A hurdle in the instalation of Ubuntu Hardy Heron

I decided to give a try to Ubuntu Hardy Heron, and installed the amd64 version of it in my laptop.

My gripe is caused by a really annoying issue with the installation in a multiboot system. I have a laptop with four root partitions (Windows, Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu), and obviously GRUB generates the menu that allows me to choose at boot time. The file that GRUB reads is /root/grub/menu.lst, at /dev/sda5 (the Fedora partition, which was the last one).

The annoying issue I mention is that the installation is absolutely smooth but a bootloader is not installer. What this means is that when I reboot the computer after installation, I always get the old GRUB menu, and the new OS does not appear in the list.

The only solution I found is to do the following:

  1. Do a normal install of Ubuntu, but do not reboot
  2. Open a console (after installation Ubuntu lauches a GNOME live session)
  3. Locate the kernel and initrd images I need. They are, respectively: /target/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-16-generic and /target/boot/initrd-img-2.6.24-16-generic.bak
  4. Mount /dev/sda5 into /mnt/root3
  5. Edit /mnt/root3/boot/grub/menu.lst (the old GRUB menu), and add the lines:
  6. title --------- Ubuntu 8.04 TLS Hardy Heron - sda6 ----------
    root

    title Ubuntu Hardy Heron - kernel 2.6.24
    root (hd0,5)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.24-16-generic root=/dev/sda6 ro quiet splash
    initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.24-16-generic.bak
    boot

  7. Reboot

After that, the new Ubuntu appears in the GRUB list.

The procedure is not incredibly difficult, but for a beginner it would be a major showstopper. And, in any case, it is a really sad error.

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3 thoughts on “A hurdle in the instalation of Ubuntu Hardy Heron

  1. Whilst I agree this would confuse a beginner, a beginner is not likely to be quad-booting Windows and 3 different distros of Linux across multiple partitions, so your situation is a bit of an unlikely one for someone to be in who doesn't have an idea of how to fix it :)

    Alot of work has been put into the Wubi installed for beginners to try Ubanto, and the GRUB installer always picks up a dual-boot of Windows and Linux.

  2. Jamie, that is no excuse!

    However unlikely and/or easy to fix, the fact remains that it is a big error. Debian, Fedora and even previous versions of Ubuntu, all of them managed to install a new bootloader that would take over the old one (rewriting the MBR), and including all the OSs present, plus themselves. How come Hardy Heron can't?

  3. That's very true, all the extra functionality of Heron shouldn't break or sacrifice normal and advanced Linux functionality.

    I honestly haven't had alot of luck with Heron. I've done 5 installs on 3 machines, and every time I get random slowness, programs crashing, lockups, etc. I've had great success with the three Ubuntu releases before it, but 8.04 has been awful for me. So much so, I've switched to Debian Lenny for the time being. It's been a bit fiddly, but it's stable and fast now I have it setup.

    Anyway, perhaps try submitting a bugzilla report for your installer issue? It won't get fixed if nobody knows about it!

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