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Thread: Partitioning Question

  1. #16
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    @ saikee:

    Wow, great job! Thanks a lot for your explanations, all of my questions are answered now. And I guess once more it has been proven that a good example explains more than hundreds of pages of theory.

    @ Todd50:

    Yes, this is it. Whenever you want a new entry for a new distro you installed, you just click the Add button in that interface. In the Window for the new entry you can either directly point to the kernel image (the way I suggested in my howto without reinstalling GRUB) or enter the simpler commands saikee explained (in case you did install GRUB to the / partition of your new distro).

    If you prefer to work with a texteditor (for example when there's no GUI available and you are restricted to the shell), you can edit the relevant file in the /grub subfolder of the /boot folder you pictured above.

    "What can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence."

    Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

  2. #17
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    At What Location

    Saikee...

    Thus if you want your hda2 to whatever hda60 to be booted by Grub all you need to do is to edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst of hda1, which you place in the MBR, to repeat the above code except changing the partition references as


    Is this done in the "Boot Menu" at system start-up or in "/boot/grub/menu.lst" in the first installed OS with an Editor?

  3. #18
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    Sorry for last post...I was typing while Parcival posted ....

    Thanks guy's

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd50
    Is this done in the "Boot Menu" at system start-up or in "/boot/grub/menu.lst" in the first installed OS with an Editor?
    Both are possible. When I was messing with the GRUB settings in my Gentoo installation it would have been too much of a pain to boot a full liveCD (like e.g. Knoppix) just to edit a few lines. GRUB comes with all the minimal functions to edit its settings, so for a quick fix simply follow the instructions on your GRUB screen.

    "What can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence."

    Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

  5. #20
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    Or if you want to be lazy you can do what I did as follow
    Code:
    title empty @ hda2
    root (hd0,1) 
    chainloader +1
    
    title empty @ hda3
    root (hd0,2) 
    chainloader +1
    
    title empty @ hda4
    root (hd0,3) 
    chainloader +1
    
    title empty @ hda5
    root (hd0,4) 
    chainloader +1
    
    and so on
    Whever you install a Linux point a gun at its head and say "no MBR for the boot loader, all go to your root partition" and you will find each empty partition gradually becomes bootable whenever you install a Linux inside.

    When you in a good mode then you edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst to put in the names of the Linix.

    In the 100+ system link I still have 20 partitions marked empty and not filled.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
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  6. #21
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    Much abliged guy's!!!

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by saikee
    Or if you want to be lazy you can do what I did as follow
    Nice. Now all one has to do is keep in my which partition hosts which distro until one is in the mood to write proper titles.

    "What can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence."

    Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

  8. #23
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    If God doesn't want us to be lazy he wouldn't have given us the computer!
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
    Using a Linux live CD to clone XP
    To install Linux and keep Windows MBR untouched
    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

  9. #24
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    a triple boot that's no longer working

    hi, this is my first post

    i've got an older laptop (40 gb hd, 512 mb ram) that was partitioned with partition magic 8.0 about 1 1/2 yrs. ago. win xp--partition#1, linspire---partition #2, and ubuntu---partition #3.

    when i installed linspire, no use of the command line was necessary, it's lilo took over automatically from win xp, and whenever i turned on the computer, the lilo screen came up giving me the option to choose between the 2 os's. months later after a local lug group did the ubuntu install for me using the command line, the linspire lilo did the same thing at start-up, giving me the option to choose any 1 of the 3 os's.

    everything was running ok on it but recently i was hankering to use the bootmagic loader that's a separate program on the pm8.0 disc i have, because i wanted to uninstall linspire for another distro and thereafter use bootmagic as the loader.

    this made the linspire and ubuntu partitions inaccessible. also, an error occurred which prevented the pm8.0 installed on win xp from opening so i could look at the partitions. so, my question is--what can i do, if anything, using the command line to correct the problem?

    i know i can buy partition doctor, which claims to do the job, but i now prefer learning the command line, eliminating win xp completely and replacing it with another linux distro (probably gentoo).

    reading the previous thread, with a question posted by todd50 , was very enlightening and caused me to download the gentoo linux handbook. a veritable gold mine, but i'm still a newbie and need help.

    ciao,

    simonsays

  10. #25
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    Ciao,

    I strongly advise users to use what Linux has got instead of 3rd party software.

