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I have a Debian Squeeze install, and I'd like to switch to Ubuntu 11.10.

In my current setup, I have 2 HDDs, the first 250GB and the second 500GB.

The 250GB drive just has a NTFS partition with Win7 on it.

The 500GB drive has 397GB of NTFS, 1GB ext3 which I'm using as the /boot partition, and the rest in an extended partiton contaning an LVM2 partition which is the only physical vomume in my LVM volume group.

Logical volumes are as follows:

  • home - 46GB, mount point /home
  • rd - 18.62GB, mount point /
  • swap - 2.79GB

I'd like to install ubuntu into the existing boot partition and rd logical volume. The installed doesn't seem to understand LVM.

How do I do this?

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Easiest way, IMO, is to use the alternate CD, the desktop or live CD does not support LVM.

The alternate CD does not run "live", but the installer is easy enough if you are migrating from debian.

Edit - small clarification, you can install lvm when running the desktop CD, and you can then mount your LVM, but I do not think the installer, ubiquity, supports LVM.

You could use the live CD , install LVM, then install ubuntu manually into a chroot, but probably (for most) more hassle then the alternate CD.

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Okay thanks, I'm downloading the alternate installer now – David Robertson Dec 18 '11 at 21:00
It is pretty easy to install the lvm2 package on the livecd and then install Ubuntu to an existing logical volume. The live installer does not know how to create volumes though, so you will need to do that by hand first. – psusi Dec 18 '11 at 23:09

There is another way to install ubuntu 11.10. Instead of having to download the alternate iso, just make your existing logical volumes active using the command vgchange -ay. Needless to say, this does require you to install lvm2 first. Basically run the terminal while installing ubuntu 11.10 and make your logical volumes active . After that, the installer will recognize the volumes while scanning the disks and you can select the LV to which you want to install ubuntu. Hope that helps in the future.

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Zeus' method results in a completed installation, but an error during attempt to install bootloader, and a failure to boot if you manually add the option to grub - "/dev/[lvm group] does not exist. Dropping to shell!" – user79910 Jul 28 '12 at 17:47

Tried this guide too and still Ubuntu 11.10 would not boot

Finally tried to use ubuntu alternate installer with /boot partition separate from the volume groups and was finally able to make it work.

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