Comment 2 for bug 72897

Ian Hinder (ian-hinder) wrote :

I just ran into this problem when trying to install Feisty. I did not want to use the upgrade procedure (I was running Dapper and had heard about all the problems in the Dapper -> Edgy transition) so I decided to do a fresh install. However, I only had a single partition containing both dapper and /home.

I decided to move everything into a /old directory on that partition and attempted to install Feisty. The installer refused to let me install Feisty into that partition unless I formatted it first. This was a problem for me for several reasons:

(1) I had a large amount of multimedia/documents/other files etc on the partition;

(2) I wanted to keep the existing dapper files around for a little while in case I needed to refer back to them (configuration etc)

In the end I had to install Feisty into a new partition and manually copy it back into the original one (leading to all sorts of headaches with repartitioning, editing grub configs, editing fstab...).

I understand the argument that allowing people to install onto a non-formatted partition creates support problems. However, I think it's a very valid thing to want to do, for the following reasons:

(a) There have been problems with upgrading, leading many users to prefer a fresh install;

(b) Most users do not have a separate home partition, and as was pointed out in the previous message, having a separate home partition is not currently the 'standard'.

(c) A fresh install really does not need to format the partition, and there is no easy workaround for users who know what they are doing

I would suggest that instead of telling the user that the partition *must* be formatted, instead produce a warning saying that installing onto an existing partition without formatting is not recommended, and is not a supported configuration. That would be the simplest fix. More complicated would be to say: ok, install without formatting, but all data will be moved into a '/old' directory or similar.