    I have compiled a write-up Booting tips at a glance and put it in my blog. It isn't finished yet but should be helpful to you.

    I know Ubuntu uses Grub and XP has NTldr as its boot loader. Thus you can make any of NTldr, Lilo and Grub to multi-boot the three systems in your box.

    NTldr is the most involved and Grub is the easiest for implementation. Lilo lies somewhere in between.

    If you introduce a commercial boot loader then you should not use any of the above three as they will compete for the same MBR and simply would not work. So make a decision to go either way.

    As I recently did a thread showing one Grub to boot 100+ systems my feeling is a lot of Linux users like yourself are not willing to utilise Linux's own facilities. It is sad because there is nothing easier, simpler and more powerful than Grub. I have never met a PC system that cannot be booted up manually by a Grub floppy.

    It really puzzles me that PC users are not very interested in the simplest method that can universally boot any Dos, WIndows, Linux, BSD and Solaris by the same 3 lines of instructions.

    It is well established that Partition Magic can interfere with Linux disks, by reporting errors on sounds disk and if permitted to carry the corrections would corrupt the partition table after the fix. I would stop using it myself.

    You can see a complete partitioning scheme in XP by clicking start/right click My computer/Manage/storage/Disk Management.

    The partitioning scheme in Linux is displayed in full in terminal mode with
    Code:
    fdisk -l
    Please note in the "-i" the l is a small "L".

    The "Booting tips at a glance" link has the full information for you to boot up both your Linspire and Ubuntu from scratch. You need a Grub floppy and a Live CD as tools though.

    Your first step is to boot both of them up first and understand the commands involved.

    The second step is to modify either edit Linspire's /etc/lilo.conf or Ubuntu's /boot/grub/menu.lst or use a 3rd party boot loader to carry out the tri boot.

    Let us know if you need help. There wouldn't be a lot of skill here for the 3rd party boot loaders as we don't need such things in Linux.


    Parcival,

    I would like to put the booting tips (in the above link) into JustLinux forum but couldn't find a place that I could tabulate them as I have shown in the blog.

    Think it is a lot better if the tips are in tabulated form.

    Any suggestion?
    Last edited by saikee; 01-09-2006 at 12:19 PM.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
    Using a Linux live CD to clone XP
    To install Linux and keep Windows MBR untouched
    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by saikee
    It really puzzles me that PC users are not very interested in the simplest method that can universally boot any Dos, WIndows, Linux, BSD and Solaris by the same 3 lines of instructions.

    Think it is a lot better if the tips are in tabulated form.
    Well, I would not say PC users don't use GRUB because of ignorance. It's just that when you are migrating from the Windows world, you stick with the things you are familiar with, but the more you learn, the more you let go of them as you understand the power of the new software.

    Yeah, tabulated tipps make sense, but this forum doesn't seem to be able to do it. I am going to check back with JPnyc if it can be implemented.

    "What can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence."

    Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

  12. #27
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    Smile Re: Partitioning Question

    Hello, Parcival.

    Thank you for this helpful post, which I just read for the first time.

    Although I have not given too much thought to distributions sharing partitions, I find myself giving serious thought to the possibility of dual-booting two Linux distros on my workstation.

    I am concerned about the problems that people have been having with SuSE Linux 10.1. I am going to try to install and to use the retail version, because at least I will have installation support from Novell (and 10.1 will be the last retail version of SuSE).

    Given the problems with SuSE 10.1, which I hope are corrected in openSuSE 10.2, plus the fact that I have been reading quite a bit about Debian GNU/Linux for some time, I am thinking about dual-booting SuSE 10.1 (or 10.0) and Debian 3.1r3.

    I must admit that I am terrified at the prospect of installing Debian, because SuSE is the only distro that I have used during the last four years (except for experiments with live discs and using rescue discs).

    There are, of course, vast differences between the GUI SuSE installer and Debian's installer (although it looks like "etch" will have a GtK-based GUI installer).

    Even if I get past all of the "gotchas" and other potential points of confusion with Debian, I am hoping that the final version of "etch" will be released in December, and I will have to figure out the best approach to upgrading (a "clean installation")?

    Of course, there are also the tricky issues of setting up GRUB for two distros on the same drive and having everything boot properly.

