Cannot Install Ubuntu 8.04 (probably partitioning issue)

Asked by HoWei on 2008-05-08

on my PC I have Linux Fedora 7 and Windows2000 installed

with the following partitions (/etc/fstab):

/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 / ext3 defaults 1 1
LABEL=/boot /boot ext3 defaults 1 2
tmpfs /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
sysfs /sys sysfs defaults 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/sda1 /windows/C vfat users,gid=users,umask=0002,iocharset=utf8 0 0
/dev/sda7 /windows/F vfat users,gid=users,umask=0002,iocharset=utf8 0 0
/dev/sda8 /windows/G vfat users,gid=users,umask=0002,iocharset=utf8 0 0
/dev/sda9 /windows/I vfat users,gid=users,umask=0002,iocharset=utf8 0 0
/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol01 swap swap defaults 0 0

How can I replace Fedora by KUbuntu 8.04

when installing Kubuntu from CD or running KUbuntu VM and then installing to HD the PC gets stuck after selecting the language settings.
Directly starting the installation from CD the PC completely gets stuck.
When starting the installation from live KUbuntu-CD I can at least abort the installation and read /var/syslog. There the following messages appear:

Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: Cannot unlink input FIFO: No such file or directory
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: Cannot unlink output FIFO: No such file or directory
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: Cannot unlink stop FIFO: No such file or directory
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: /lib/partman/automatically_partition/10resize_use_free/choices: 204:
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: cannot create /var/lib/partman/stopfifo: Directory nonexistent
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity:
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: /lib/partman/display.d/10initial_auto: 134: cannot create /var/lib/partman/snoop
: Directory nonexistent
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: /lib/partman/display.d/80manual_partitioning: 9: cannot create /var/lib/partman/
snoop: Directory nonexistent
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: /lib/partman/display.d/80manual_partitioning: 9:
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: cannot create /var/lib/partman/snoop: Directory nonexistent
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity:
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: /lib/partman/display.d/80manual_partitioning: 9:
Apr 28 18:16:31 ubuntu ubiquity: cannot create /var/lib/partman/snoop: Directory nonexistent


What is the best way to do a clean replacement?

Thank you for your help

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peter b
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peter b (b1pete) said :

hello Horst,

pls do

fdisk -l

l above is L lower character and post the output here (just copy/paste).

without seeing your hd config I'd recommend downloading heron alternate install iso and burn it to a cd. personally I always use the alternate cd install - it gives me full control of partitioning and grub install.

peter b

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HoWei (horst-weigelt) said :

Hello Peter,
thank you for your advice.

Here is the fdisk -l output

I hope the few german words are ok, if necessary I can translate.

kind regards

Platte /dev/sda: 122.9 GByte, 122942324736 Byte
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14946 cylinders
Einheiten = Zylinder von 16065 × 512 = 8225280 Bytes

   Gerät boot. Anfang Ende Blöcke Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 765 6144831 b W95 FAT32
/dev/sda2 766 14945 113900850 f W95 Erw. (LBA)
/dev/sda5 766 2040 10241406 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6 2041 2805 6144831 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda7 2806 5355 20482843+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sda8 5356 7905 20482843+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sda9 13517 14945 11478411 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/sda10 7906 7918 104391 83 Linux
/dev/sda11 7919 13516 44965903+ 8e Linux LVM

Partitionstabelleneinträge sind nicht in Platten-Reihenfolge

Platte /dev/dm-0: 43.9 GByte, 43922751488 Byte
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 5339 cylinders
Einheiten = Zylinder von 16065 × 512 = 8225280 Bytes

Festplatte /dev/dm-0 enthält keine gültige Partitionstabelle

Platte /dev/dm-1: 2080 MByte, 2080374784 Byte
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 252 cylinders
Einheiten = Zylinder von 16065 × 512 = 8225280 Bytes

Festplatte /dev/dm-1 enthält keine gültige Partitionstabelle

Revision history for this message
peter b (b1pete) said :

it's ok Horst, I can make up what's on your hd.

it appears that sda --> your internal hd, has

- sda1 pri part bootable fat32
- sda2 pri part nonbootable probably fat32

 then there is an extended part which should be sda4 - why not listed ??
 then there are 7 logical part/volumes --> sda5 to sda11 incl

there are also installed on your pc two additional devices --> dm-0 and dm-1 the first one an external hd and the second a pendrive

in any rate, everything should be ok since the last two logical part --> sda10 and sda11 are dedicated to your fedora install.

so, pls remove the two external devices dm-0 and dm-1 prior to attempting another ubuntu install --> after ubuntu is installed you can connect them and ubuntu will recognize them.

another thing --> just to be safe -->pls backup al your data on the other partitions, primary and logical, PRIOR to attempting ubuntu install --> reconfiguring/repartitioning hd's is ALWAYS a tricky exercise, never know what may go wrong.

pls get your ubuntu iso alternate as I said, check its md5sum prior to burning, burn it to cd and let me know when you have all above done and ready to attempt another install --> I'll give more pointers re partitioning and installing grub then PRIOR to effactive install to hd.

peter b

PS. you can see while in fedora through gparted (gui) all your hd's and partitions --> obviously the package has to be installed. a word of CAUTION, if not sure/confident what you're doing while in gparted better forget about it. gparted has to be run as superuser.

