Ubuntu: How do I install Ubuntu without using a LiveCD/USB?


There appear to be two types of Ubuntu installations: 'live' installations (typically USB or CD) and what I'm going to call 'full' installations (typically on an internal HDD).

Full installations can use "Startup Disk Creator" to create live installations, and live installations ask if you would like to try Ubuntu or install to a hard drive, creating 'full' installations.

How can I create another 'full' installation on another partition/disk, without creating an intermediate bootable 'live' medium? This seems like it should be simple.

Example Scenario:

A computer with four partitions: swap, /home, / , and one blank. Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop is currently installed on partition 3. I would like to install 12.04-server on the 4th partition. I have the .iso saved on the drive (/home partition). How do I perform a full (not 'live') install of 12.04-server to the fourth partition without buying a USB stick or CD drive?


If you mean to do this in the same way that Archlinux is installed, there is the debootstrap command which may be of help.

You can create the necessary partition with cfdisk (or gparted) then format it correctly (probably ext4) and mount it. You should then run debootstrap and chroot into the formatted partition before using aptitude to finish the installation.

I'm not exactly sure which packages ubuntu 12.04-server installs as part of the base installation, so I can't tell you exactly what you need to install with aptitude. Also, this will not give you a nice GUI installation process.

After installation and after exiting the chrooted environment, you should run grub-install before unmounting the drive.

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