    I am actually quite intimidated by Debian, and that challenge is, ironically, part of my motivation to try Debian! (I hope that sentence made some sense!)

    Anyway, Parcival, thanks for your post and for all of the hard work you do.

    Whether I end up deciding on one distro (i.e., switching to Debian from SuSE) or dual-booting two distros (and I am not sure which two distros I might finally decide upon), I know that JustLinux offers documentation and helpful forums to assist me -- but that I must first "do my homework" (RTFM), before asking questions. I cannot very well, for example, start a thread about "being scared to install Debian"; I need to give specifics.

    Thank you, again, Parcival!

    Cordially,

    David

    "Hackers build things; crackers break them." -- Eric Steven Raymond

    Quote Originally Posted by Parcival
    I can't answer your questions concerning XiaoKJ chainloading with several instances of the bootloader installed. It sounds too difficult for me for what you do and (probably) isn't necessary.

    I also advice you to read the chapter Preparing the disks in the Gentoo handbook, it explains to you the basics of partitioning.



    The partitions that can be shared between distros are these:

    swap can be painlessly overwritten by any distro since it's just swapping space for data that doesn't fit into your computer's RAM anymore. As a matter of fact, if you have lots of RAM in your machine so it never needs to swap memory, you can even install your distro without a swap partition. (I still have one, just to be on the save side)

    /home can be overwritten by any distro, too, and will even increase your comfort. Let's say you install SuSE and Firefox. After that you tweak Firefox according to your desire and Firefox saves your settings in your /home folder (in my case /home/parcival/.mozilla/firefox ). Let's say next you install Gentoo and Firefox with it. Guess what happens: upon first start Firefox checks if there's already a profile saved in your /home folder and automatically integrates the settings you already did earlier rather than creating a new profile. The same's true for pretty much every Linux application there is. The only problem you can run into is if you are using very different versions of the same program in various distros.

    /tmp can be easily overwritten, too, since it holds only temporary files. Once you reboot your computer, it doesn't matter what happens to them. Generally speaking, the same is true for /var (for example in case you are running a file server, you wanna be careful with /var since many mailserver programs store the accounts in a subdirectory of that folder).


    To give you an idea how it can be done, I'll tell you the story of my SuSE/Gentoo dual boot I once had. I wanted a computer with an easy distro that would alsways work (SuSE) and a "bleeding edge" distro to tinker and mess with (Gentoo) even for the risk it may not boot properly - that's why I had SuSE as my "rescue distro" installed. My computer had two ordinary 40GB IDE harddisks.

    First I booted the SuSE installation CD. In YaST I made these settings when I came to the partitioning part:

    1. On the master disk (/dev/hda) I created a 10GB / primary partition for SuSE.
    2. After that, I created a 1GB primary partition for swap.
    3. After that, I created a 23 GB primary / partition for Gentoo.
    4. Now the fourth partition had to become an extended partition since I had still more than one to go, so I made one in YaST and filled it with 5 GB /var , 800MB /tmp and 200MB /boot.
    5. After that I filled my entire slave harddisk with a 40 GB primary /home partition - it's always a good idea to have one's private files on a less endangered disk.
    6. Before finishing the SuSE partitioner I had to indicate SuSE should mount the freshly created partitions for the rest of the installation so it doesn't put everything into my first / partition. (if the partitions are not being mounted correctly, everything will be installed into subfolders of your / partition. if they are being mounted correctly, all files belonging to the /boot folder will be written to the partition you designed for it, etc.) Finally I also said that I wanted GRUB to be installed in the MBR of my master disk. (no need to tell where the GRUB config files go since we already said previously which partition needs to be mounted as /boot )
    7. The rest of the SuSE installation was just sit and watch.
    8. Then I proceeded with the Gentoo installation. When I came to the point where the partitions need to be mounted for the installation, I mounted the partitions that can be shared according to my own partitioning shame instead of using the default Gentoo scheme.
    9. The rest of the installation went as any Gentoo installation does except for the bootloader which I did not install.
    10. Finally I rebootet my computer and it went straight into SuSE, which is no surprise since the config files written by SuSE into /boot have no clue that there's also a Gentoo sitting on the disk. All that is left to be done is firing up YaST again (or open /boot/grub/menu.lst in a texteditor) and create a new entry pointing to the Gentoo kernel image. Voilą, it's all done.