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HoWei (horst-weigelt) said :

 Hello Peter,
thank you once more!

okay I downloaded the alternate version md5sum checked it and burned it to CD, checked and the CD, then saved the important data to an external disk.

I am confused concerning the fdisk -l output.
When I start gparted no dm-0 or dm-1 devices appear.

There are/were no external disks connected!

when I connect an external HD or memory stick the fdisk output seems resonable.
So what's the reason why the live CD installation fails? Really dm-0 and dm-1.

I would appreciate more advice for repartioning, so I did not install KUbuntu so far. I hope the alternate CD will work.

kind regards

Revision history for this message
peter b (b1pete) said :

ok Horst,

I'm concerned about it too as well as the extended partition on sda --> sda4; by the way, did you see in gparted the extended partiion ?

- ok, first, pls remove all external memory sticks and hd's that may be connected as well as any dongles like usb wifi etc.

power down then power up --> insert the new cd alternate that you made and checked and follow the prompts INCLUDING opening the partitioner and pls pick --> manual option.

at this time pls DO NOT GO BEYOND THIS POINT --> just tell me whether you see on sda hd the partitions as shown on fdisk -l command; I'm v interested if the extended partition appears there and if the partitions sda5-sda11 show as logical; probably you'll see also FREE SPACE --> pls tell me what is it. pls also tell me what does it say on sda10 and sda11 --> is sda10 assigned to the root (/) and sda11 to swap ? or what they are identified as ?. another point of interest is whether sda10 if / does it have a B somewhere in the description ?

remember, you can go back to the initial screen in the install process and abory safely the installation process WITHOUT any changes to the system.

when fedora was installed did you install grub to MBR ? or in other words, do you boot into fedora AND win2000 through GRUB ?

pls let me know about the above --> we'll continue after that.

peter b

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peter b (b1pete) said :


I reread the entire thread; conclusion --> your fedora distro was installed using RedHat's partitioner that used LVM's for partitioning the sda hd. LVM type partitioning is great for SERVERS and MULTIUSER systems, for desktops and usually single user I fel that's an overkill.

fdisk command picked it up and showed linux as a logical conventional part sda10 and the LVM's simply as a logical sda11. looking at the fstab entries and the two /dev/dm-0 and dm-1 under fdisk output you have there a /boot and / partitions under logvolgroup00 and a swap partition under logvolgroup01 both under volgroup00. that explains why the extended partition that I was concerned with and wasn't there raised some red flags in my mind.

now, there is one more question, grub apparently was installed in the /boot partition --> just to have piece of mind --> pls tell me how do you boot win2000 and fedora ? it appears that you're doing it trough grub menu. pls go in fedora under /boot/grub and open menu.lst file and copy/paste here ALL uncommented lines --> there should be some 20-25 lines.

ubuntu does allow using LVM partitioning but it is rarely used when it comes to dual booting and single user desktop setups with win --> usually win is installed first because of its nature (has its own partitioner that does not allow booting off logical partitions --> it wants, mandatory, to write to the MBR) and, under win, you can create extended partitions v easily that can be seen with no problems by linux --> I mean in your case, create the primary partitions as they were, sda1 and sda2, then the extended partition which should be sda4 and under it the logical partitions sda5 to sda9 which are just data apparently. the rest pls do not partition under win JUST LEAVE IT AS UNALLOCATED in win terms or FREE SPACE IN UBUNTU terms.

you can insert the newly created cd and try and see whether it works --> if it DOES please GO JUST TO OPENING THE PARTITIONER STEP AND PICK MANUAL --> DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER; pls post here answers to the questions in the previous post as well as the menu.lst uncommented lines.

if it DOES NOT WORK then we have to use the gparted live CD and try reconfiguring/repartitioning the disk. if you have gparted live cd great if not here's the url

get the iso file (stable) which is some 80-90 GB and burn it pls and will start with it. when the hd is cleaned by the LVM's will attempt an ubuntu install.

peter b

Revision history for this message
HoWei (horst-weigelt) said :

Hello Peter,

right Fedora uses LVM for partitioning. As far as I can recall I just did the logical partitioning with primary and extended partitions. Fedora then did the LVM partitioning - there was no way around it. I did no partitioning under Windows as far as I recall.

