So I have dual booted ubuntu 16 and windows 10 on a laptop, and I want to completely wipe both of those operating systems and install ubuntu 17. I have a live boot on a flash drive. Can I just boot into my live boot, use the partition manager to delete all the partitions, merge all the partitions, and install ubuntu like that? Or would that lead to some complications?
Completely wiping all partitions and clean install Ubuntu can be done fully automatically by the Ubuntu installer. When reaching the screen where you have to select the Installation type, select the first option
Erase disk and install Ubuntu
This deletes all partitions and uses the entire drive to install Ubuntu.
There is no need for you to delete partitions before starting the installation.
This is doable. Just do as I stated:
1) Boot into a live session of ubuntu, and select to try it out
2) Open up gparted and delete every partition (You may have to unmount/swapoff some of them)
3) Run the ubuntu installer, and select to use the whole disk when it asks.
Make sure to switch your boot settings in your bios if you were using legacy boot and are now using uefi, or vice versa (it might say something like "Invalid partition table" if you don't).