Where do I find the Ubuntu OS files

When I dual booted, I made a partion U: and installed Ubuntu on it. I’ve been using Norton Ghost to copy that partition, but I realised today that it seems to be only where Ubuntu stores any data. It doesn’t contain the OS itself, so while I thought I was ghosting the OS, actually I wasn’t.

I cannot for the life of me discover where Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is physically stored though (in the file manager it’s in “Computer”, but which partition of which disk is a mystery to me. In any case, XP can’t see the Ubuntu system files and neither can Ghost, although I believe it is possible to archive a Linux partition from within Ghost, running under XP. Any pointers much appreciated - my Linux knowledge is still at an early stage (must be if I can’t even locate the OS)!

So you’re trying to read a Linux partition from inside Windows ?

Windows can’t read Linux partitions without third party software.

Or was Ubuntu installed INSIDE Windows using the WUBI installer ?
(check “add/remove programs” in the windows control panel and let us know if there’s an option to remove Ubuntu)

God I hope not, lol!

I’m a bit confused - I’m assuming that Norton Ghost can copy a Linux partition in its entirety from within Windows? Just because it can’t mount the filesystem doesn’t mean that it can’t do some kind of Windows “dd” to clone it

Sure, AFAIK Ghost does a sector by sector copy so it should be able to copy a Linux partition … but I don’t think that’s what was being asked.

Sorry Mark,

I think Chemicalfan has hit the nail on the head. I started a thread a while back asking for Linux equivalents of Ghost, and closed it down when I found a suggestion somewhere else on the web which said you could use Ghost from within a dual-boot (ie the windows half) to copy a Linux partition.

Seemed plausible, so I copied partition U: which is where I had opted to install Ubuntu. Problem is, I now find Ubuntu (the OS) doesn’t reside on U: The data files are there, but not the OS.

I can’t find the location of the Linux files either in Linux, or in Ghost, therefore I can’t get this scenario to work. It may be because my version of Ghost is too old. Or it may be that it just isn’t actually possible. Unfortunately, I can’t find a reference to where I got that information in the first place.

Just to make sure I’m not going crazy, I booted XP and looked in add/remove programs. No mention of WUBI or Ubuntu. It’s a proper dual-boot…

What’s stopping you from installing a new copy of Ubuntu in a new partition (don’t re-use an old one), then mounting your old “U:” as /home? Mark, does this sound ok/safe?

Well I’m not sure what’s on the U drive, and I’m also not sure what the goal here is ?

To tell the truth I’ve been struggling to understand this topic from the very beginning.

I’m guessing that OP has cloned the /home partition (U: drive), not realising that the original install had separate / and /home partitions. It’s an assumption though.

Edit: OP - do this: Boot an Ubuntu live CD, and mount the “U: drive”. Then post here a few of the folder names contained within

The goal is simply to be able to make backups (ghosts) of my Ubuntu installation.

What’s on the U: drive is 3 folders (recycle, system volume information, temp folder - which is my own data), plus 4 files (ffastun.ffa, ffastun.ffl, ffastun.ffo, ffastun0.ffx). Nothing else.

What I really need to know is where does the Ubuntu os reside, if not on U: which is where I thought it was…

Thanks guys.

Linux partitions will not be mounted under Windows because it cannot read the partitions, so will not have a drive letter assigned

to see the partitions you’ll need to either

a) look in the Windows disk manager for partitions marked “Unknown”

b) use a third party application that allows Windows to mount/access Linux partitions (giving them a drive letter)


Why not just boot into Ubuntu and ask it?
In Terminal run

sudo fdisk -l

This will give you the list of partitions and their usage


cat /etc/fstab

This will list partitions and where they are mounted at boot time

Once you got that info then it is easy to deduct where the files are. :wink:

Knowing where they are on the drive is probably not going to help Ghost to “see” the partitions and offer them for backup/imaging.
(the third party software for mounting them MIGHT, but would still have to be considered risky)

The fact is, if Ghost can’t “see” them I doubt if it’ll back them up as “partitions” … though it would probably back them up as part of a full disk image/clone.

I’d still suggest using CloneZilla or Redo Backup & Recovery to backup/image Linux partitions instead of Windows/Ghost

Mark - I am definitely going to look into clonezilla and redo. The only reason I favoured ghost was that someone on the web recommended it to someone else in a similar position to me. He said that ghost had no problem backing up Linux partitions (after a certain release of ghost - probably newer than the one I’m using…)

SeZo - thanks. I ran those commands but I’m not much wiser.The output suggests that LINUX and the swap file reside on sdc5 and sdc6. I expected Linux to be on sdc, but I still don’t see where the main Linux files are. I’ve just noticed that…

/ was on /dev/sda5 during installation

UUID=b22c9720-b61c-4972-b498-956fb26d896e / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1

swap was on /dev/sda6 during installation

UUID=08e877df-fe61-4926-afc3-f2a6de31fe69 none swap sw

but this baffles me as sda contains only two partitions as follows…

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 63 102414374 51207156 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2 102414375 1953520064 925552845 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

also, when I installed Ubuntu, I selected U: (which is on the drive Linux calls sdc).