Correct I boot Windows2000 and Linux with grub

here is grub.conf (with some comment lines)

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
# root (hd0,9)
# kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00
# initrd /initrd-version.img
title Fedora (2.6.20-2936.fc7xen)
        root (hd0,9)
        kernel /xen.gz-2.6.20-2936.fc7
        module /vmlinuz-2.6.20-2936.fc7xen ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet
        module /initrd-2.6.20-2936.fc7xen.img
title Fedora (
        root (hd0,9)
        kernel /vmlinuz- ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet
        initrd /initrd-
title Fedora (2.6.21-1.3194.fc7)
        root (hd0,9)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.21-1.3194.fc7 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet
        initrd /initrd-2.6.21-1.3194.fc7.img
title Windows 2000
        rootnoverify (hd0,0)
        chainloader +1

I'll reboot with the alternate CD and go to the partitioner (and no further) and try your questions.

kind regards

Revision history for this message
HoWei (horst-weigelt) said :

Hello Peter,
here's the new information after booting with the alternate CD:

sda-sda11 appear as logical partitions
free space appears as pri/log (8.2MB)

There are no mount points listed.

sda1 has a B (for boot?) in the description
sda11 has a K (for swap??) in the description

sda10 has ext filesystem
sda11 is LVM - consistent with fdisk

so this is consistent with gparted or fdisk.

kind regards

Revision history for this message
Best peter b (b1pete) said :

it's ok Horst --> my conclusions appear to have proven correct.

now, we're facing some decisions for the simple reason that RedHat's partitioning kind of 'messed up' if I may call it so the 'conventional' proven and compatible with win and ubuntu linux partitioning method/s/partitioner. as you could see and stated, RH/fedora uses a grub customized/patched loader called anaconda that 'wants/mandatory' to take control of the entire boot process AND FORCES HD partitioning with LVM - very selfish way of approaching such task, I mean, how and where are user's desires/wishes met in case he/she wants a taylor made partitioning to meet various setups such as easy/compatible to the largest extent possible win-linux dual booting ?? but enough about this... let's concentrate with the task at hand.

so, to put it in a nutshell, based on what's already there, I'd say/recommend wiping the partitions -all - pure and simple, and start with a new 'slate' so to speak, the reasons are many, among others

- if we try to just delete with ubuntu sda10 and sda11 the /boot will also be gone and win2000 more than likely can not be booted any more
- this is probably the best time to consider why are there so many logical and primary partitions that contain data only - see sda2 and sda5 to sda9 with various file systems (ntfs and fat32) in place ? - this is just my opinion, it is not my decision whether keep them or have one or two max data partitions to share -win/ubuntu.

this last pt brings about another question - did you use a BACKUP/RESTORE utility or JUST STRAIGHT COPY DATA FROM THEM to another media ?? if backup utility used then we're 'stuck' so to speak --> the restore WILL restore the partitions as they are today and you have to live with them as such in the new setup. on the other hand if just straight copy used you'll be able to copy them on any partition. as I said, this is your decision.

- have a finished product that is 'lean and mean' so to speak --> have a primary partition sda1, where win2000 will live then one or two max other primary partitions -sda2 and sda3- that'll be data only and shareable with ubuntu and then a large (as large as you can muster) EXTENDED partition for ubuntu with up to 15 logical partitions for different ubuntu distros if you wish installed. ALL previously stated UP TO AND INCLUDING THE CREATION OF THE EXTENDED PART will be done under win - the logical partitions will be done with ubuntu partitioner when and as required or in other words, win's job will end once the extended partition created and the unallocated space is there for ubuntu partitioner - it will appear in ubuntu partitioner as FREE SPACE.

so, in conclusion, pls take in consideration all above and if you agree let's proceed --> just let me know when you reached a decision. pls make sure that the data that you care and is still there now CAN BE TRANSFERRED to the new hd setup - I mean backup/restore OR straight copy.

peter b

Revision history for this message
HoWei (horst-weigelt) said :

Hello Peter,
thank you for your response.

Right I do not need that many (FAT partitions)
and correct they do not have to be primary partitions.

There are at least 2 too many.

The idea is:
2 for windows OSs (sda1, sda2) (but I never had more than Windows2000)
1 partition for windows executables (sda5)
1 partition for windows data (sda6)
1 partition for windows/linux data (sda8)

1 linux partition (sda10)

I do not know anymore why I had sda7 and sda9

Well 15 logical partitions for other (ubuntu) distros are definetly too many. I think 2 or 3 will do.

