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I am running Ubuntu 11.10 and I would like to install an Ubuntu based distro as well.

What are the steps in order to complete this operation?(resize my 500gb hdd, create the needed partitions like / the swap one, etc).

Could anyone provide detailed information about this? Thanks!

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You should not face any problem to install new distro along with ubuntu. Just create a partition and install your distro on that partition. It will automatically configure dual boot. If you already have swap partition for ubuntu then you do not need to create another swap for other. Just select the partition(another partition) and select the mount point as "/" that's it. –  shantanu Apr 8 '12 at 11:48

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just boot with a live-cd and at installation you can create a partition. Then at boot you will be able to choose which operating system you will run.

you don't have to do anything before you start installing.

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