    The same startegy basically applies for any multiboot computer, just modify the number of partitions accordingly. Install the most automated distro first and the one allowing the most manual tweaking the last. The most difficult part is to choose wisely your partitions' sizes, especially if you need an extended partition. Furthermore, if you want Microsoft Windows on your computer, Windows needs to be installed first on the first primary partition of your master disk or you will have a very unhappy day. After that you can proceed with the Linux installation(s) as usual.

    HTH.
    Linux Distribution: Debian GNU/Linux (Desktop & Server)


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  13. #28
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    Maybe it's just me, but I always found that setting up the NT bootloader to handle the dualbooting was much easier. This is up on my website but I'm behind an ipcop firewall at my new place now, and my roommate wants to run a website from our IP too...and we haven't setup the virtual hosts yet.

    In any case, just FYI, here are my instructions that I'll paste below. You can take a look at it and see what you think.

    Code:
    Many thanks go out to JohnT from the justlinux forums for guiding me through this process. And now I can attempt to guide you. So...here goes:
    
    First make sure that you have a bootdisk for your Linux OS, or that you have the CD that came with it. I have two separate hard drives, but you can do this the same just by having different partitions on one hard drive. These directions use the Windows bootloader, and have the Windows drive on the Master IDE.
    
    First install and boot up into Linux. I use LILO as my bootloader for Linux. Make sure during installation that you DO NOT install LILO to your MBR (Master Boot Record) since that will overwrite what's put there by Windows (which assuming you're running XP, if you happen to ruin the MBR you can just stick the XP disk into the CD-ROM, reboot, then run system recovery. Once in there, giving it the command "fixmbr" should put Windows back in...just in case you need it). Now use your boot disk, or installation CD and boot up into your Linux OS. Slackware allows you to boot up a kernel from the CD so instead of just pressing enter when it says "boot:" you can pass it parameters to load. It should say it on the screen, but give it the command "bare.i /dev/xxx noinitrd ro" (replacing xxx with whatever partition Linux was installed to). For example, suppose you have the Windows drive as the master on IDE1 and the Linux drive as the slave on IDE1 and a CD-ROM as the master on IDE2. By default your drives would be assigned as follows:
    /dev/hda = Windows HD
    /dev/hdb = Linux HD
    /dev/hdc = CD-ROM
    
    If you have the Linux directory as a partition on the same drive as Windows, I leave it up to you to know what partition you put it in. If you made a bootdisk then simply put in the disk and reboot, and ignore passing kernel all the "bare.i" command. Now run cfdisk on your "dev/hdb" or whatever your Linux partition is and make sure that the bootable flag is set. Write the partition table and reboot with the boot disk or CD.
    
    Once in Linux, open a console and type:
    cat /etc/lilo.conf
    
    and you should see your lilo.conf printed to the screen. Find the line towards the beginning of the file that says "boot=/dev/xxx" and that will be used in the next command (for example my file says "boot=/dev/hdb"). Now type the command:
    dd if=/dev/xxx of=/bootsect.lnx bs=512 count=1
    
    and replace xxx with whatever partition your Linux OS is on (in my case it would say "dd if=/dev/hdb..."). This should create a file "bootsect.lnx" in your root directory, /. This file should be 512 bytes and is the first 512 bytes of the /dev/xxx partition, which is used for booting. Now copy this file to a floppy disk, burn it to CD, email it to yourself (beware it'd be easier to corrupt a file over email, though not very probable), or just save it somehow.
    
    Now boot into Windows which should happen without needing a boot disk since it should be in your MBR. If it's not, follow the instructions given earlier about using "fixmbr" in system recovery. Once in Windows, copy the bootsect.lnx file to your C:\ drive, or whatever drive Windows is installed on. Now open up Notepad and then tell it to open C:\boot.ini, replacing C:\ with whatever the drive is. Windows will hide this from you but if you type the following in the "Open file:" box exactly C:\boot.ini it should open it for you. If it doesn't, try putting quotes around the filename so you will actually type in "C:\boot.ini" (one of the few times you should actually include the quotes that someone's given you in directions). Now that the file's open, add the following line to the end of the file:
    C:\bootsect.lnx="Slackware 9.1"
    and save the file. Note that you can put whatever words you want in between the quotes so if you wanted it to say "1337 Linux OS" instead you would instead add
    C:\bootsect.lnx="1337 Linux OS"
    
    to the end of the boot.ini file.
    