No I haven't used a real backup utility so far.
Yes I would definetly appreciate if you could give me some more advice.

kind regards

Revision history for this message
peter b (b1pete) said :


I understand in broad terms what your thoughts are. I'll recap below and where different than above give you my opinion; the order of the recap points below is also the order the actions will be performed

1 - first primary partition on the clean, partitions free hd will be sda1 that will 'house' win2000 and be bootable; this will be done with the win cd installer and win partitioner --> size of this part I's say 12-14GB max, --> file system -->NTFS

2 - after this done and latest service pack (I think is SP4) installed and in good working order --> under win computer mgmt --> storage will create another primary partition --> sda2 --> size --> UP TO YOU --> file system --> NTFS; ***NOTE --> this is the moment to make a decision what you'd like this part to contain/be used for --> its size depends on this: if only win2000 then this part can very well be used to contain, as you call it, windows executables --> so do away with sda5 logical that you mentioned --> IT IS YOUR DECISION

3 - after this done, create the EXTENDED partition, again under win, as above --> this EXTENDED part can contain as I said UP TO 15 logical partitions be they fat32, NTFS or linux/ubuntu file systems --> if fat32 or NTFS they will have to/must be created under win (linux can not create these file systems) if linux/ubuntu file systems THEY WILL BE CREATED BY UBUNTU PARTITIONER *****NOTE --> if you agree to do away with sda5 -see above - then

4 - again under win will create THE FIRST TWO LOGICAL PARTITIONS to fulfill the duty of - as you call them above sda6 and sda8 - (mind you, they will be different numbers in the new setup) --> size --> again UP TO YOU --> file system --> NTFS ****NOTE --> at this point the partitioning process on win side is concluded --> it will not be used any more; ALSO, --> at this point I'd suggest to copy all data into the respective newly created partitions AS YOU WISH AND WHERE --> this exercise, pending HOW MUCH DATA WAS SAVED AND HAS TO BE reused DETERMINES THE SIZES OF sda2 and the other two logical part above --> so be cognizant of this, v important.

5 - at this point YOU SHOULD HAVE/END UP with a NEW workable bootable win2000 AND all data saved from previous setup copied to the places/partitions where you want they to be --> the system should/must be in ship-shape form and perform with no flaws.

6 - after all this concluded --> will insert the ubuntu alternate cd and start installing ubuntu, --> use its partitioner and install grub TO THE ROOT (/) on the new logical partition that contains it --> the number of logical partitions for ubuntu ? --> minimum 2 (mandatory / and swap) --> sizes ? --> probably 16-20GB for / and 1GB for swap more than ample OR probably 3 --> one / of 14-16GB, swap same and /home of say another 12-14GB again this is more than ample.

conclusion --> your sda hd has enough capacity --> some 120+GB to accomodate all above with room -FREE SPACE- left on the EXTENDED partition to allow a future new ubuntu distro to be installed.

you probably noticed that on all win created partitions I recommended NTFS - why ?? because it is a journaling file system --> it is much safer, it recovers data in case of unexpected events; in linux ext3 and in general only this kind of file sytem are used.

so Horst, here you have it, pls take a look over the above and if you agree will start the process. I'd suggest that you get a gparted live cd iso downloaded and burn a cd PRIOR to starting this exercise --> we'll use it to wipe clean the hd BEFORE win install and the rest. another point --> V IMPORTANT --> do you have a good win2000 bootable cd ?? it is a must.

best regards,
peter b

Revision history for this message
HoWei (horst-weigelt) said :

Hello Peter,
thank you so much for all the hints and advices.

If I recall correctly I had problems reading/writing to NTFS partitions from Linux that's why I chose FAT32 years ago, ok I'll try NTFS this time.

After having burned a gparted live CD I'll have everything ready and do a new installation tonight.

With all your help I am sure to be ready to do a clean installation and I am positive that the initial problem is solved then for me. But the issue still remains for those who try install Ubuntu with the Live CD and a similar system as mine. I hope they will find this thread.

thanks a lot and best regards

Revision history for this message
HoWei (horst-weigelt) said :

Thanks peter b, that solved my question.

Revision history for this message
peter b (b1pete) said :

glad that I could be of help.

a last word Horst, pls pay max att'n to the step - almost last in installer - where to install grub --> the default is MBR which is NOT what you want, to have dual booting working grub MUST BE INSTALLED to / partition of ubuntu AND, v v important --> this partition (/) MUST BE MADE/CONFIGURED as a bootable partition IN THE PREVIOUS step - partitioner - of the installer.

I'm sure that you'll have fun and accomplish v well the task.

best regards, cheerios!

peter b

Revision history for this message
mhilarius (maurice-harddata) said :

Hi guys.
Some comments:
1) Fedora does not "force" the use of LVM. One may choose to partition and set up filesystems any way you want.
IF you accept it's defaults, it does set up LVM FILESYSTEMS ( they are not partitions) for you.
LVM groups **use** partitions.

2)LVM can be very useful
Let's say, for example, you run out of room in /home.

With LVM you may simply add another partition, create a LVM group, and enter /home into it., then add another partition or disk to that LVM group, and make /home bigger.
This is just one of many situations where LVM is useful.