I have access to (but not root on) a compute server which is running a Linux distribution that is a few years old. I'd much prefer to use a current Debian-like flavor.
Thus, I'm wondering if it is possible to install Ubuntu (or stock Debian) in one of my directories, and use the Ubuntu programs and libraries in preference to what comes with the server.
I would need to access arbitrary parts of the server's filesystem, not just the parts under the Ubuntu install.
I log in by SSH, so there's no desktop environment needed. But, I would like to be able to use X programs.