    If you've made it this far, it should now dual boot perfectly though your options such as a the timer may need to be set. Open Start -> Control Panel -> System and click on the "Advanced" tab at the top of the window. Then open "Startup And Recovery". From here you can choose the default OS to boot, and a countdown timer to say 10 seconds. This means if you set WindowsXP as your default OS, when the computer reboots it will highlight Windows by default and give you 10 seconds to choose Windows or Linux. If no keys are pressed, it will automatically boot Windows after 10 seconds have elapsed. Save and apply the changes that you've made in there, exit out of the menus, and finally reboot.
    
    Congrats, you're finished with the configuration! It should now show the two different options in the bootloader and both should boot when selected. Choosing Windows will load Windows, and choosing Linux will load LILO. Just note that if you change any options in LILO (say perhaps to set no countdown timer) that after you run the lilo command you MUST run the dd if=/dev/xxx of=/bootsect.lnx bs=512 count=1 command again, and then copy the new bootsect.lnx to your C:\ drive again. So don't forget to overwrite the old bootsect.lnx if you change LILO options. Anyway, have fun with your dual booting system!

    Also, if you want to try out as many distros as possible, perhaps you should install some virtual machines. You can get vmware server for free now from vmware.com. It's a great way to preview distros and decide on how you want to go. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
    "The author of that poem is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name."

  14. #29
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    I always want to shoot down the XP's boot loader NTLDR because

    (1) It needs a Linux fully installed with its boot loader operational first. Well in that case it takes 1/10 of the effort to dual boot XP from the Linux side. Lilo needs in its /etc/lilo.conf only lines to boot XP (assumed it is in the first partition of the first bootable disk hda1)
    Code:
    other=/dev/hda1
    label=XP
    For a Linux using Grub it is again 2 lines needed in /boot/grub/menu.lst
    Code:
    title XP in hda1
    chainloader (hd0,0)+1
    (2) You need to copy the first 512 bytes of the Linux boot loader into XP's "C" drive. XP can't read a Linux partition. That is why it need you to bring part of the Linux there for it to load to pass the control. Linux boot loaders have no such limitation.
    (3) You need to unhide and then hide the configuration file boot.ini
    (4) You need a 3rd party VMware to increase the number of operating systems. The standard Linux boot loader Grub or Lilo can boot as many systems you can installed in the PC (LInux boot loaders can do relay), including every MS system you care to install there which NTLDR will run out of steam if there are more than 2 Dos-based systems.
    (5) Linux boot loaders work seamlessly with other operating systems like BSD, Solaris and Darwin, without changing the commands and method.

    Booting is a simple process. MS made it difficult for other operating systems to coexist with their systems. However Linux follows its rules but outperforms MS systems in every aspect.

    I feel a need to defend Linux boot loaders because they are light years ahead of the MS systems. I have stretched MS's NTLRD to its ceiling limit of booting 10 systems. Lilo can boot 27 systems and I have thrown over 100 systems at Grub.
    Last edited by saikee; 09-17-2006 at 07:23 AM.
    Linux user started Jun 2004 - No. 361921
    Using a Linux live CD to clone XP
    To install Linux and keep Windows MBR untouched
    Adding extra Linux & Doing it in a lazy way
    A Grub menu booting 100+ systems & A "Howto" to install and boot 145 systems
    Just cloning tips Just booting tips A collection of booting tips

    Judge asked Linux "You are being charged murdering Windoze by stabbing its heart with a weapon, what was it?" Replied Linux "A Live CD"

  15. #30
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    Smile Re: Partitioning Question

    Hello, 'gamblor01' and 'saikee'!

    Thank you very much for your messages. I realize that they apply to multi-booting with Windows -- and that my situation differs.

    I was asking about Linux partitions on Linux-only computers. I am interested in adding and trying additional Linux distributions on my Linux-only workstation.

    Thanks, again!

    Cordially,

    David
    Last edited by DavidMD; 09-19-2006 at 09:52 PM.
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    Gary Arthur Weaver: 18 July 1942 - 29 December 2006

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