22.04.4 Server – No Choice to Keep Existing Installs?

I have other partitions (data and OS) that must be kept intact on the only drive I can use on this PC. (Why I can’t change things: This is for a ‘home server’; not a company machine with lots of drives available.)

Documentation from Ubuntu suggests using a "Manual" choice, but that no longer exists under the "Ubuntu 22.04.4 LTS Server" install menus! NOTE: Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS Server did allow me to install that version on this drive, but I just found out what the "live" means in these various versions: When trying the 20.04 install again, it has the same exact (use the whole drive only) menus; obviously coming direct from Ubuntu!

So, is there any way other to get a 22.04.4 SERVER installed into a large partition or free space at the end of this drive? Or must I switch to Debian or some other linux server that will allow doing so?
[EDIT again: I was wrong about Debian 12 installs! They do allow you to install using dual booting! But this is about Ubuntu.]

Dan.

Asked By: TheStarman

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I did try what I thought would allow this (in the Ubuntu Server menus), but it ended up ruining the drive’s Boot Menu! (So don’t even try it! Unless Ubuntu officially guarantees it will work in the future!) I had a backup-copy of all the beginning grub sectors including of course the Partition Table on first sector, which I used to rewrite all the grub sectors that the Ubuntu install had messed up.

So, I finally decided to do the following very time consuming steps (simply because Ubuntu decided to disallow a dual booting Server install!):

NOTE: These steps are for drives with an existing linux OS already on the disk you wish to multi-boot; if you only have a Windows OS, you’d need some Windows software that would add the new Ubuntu Server to your Boot Menu!

  1. Find an empty disk (it can be quite small capacity) and install to only that disk but set it up to use a rather small partition size; like say only 20 GB should work. You won’t be adding any additional software (like WordPress) yet; which would be a waste time if anything goes wrong.
    Caveat: Be sure you have all data on the Disk you wish to do ‘dual-booting’ on backed up!

  2. Create a partition on your target disk drive using Parted Magic (or any similar software) that will make an ext4 partition somewhat larger than the one you created and installed into during Step #1 above. But be sure there is plenty of Un-partitioned SPACE after it; to expand to a desired size later on!

  3. With both disks connected, copy only the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS install partition from your temporary disk into the empty partition you created where you want it to be on your multi-boot disk drive. I used some proprietary software to do this, but I believe Clonezilla or some other linux utility can also do this? (If you knew the exact particulars, you could even use "dd" — but you better be an expert in that an Maths.)

  4. Disconnect the temporary disk you used, and boot into your already existing linux OS — the one you did not want to overwrite with the Server install. At a Terminal CLI, ENTER:

    sudo update-grub

That will search the Partition Table(s) for any installed OSs and show you the results it will put into the Boot Menu. In the case of my already dual-booting disk drive, it added the new Server OS as /dev/sda6 because it has Windows OS partitions in /dev/sda1 through /dev/sda3 and an existing linux install in /dev/sda5. After rebooting, I was able to boot into the new Ubuntu 22.04 LTS SERVER partition with no issues.

  1. I then used Parted Magic again to resize the SERVER partition to a larger desired size (which will correct/overwrite any differences you have due to copying a smaller partition into the empty larger one).

Note: It turns out that Parted Magic can detect and fix a partition that has some extra space at the end caused by copying a smaller partition into a larger one (see GREEN circle area in picture):
Parted can fix this

Answered By: TheStarman
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