Ubuntu Studio

I recently got into recording & modeling, which has drawn my attention to Ubuntu Studio. I was assuming I’d just be able to add the extra programs & other features to my current Ubuntu 9.10, but apparently not. However, installing another OS on this computer needs some planning first, and I’ve become a little lost.

I have a desktop with one 500GB hard disk in it, a 64 bit 2 core CPU (core2duo), with 4GB RAM & a 1GB 8800 GPU.
I’d been dual booting Windows 7 & Ubuntu 9.10 for a few months, until I got a wireless card. Once I finally got it online (which took a while), I found Windows hadn’t been activated, and it was well beyond 30 days after installation, so it decided to lock itself, meaning I couldn’t install the new wireless driver. I managed to get Windows do a fresh install over itself & start over (I moved anything of interest to my Ubuntu partition). However, it also removed GRUB, so I had no way of getting to Ubuntu, and therefore the Internet (I had downloaded the beta Win7x64 driver, but I saved it to my home folder in Ubuntu, which windows can’t touch ¬¬). With no way to call for help online, I decided to reinstall Ubuntu again on a tiny partition, just to get GRUB to boot. Now I have some 13 OS’s to choose from at startup from previous Ubuntu updates (where the automatically selected one is the tiny partition) and my whole hard drive is a mess:


Seems to be my currently used Ubuntu partition.


My Windows 7 partition. Also some other Linux partition . . . not sure what it’s for . . .


Presumably, the tiny Ubuntu partition I installed to get GRUB to work. Seems to have a broken link to my home folder.

Yes ‘screenshot5k.png’ shows your main Linux Installation (partition) - probably the one you have been ‘using’ as you have a load of stuff in your home dir.

‘screenshot6k.png’ shows your Windows 7 partition, along with what appears to be a small windows boot partition (and I’m not judging here… windows isn’t worth paying for anyway) ‘usually’ created by a win7 activation crack, which is normally drive (Z:) and is hidden in windows… DON’T remove it or Win7 won’t boot, even through GRUB

‘screenshot7bo.png’ is definitely showing a linux partition, I’m guessing it isn’t the one you normally log into…BUT that ‘apparently’ broken ‘Private-Data.desktop’ link tells me the home dir on this partition is encrypted… so if you are booting to the ‘other’ linux partition and ‘then’ clicking on this link it won’t work, because it is attempting to find the file it points to on your ‘active’ partition… It WILL work if you boot to this partition, so DON’T delete it - It contains the key for the encrypted home folder.

Also DON’T delete this ‘small’ partition as it is probably the one with the GRUB bootloader configuration files.

The 13 OS’s you see listed in GRUB will be the windows partition, the 2 linux partitions, and 4 kernel updates probably installed in the Linux partition you usually use (ie. probably not the small one).

Kernel updates are only about 1.5meg each, so are NOT a full Linux OS installation.

Every time ubuntu updates the kernel, it just adds it to the GRUB menu, so if anything goes wrong you can boot to the old kernel… it also sets up a recovery option for the new kernel, so effectively 2 lines get added to the GRUB menu for each update… they can easily be removed and the boot order changed.

BE AWARE there are always risks involved in editing partitions, so make sure you BACKUP your stuff first

If you decide to go with option 1 (below), make SURE the ‘small’ partition ISN’T the one you usually ‘use’.

To install ‘another’ OS you have a few of options…

  1. if it doesn’t need to have much room, install it over the ‘small’ partition… let it format that partition… and let it install/overwrite the GRUB bootloader… grub will probe for other OS’s and ‘should’ find and add them.
  2. resize the windows ‘or’ the ‘big’ Linux partition, create a new partition and install to that partition… again let it install/overwrite the GRUB bootloader… grub will probe for other OS’s and ‘should’ find and add them.
  3. resize the windows ‘or’ the ‘big’ Linux partition, create a new partition and install to that partition… DON’T let it install/overwrite the GRUB bootloader… and manually add the new OS to GRUB.

Either way you are going to need to know which OS is on which partition:

sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda

or run the disk partitioning tool

So . . . If I want Ubuntu studio, I have to make a new DVD boot disk, and install it like it was a completely new distro, no chance of ‘upgrading’ my current Ubuntu? Shame, but oh-well. :confused:

On that note, if I’m putting a new Debian distro on, can’t I just have to wipe itself over both my Ubuntu partitions, and GRUB will still load with Ubuntu Studio the default OS booted?

And when you say back-up, I have a phone with 20GB of space and another 9 blank DVDs, but would temporarily shifting everything to my Windows partition make it safe, if I then made sure I didn’t touch that partition? Or do I even have to back that up?
(The only thing I’d want to keep is my 16GB home folder, and my Steam folder (I don’t fancy reinstalling the Orange box and downloading all my custom skins again, but then I also don’t really want to back-up the 20GB Source engine, so that could go . . .)

See here for instuctions on how to upgrade Ubuntu to Ubuntu Studio (up to you whether you do a FULL or SELECTIVE upgrade):


this won’t mess with GRUB, and won’t change your partition set up at all… and doesn’t require a DVD.

As for backing up… the only way you can be 100% safe, would be to backup everything you cannot afford to loose, to either another ‘physical’ drive or an external source. if you are messing with disk partitions there is always the risk of complete or partial disk corruption.

More info on Ubuntu Studio, including the ‘Package List’ can be found here:


No Problem… :slight_smile:


Now I just need to work out what all this stuff does and how to use it all.
(It’s added an asdfgh lot of apps!)