Here goes the stable one
/dev/sda3 ReiserFS ** GB  //  This is the home partiotion, it's shared
/dev/sda4 ReiserFS 15 GB  //  And here goes the testing distribution

The home partition should be big enought to contain all your data, so all the space not used by other partitions should be used for this one.


You can choose Ubuntu 8.04 LTS as stable distribution, I suggest to enable “hardy-updates” and “hardy-security” updates and disable “hardy-proposed” and “hardy-backports” for the best stability.

You can choose the testing distribution as you want, for example I use the last version of Kubuntu “intrepid ibex” 64bit.


First install the testing distro, the important thing here is install GRUB in the partition instead of into the MBR, I don’t know how to do this with the ubuntu installer, then you can install GRUB in the MBR.

Now you have to boot the installed distribution and open a console and type :

sudo grub
> root (hd0,3)
> setup (hd0,3)

Now you have installed GRUB into the 4th partition of the 1th disk (GRUB counts from zero!).

OK, the next step is install the stable distribution, install it as normal and install GRUB in the MBR, after doing this boot into this distribution and modify the /boot/grub/menu.lst file, delete all the lines relative to the testing distribution and add these lines :

title Ubuntu TESTING
root (hd0,3)
chainloader +1


Now you can boot the LTS normally, and if you want to boot the testing one you have to choose “Ubuntu TESTING” from the boot menu and another bootloader (the intrepid one) will be loaded and from this you can boot intrepid.


If you have followed these steps you have a computer with the hyper-stable ubuntu 8.04 LTS and the bleeding edge intrepid ibex, you can enjoy both upgrading without risks.

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