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I am not completely proficient when it comes to Ubuntu...yet. When installing Ubuntu 12, when it comes to drive partition it offers to run it alongside Windows, in 13.0.4, it offers to delete all other OS's, or Encrypt the new Ubuntu installation for security, or Use LVM with the new Ubuntu installation, and lastly, Something Else. Something else just confuses me. Any tutorials or ideas? thanks.

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marked as duplicate by Seth, Eric Carvalho, Radu Rădeanu, Warren Hill, Eliah Kagan Jul 15 '13 at 8:53

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

The option to "Install Ubuntu alongside Windows" only appears if you have unallocated, free space on your hard disk. So, you need to shrink a partition to leave some free space. You can do this in Windows under Disk Management, or in a live Ubuntu using GParted. Once you do that, you'll see the "alongside" option during installation. Alternatively, you can use "Something Else", but you'll need to manually set some partitions and mount points. So, red pill or blue pill? Let us know. A man can give steps on "Something Else". – Alaa Ali Jul 14 '13 at 18:59

Firstly, decide which option you want to use. There are only three ways you can use Ubuntu.

  1. Run it as the sole OS on your system.
  2. Run it alongside any other OSs you may have previously installed on your system.
  3. Run it from inside Windows.

For the first two options, you need to boot your system with the live CD or the USB plugged in. For the third option, while you are booted into Windows, run your live CD or USB and you can install Ubuntu as any other application in Windows and boot into it while booting your system.

Since you've not made it clear what you want to do and are referring to "something else", I will assume you want to play with your partitions. If you just want to install ubuntu along side windows or as the sole OS, choose the relevant option. If not, then here goes:

  1. Choose Something Else, this will take you to the partition manager. Here you will see the the different operating systems installed on your hard disk along with their size and file system. This is just like the "Disk Usage" you see in the properties option in Windows for your drives, without the pie chart.

  2. If you have Windows installed, you will most likely see Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 with file system as NTFS and its size in bytes.

  3. Alongside it you will see, if any, the unallocated space on your hard disk. This space is currently not only empty, it is unallocated to any filesytem or operating system. This is different from the disk usage you see in Windows as windows does not have control over this unallocated space.

  4. Now you have several options. Each "partition" on your hard disk can be manipulated from here. You can either delete a partition or choose to keep it. You can also make a new partition out of the unallocated space, if any. Note that when you delete a partition, all data is permanently erased and the space added in the unallocated space.

  5. Now you can either choose to delete your Windows partition(not recommended, especially without proper backup) to make space for your Ubuntu install if you dont have enough unallocated space(ubuntu would tell you so) or to make a new partition from the unallocated space and install ubuntu there.(recommended)

  6. Note that making a new partition and installing Ubuntu on it would install Ubuntu alongside Windows, just like in the first option I mentioned earlier. So if you are simply looking to do that, cancel everything, no harm is done yet, return back and choose that option. Its much simpler.

  7. If you wish to proceed with manually setting the partition, then select the unallocated space and press enter. It would ask you some details about the new partition you want to create. For size, allocate as much as you want in bytes(1MB = 1024*1024 bytes), the filesystem(choose ext4), the Mount Point for the install(choose /) and whether or not you want to encrypt your home directory(your discretion).

  8. When you have selected the proper options are described above, then confirm your settings and a new partition will be created and would be named something like /dev/sda2 or /dev/sda3 etc.

  9. if you get the size of the partition wrong the first time, reformat it simply till you get the right size. Just dont play with the existing Windows partition.

  10. When you have what you want, choose the partition and confirm it as the partition you want to install ubuntu on. Click enter and enjoy the show.

That should about get you through the partition manager and teach you a few things as well. If you are afraid of getting stuck, remember the golder rule : Backup First!

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