My main problem now is trying to find out what’s where, out of curiosity about how Linux works…

Could you post the full output from:

sudo fdisk -l


sudo blkid

The contents from fstab point to sda not sdc
Those are separate phisical disks not just partitions.

I know. The PC contains three hard drives, one for OSes and two for data and data backups. All are partitioned.

Can you tell me how to mount sdc5 please? I can see it under Dev, but I can’t see how to mount it. I suspect that’s where the elusive OS will be. I notice the partition labelled Ubuntu is NTFS, whereas sdc5 is ext4…

Meanwhile, here are those outputs.

mike@mike-abit:~$ sudo fdisk -l
[sudo] password for mike:

Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xa5b80154

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 63 102414374 51207156 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda2 102414375 1953520064 925552845 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xdefdf602

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 63 1953520064 976760001 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Disk /dev/sdc: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x42414240

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 * 63 102398309 51199123+ 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sdc2 102398310 204796619 51199155 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sdc3 204797950 488396799 141799425 5 Extended
/dev/sdc5 204797952 480012287 137607168 83 Linux
/dev/sdc6 480014336 488396799 4191232 82 Linux swap / Solaris

mike@mike-abit:~$ sudo blkid
/dev/sda1: LABEL=“data” UUID=“80D419D7D419CFF0” TYPE=“ntfs”
/dev/sdc1: UUID=“100C4DA50C4D86A6” TYPE=“ntfs”
/dev/sdc2: LABEL=“Ubuntu” UUID=“C0E0DED5E0DED130” TYPE=“ntfs”
/dev/sdc5: UUID=“b22c9720-b61c-4972-b498-956fb26d896e” TYPE=“ext4”
/dev/sdc6: UUID=“08e877df-fe61-4926-afc3-f2a6de31fe69” TYPE=“swap”


Linux is on /dev/sdc5

sdc being the 250GB HDD

Thanks Mark,

As I suspected (see previous post). I don’t know how it got there though - I had thought I was installing to U: which seems to be sdc2. Mind you, that was over a year ago and the last year has been the single worst year of my life, so I’ve forgotten a lot of things along the way.

Can you tell me how to mount it though? Damned if I can work that out…

Wait. A penny may have dropped…

I can mount/unmount other partitions, so I’m guessing that sdc5 is mounted by default, but not visible (a bit like Windows doesn’t show system files). Am I right? If so, can I get Ubuntu to show it, as I can get Windows to show system files?

Sorry. I meant to modify my last post, not quote it…

You’re still confusing the hell outa me

I had thought I was installing to U:

You can’t install Linux to “U:” … “drive letter” assignments are a Windows thing, and windows can’t mount Linux partitions

I can mount/unmount other partitions

Sure, all of them in Linux, but only Windows partitions in Windows.

so I'm guessing that sdc5 is mounted by default, but not visible (a bit like Windows doesn't show system files).

Huh ? … if you mean “in Windows”, NO … scd5 will not be “mounted” otherwise it wouldhave been assigned a drive letter by Windows and would be visible in Windows Explorer

If on the other hand you mean in Ubuntu … of course it’s mounted … it’s mounted as /
(Linux doesn’t use drive “letters”, it mounts volumes as part of a tree in a unified file system)


Hello Mark,

Sorry for the confusion. Believe me, I’m confused as hell too.

OK. Please assume very limited knowledge of Linux, but a desire to learn. I’ve been staggering along for about a year now with Ubuntu as my main OS. I’ve picked up a few things, but haven’t as much time as I’d like to devote to the learning curve.

I know drive letters are a windows thing, and I know windows cannot mount Linux partitions. What I’m saying is that when I decided to install Ubuntu as a dual boot with XP, I created a partition (in XP) called U: and installed Ubuntu on it. I suppose (from memory) that during the install I selected that same partition based on size and location and I now think of it as U: or sdc2 depending on which OS is booted. Still with me?

The Linux file structure is still mystifying to me. I get the general idea, but it’s a bit like being in a hall of mirrors in the dark. This is not a criticism. My gut feeling is that Linux gets it right, but Windows makes it easier, or dumbs it down… I’m just trying to make the transition.

This is the bit that makes me (and probably the average Windows escapee) want to kick the screen in. I know it’s “/”, but where does “/” reside? on which disk? why can’t I see “/” and the files below it in the file manager, like I could in Windows? At least in XP I can browse around and see the files, the registry etc. Probably there’s a way to do the same in Linux, but I’m banging my head on the wall trying to find it. In the file manager on my PC, the Linux system files seem to be under “computer”, but there’s no hint of which disk or partition they live on…

If I poke around, I find “/”, “home” and “Mike”, but for the life of me I can’t get my head around the relationship between them. If I find anything in Linux, it’s purely by trial and error.

Please understand. I’m not criticising Linux. I like it. I’ll never buy another version of Windows. I will continue to use XP for various reasons, in VMs or as a dual-boot, but never allowed online. I just want to understand the Linux file system so that I don’t constantly have to ask dumb questions…