Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot[SOLVED]

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Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot[SOLVED]

Postby tim042849 on Thu May 07, 2009 6:28 pm

I'd like to give mint a try. I have burned a copy of mint 6.
Below is a dump of my partition table:
Code: Select all
Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system  Flags
 1      32.3kB  10.4GB  10.4GB  primary   ntfs         boot
 2      10.4GB  168GB   157GB   primary   ntfs
 3      168GB   188GB   20.0GB  primary   fat32        lba
 4      188GB   320GB   132GB   extended
 5      188GB   278GB   90.0GB  logical   ext3
 6      278GB   318GB   40.0GB  logical   ext3
 7      318GB   320GB   2451MB  logical   linux-swap

My intention is to install mint on partition 2, with logical partitions
for / , /home and swap.
I've been using linux for 9 years. Am a programmer and am comfortable with
the command line. However, since I earn my living with this box, I need to be
prepare and not to screw things up. I expect I will have to edit my existing /boot/grub/menu.lst on
the current partition # 5.
Here's an example of an existing entry
Code: Select all
title       Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-16-generic
  root        (hd0,4)
  kernel      /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.22-16-generic root=UUID=d5dbf84a-642f-48fa-81c6-d05ac3b4ba28 ro quiet splash
  initrd      /boot/initrd.img-2.6.22-16-generic
  quiet

Will I not have to change the value for root - now (hd0,4)? And what other issues
should I prepare for?
Any and all comments and caveats are welcome.
thanks
tim
Last edited by tim042849 on Sat May 09, 2009 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby Aging Technogeek on Thu May 07, 2009 7:11 pm

The only problem I can see with your idea is the fact that you are only allowed 1 extended partition and 3 primary partitions or 4 primary partitions and 0 extended per hard disk.

A better option would be to install Mint in new logical partitions in the existing extended partition. With your present scheme you can create up to 9 logical partitions within the extended partition (a grand total of 15 partitions are allowed)

You also don't need a second swap partition. All Linux distros on one drive can use the same swap space.
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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby emorrp1 on Thu May 07, 2009 7:28 pm

EDIT: Aging Technogeek beat me to it again.

Hi tim, and welcome to linuxmint. If you're only asking about the boot menu, you don't need to worry, Mint will (by default) load it's own (very nice) bootloader into the MBR, and will automatically add entries for any existing oses. One thing concerns me with your suggested setup:
tim042849 wrote:My intention is to install mint on partition 2, with logical partitions for / , /home and swap.

Firstly, I don't know of any real reason to have two swap partitions on the same drive, so just let mint use the existing one.
Second, I may be wrong as it's a while since I tried it, but I don't think you can have two extended partitions on the same drive, so you wouldn't be able to have those logical partitions you want.
I would suggest a complete re-start with the partitioning, keeping only the (XP?) partition 1 as it is. Let the extended partition fill the rest of the drive, then you can add or remove logical partitions at will. Btw, there may be a way to extend the extended partition leftwards into empty space after deleting partitions 2 or 3, but if there is I don't know of it.
Also, which partition is ubuntu in, because you really don't need more than 10GB for / if you keep your data separate, and both your ext3 partitions are huge.
I always recommend a separate data partition, rather than a separate /home partition. This allows you to get away with only a single 10GB partition per distro, swap, and a large data partition that you can use with all distros, and you can even make it usable transparently. The downside of this method is if you need to re-install for whatever reason, you lose all your custom configuration, which can be substantial, but I solved this problem by backing up my important /home config files.

Fred seems to be the expert on all things boot/partitioning around here, so read some of his posts for thorough guides.
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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby tim042849 on Thu May 07, 2009 10:13 pm

Thanks for both of the replies. I understand now that the existing swap drive will be found and used by mint.
My newbieness will now manifest itself:
Sayeth Aging Technogeek:
A better option would be to install Mint in new logical partitions in the existing extended partition. With your present scheme you can create up to 9 logical partitions within the extended partition (a grand total of 15 partitions are allowed)

Hmm! Hosing the existing ubuntu partition - partitions 5 & 6 - would be very costly for me. I don't want to risk it.
Thusly, I will need some good examples to work from. I note the reference to Fred...
Given that partition 5 - ubuntu / - is only at 9% of usage - certainly that gives me room for logical partitions. And
another option would be to install mint as one partition on partition 2 - that is currently the vista OS which I need like
a hole in the head - partition 1 being the vista 'restore' partition - don't think I need that either.
Sayeth emorrp1:
I would suggest a complete re-start with the partitioning, keeping only the (XP?) partition 1 as it is. Let the extended partition fill the rest of the drive, then you can add or remove logical partitions at will.

Using the method described by emorrp1 - will I be able to preserve my existing ubuntu partitions?
Thanks again for the quick replies.
tim
Edited: change
partition 6
to
partition 5
Last edited by tim042849 on Fri May 08, 2009 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby DataMan on Fri May 08, 2009 5:32 am

Another option is to shrink your NTFS partition a bit, extend the extended (excuse the pun :D ) into the new space, move things around within the extended partition to allow room for new ext3(s). A bit much, but it can be done. If you choose this path, do the defrag thinger on the NTFS and do 1 operation at a time within GParted. You may also have to re-identify existing fstab entries.

