How to install Ubuntu with multiple custom partitions on your Dell PC

How to install Ubuntu with multiple custom partitions on your Dell PC

This article provides information on how to use the Ubuntu Linux Operating System Install to create and use multiple partitions on your Hard Drives on your Dell PC.

Table of Contents:

  1. Using the Ubuntu install disc to create and install custom partitions on your Dell PC
  2. Things to know and check before you start an install
  3. Ubuntu Disk Partitioning
  4. Finalising the Install

Using the Ubuntu Install disc to create and install Custom Partitions on your Dell PC

Do you need to custom partition your Drive to tailor the Ubuntu install to your needs?

Have you checked your system type is one of those certified by Canonical as being suitable for Ubuntu?

  1. If not, then please go to Canonical External Link and check if your model has been tested by Canonical and is suitable.

  2. If you have and it's supported on this list then carry on.

Note: If your system did not ship with Ubuntu and you have an issue that requires Technical Support Assistance to resolve. You may be asked to return the system to the condition it shipped from Dell and advise if the issue continues at that point. If it doesn't then there would be limited support possible at that point.

Have you got a copy of the latest DVD or USB installation media from canonical? These will include the latest updates and fixes for this operating system.

You can download the appropriate Ubuntu ISO from Canonical External Link.

Note: The pictures below may differ slightly from what you see on your own system - Depending on the version of Ubuntu you are installing.

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Things to know and check before you start an install

There are three things you need to take into account before you start off an Ubuntu Install :

  1. To Check the type of hard ware you are trying to install to?
  2. To Check the type of BIOS settings that would affect your install?
  3. To Check what version of Ubuntu you are looking to install?
What type of Hard Ware are you installing to and will it change how you go about your install?

The type or format of your storage media can affect how you would go about installing Ubuntu on your PC. That can be anything from installing on one of the new M2 cards, to installing on a standard SATA hard disk drive, to installing on the same SATA hard disk drives in an Intel Matrix RAID configuration. Check that the hardware of your PC will allow you to make the kind of install you need or read through the articles linked below to get an idea of how to change your installation method to accommodate your system hard ware :

Note : Please be aware that USB 2.0 and older removable media devices are not supported on systems using the new Intel SkyLake Processors. The Chipsets for the CPUs no longer support the USB 2.0 Hub.
What type of BIOS is setup on your system and will it change how you go about your install?

The difference between Legacy and UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) BIOS setups, can be the difference between an install succeeding or failing. Please check out the linked articles below for further information on the subject :

Which version of Ubuntu are you looking to install?

Ubuntu as with any other operating system is constantly looking to improve and better it's usage and performance. What is different with Ubuntu is that you have the option of two updates at any time :

The first is the most recent LTS (Long Term Support) release.

This update is available every two years and is fully supported by Canonical with updates for five years. It's considered a tested and stable build.

The second is the most recent Normal release.

This update is available every 6 months and is only supported by Canonical with updates for 9 Months. These normal releases are considered to be cutting edge but can have issues because of this. These builds are usually used by testers and developers.

If you are looking instead to upgrade to a new version of Ubuntu, then please check out the article linked below :

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Ubuntu Disk Partitioning

  1. Please follow the standard installation guide until you get to the Installation Type screen - at that point the option you want is the last one – Something Else. Once you've selected that and clicked Continue, the Install will take you to the Advanced Partitioning Tool. The Advanced Partitioning Tool is the installer’s tool for taking you through the custom partitioning choices.

Installation Type

Note: The installer has support for LVM and full disk encryption only in the automated partitioning modes. They aren't supported in the Advanced Partitioning Tool.
  1. In this window, you can see see all the partitions currently on the Hard Drive and any Free Unallocated Space. In this case we are using a blank hard disk drive. Select the New Partition Table button.

Installation Type Something Else

Note: There are only a maximum of Four logical partitions possible if the Hard Drive is using a MBR-based scheme.
  1. You should now have up the empty partition creation warning window. Click on Continue to begin.

Partition Creation

  1. You can now click on the + button to create a new partition. There are no special options in this tool. The installer will prompt to create any new partition as a logical partition, if there are any pre-existing Primary Partitions. You can go along with what the installer wants to use or you can modify it.

Note: I would recommend creating the first partition for the Ubuntu install as a primary partition.

If you're having trouble following this, you can read up on partitions, directories and file systems in the guide linked below for a more in depth explanation.

Note: This step will be repeated for each of the other partitions you create too.
  1. You need to create a Root Partition. This partition will be mounted at /. Ubuntu needs a Minimum of 20GB to run correctly. I would leave the file system as the default Ext4. If for example, there is just one primary partition left and all the remaining partitions will be created as logical partitions by the installer. you will not get a choice.

  2. We need a paging file, so we'll create a Swap Partition. This partition is for /swap. That's disk space that the system may use as memory. Like a paging file in windows systems. It's generally recommended that you make it twice the size of the amount of RAM you currently have in the system. Make sure to select swap area from the Use as dropdown menu.

Create Swap Partition

  1. Next we'll create the Home Partition. This partition will be mounted at /home. The disk space will be what's left on the Hard Drive, we will use the same defaults as before for the other options.

Home Partition

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Finalising the Install

  1. When all the partitions your making have been created you should see them all listed in the main window of the Advanced Partitioning Tool. We need to finalise this by specifying the Device for boot loader installation.

    1. By default its /dev/sda or the Hard Drives MBR. This is when you want Ubuntu as the primary boot device and for it to control the boot.

    2. If you already have another Operating System (OS) on the Hard Drive and you want to use it a the Primary Boot. Then as in the example below, you need GRUB to be installed in the boot partition of that OS which is sda5 here. You will need to select /dev/sda5 from the dropdown menu instead.

Boot Loader Device

Note: GRUB - Grand Unified Bootloader is the boot loader in Ubuntu and most other Linux distributions.
  1. Click install now if the partition you want is showing for the boot loader installation.

  2. Once the installation of Ubuntu has completed you need to reboot the computer.

    1. If you've chosen Ubuntu then you are done at this point. You can get further help with configuring your Ubuntu from the guide linked below.

    2. If you've chosen another OS then rebooting will drop you into that OS's boot loader. You will need to add an entry for Ubuntu into that OS's boot menu.

Note: If you have completed the installation and there are any issues, the easiest and quickest resolution is to run the install again.

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Additional Information :

Software support is provided by Canonical through the following methods:
Technical Support is provided by Dell :

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Article ID: SLN151841

Last Date Modified: 06/01/2018 09:11 AM

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