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I read that this is possible, and suggested it as a possible solution for someone else, but I'm curious as to if it is actually advisable (as I might just try it). I might even try running 11.10 on my system this way.

Is it worth the risk to do this?

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Unetbootin only creates livecd or liveusb, it doesn't install a distro within another distro. – Uri Herrera Jul 3 '11 at 23:07
@Uri (Technically) That's not true... – RolandiXor Jul 3 '11 at 23:15
Well, it says you can "Install" to either a usb drive or a hard disk drive, but wouldn't it be the same?, it would turn a partition within the drive into a live version . – Uri Herrera Jul 3 '11 at 23:27
@Uri on the wiki there are further options :) – RolandiXor Jul 3 '11 at 23:30
It also says " UNetbootin and use the hard disk install mode, the resulting install will NOT be a full, standard hard drive installation. Rather, you are simply booting into the live environment". – Uri Herrera Jul 3 '11 at 23:36
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In one of my laptop partitions I've got a variant of Ubuntu Lucid (called Deepin) installed. I used Unetbootin to install Ubuntu based distros inside that partition a few times (I mean, one distro at a time). Each time Unetbootin basically added one or two directories containing the live data of the distro and added boot entries to the Grub menu. On rebooting after installing the distro this way, I select the entry "Unetbootin" on the Grub menu will run the distro the same way as running the live CD or USB of the distro, but much faster.

In case I want to delete the installed distro, I just run Unetbootin again within my Lucid variant (Deepin) and I'll be asked if I want to remove the installed distro. On confirming, the distro will be removed (the added directories and Grub additions) right away.

I have tested a few distros this way and I'm very happy with it. But I must make it clear that I haven't tested non-Ubuntu-based distros this way; and I recall reading somewhere that some versions of Unetbootin may not work this way.

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Yes, but it acts as a live version not a full OS, and the wiki points that out, this is more or less viable in the event of not having a usb drive or a cd to install the new distro. – Uri Herrera Jul 4 '11 at 2:37
I responded to the original question about possibility and I wrote from my experience that it IS possible. I also want to add that running a distro this way is much faster than running from a live CD. – gdd Jul 4 '11 at 2:51
Thank you gdd, this is still a very useful answer. I'm still trying to find back the page I had that suggested Unetbootin could do a bit more (putting a system on a partition), because my internet dropped and I can't find it :( – RolandiXor Jul 4 '11 at 3:18

Roland, could it be this webpage you came across:

In fact, it was this webpage that inspired me exploring Unetbootin's hdd installation mode.

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No, it was another site (I believe it was the Unetbootin wiki somewhere, but this is also useful). – RolandiXor Jul 5 '11 at 2:37

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