I have the latest version of Ubuntu installed on my laptop. I think of this as my "production" version. There are certain things I don't want to mess with on it. I'd like a separate sandbox environment on the same machine where I can test out an alpha version or whatever else I consider more risky without messing up my day-to-day work when I need it. I don't want a VM because I want to be able to, among other things, test my hardware (e.g. will my camera work?).

How can I install another version of ubuntu on the same computer and uninstall it without messing up my system?

Ideally I'd be able to

  1. Install a new "sandbox" version of ubuntu along side (dual boot) my existing version
  2. Be able to boot into my sandbox or production version whenever I want.
  3. Get rid of my sandbox version whenever I decide to and leave my system just as it was before I installed it.

Steps 1 & 2 are pretty simple. What I am having trouble with is how to solve for item 3? I notice that when I install Ubuntu the newest installed version takes over GRUB. This is a pain because it means that when I delete that partition I am left with a system that doesn't work.

Note: I originally wrote this question a while ago and got some responses then. I have just updated the question and hoping someone has some ideas. thanks!

  • 1
    is easier create a new user in the same environment and test if you don´t have configuration problem with this user all are fine with this new user you can delete the old one... – hhlp Oct 21 '11 at 21:28
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    It may be easier for you to install a VM program and then install a version of Ubuntu (or any other operating system) in it for testing purposes. – Mark Rooney Oct 21 '11 at 22:00
  • these are great suggestions but when trying to isolate hardware issues I'd really like to install a new version right on the same hardware. I'll keep looking for a solution. thx. – snowguy Oct 24 '11 at 6:24

If this is a pc I would highly recommend to install ubuntu 11.10 on a separate hdd and you'll be able to dual boot.

see this documentation

Hopefully this helps.

  • Great. Can you give me instruction for doing that without messing up grub? I want the original os (in this case also ubunti 11.10) working when I am done. – snowguy Nov 2 '11 at 17:20

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