As a side note, for the GRUB issue, you can always set up a dedicated GRUB partition which would resolve the shifting GRUBs at installation of new Lx ops.

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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby emorrp1 on Fri May 08, 2009 6:52 am

DataMan wrote:extend the extended (excuse the pun :D )

Hey! I said it first :-)

tim, my previous suggestion would indeed have completely wiped out your ubuntu partition (though there have been reports that if you recreated the partitions in exactly the same place, it would work, it's far too risky to bother). Ok, so now we know much more about your setup, there's a couple of solutions. The absolute safest and practically guaranteed to work is:

1) shrink partition 6 (ubuntu root) to 10GB
2) install mint using whatever logicals you like into the remaining 30GB space

The other one, which I would have thought should work, but have never tried:

1) delete partitions 1&2 (so backup anything you need)
2) extend the extended to fill the space (this is what would fail if anything was to, but it would just raise an error, it wouldn't be damaging)
3) install mint using whatever logicals you like into the new 177GB space (you might also want to restore the contents of 2 you backed up earlier, so allow for that)
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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby MALsPa on Fri May 08, 2009 8:26 am

How about copying your Ubuntu partitions (and any others you might want to keep) over to a spare drive, then re-partitioning the original drive like you want it, then copying Ubuntu back over? I've done something like that a few times when I wanted to go to a new partition scheme. Used GParted to make the copies. Currently, I've got two drives, with Debian Lenny on sda1 and sda3, Mepis 8 on sdb1 and sdb3, Mint Elyssa on sdb7 and sdb8, Ubuntu Hardy on sdb9 and sdb10. The rest are data or swap partitions. Note the relatively small hard drives I'm using:

Code: Select all
Disk /dev/sda: 40.0GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system  Flags
 1      419MB   7756MB  7337MB  primary   ext3         boot
 2      7756MB  8291MB  535MB   primary   linux-swap       
 3      8291MB  13.5GB  5240MB  primary   ext3             
 4      13.5GB  38.7GB  25.2GB  extended                   
 5      13.5GB  24.0GB  10.5GB  logical   ext3             
 6      24.0GB  38.7GB  14.7GB  logical   ext3             


Disk /dev/sdb: 80.0GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system  Flags
 1      32.3kB  7337MB  7337MB  primary   ext3             
 2      7337MB  8382MB  1045MB  primary   linux-swap       
 3      8382MB  13.6GB  5240MB  primary   ext3             
 4      13.6GB  70.8GB  57.1GB  extended                   
 5      13.6GB  18.9GB  5239MB  logical   ext3             
 6      18.9GB  34.6GB  15.7GB  logical   ext3             
 7      34.6GB  41.9GB  7337MB  logical   ext3             
 8      41.9GB  47.2GB  5248MB  logical   ext3             
 9      47.2GB  53.5GB  6292MB  logical   ext3         boot
10      53.5GB  56.6GB  3142MB  logical   ext3             
11      56.6GB  70.8GB  14.2GB  logical   ext3             
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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby tim042849 on Fri May 08, 2009 11:39 am

(emorrp1)
1) shrink partition 6 (ubuntu root) to 10GB

Partition 6 is already 66% full..
Code: Select all
df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda5             86511612   7012092  75104944   9% /
varrun                 1492596       276   1492320   1% /var/run
varlock                1492596         0   1492596   0% /var/lock
udev                   1492596       104   1492492   1% /dev
devshm                 1492596         0   1492596   0% /dev/shm
lrm                    1492596     34696   1457900   3% /lib/modules/2.6.22-15-generic/volatile
/dev/sda6             38448276  23908024  12587152  66% /home
/dev/sda1             10201240   5505344   4695896  54% /media/sda1
/dev/sda2            153485984  26841612 126644372  18% /media/sda2
/dev/sda3             19507920        24  19507896   1% /media/sda3
Why not partition 5 (ubuntu OS /) ?
Should have mentioned that I intend for the ubuntu to go away when I have mint
configured.
(Dataman) Another option is to shrink your NTFS partition a bit, extend the extended

If I just use the NTFS partition 2 entirely then I presume that the (hd0,4) entry in my ubuntu would still
be correct (no shifting in the partitioning sequence).
Then I could make a second mint install on 5 & 6, if needed or preferred.
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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby emorrp1 on Fri May 08, 2009 12:14 pm

tim: earlier you said that partition 6 was ubuntu root, no worries, just follow the same instructions with 5 instead, as you suggest.
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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby tim042849 on Fri May 08, 2009 1:53 pm

emorrp1 wrote:tim: earlier you said that partition 6 was ubuntu root, no worries, just follow the same instructions with 5 instead, as you suggest.

My bad. :? Thanks.
tj
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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby tim042849 on Fri May 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Seems like the best option may be to resize partitions 1 and 2 - use one for
/
and one for /home. Keeping each as a primary.
If anyone finds a problem with that, let me know.

thanks - this has been a great thread and I now know why
my brother recommends this distro.
tim
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Re: Co-existing with ubuntu. Multiple boot

Postby Aging Technogeek on Fri May 08, 2009 10:30 pm

Looks like you've found a good solution to your problem. The scheme you outline should work just fine. If you are interested in learning more about installation and partitioning, you can read this thread: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=11872. It has some very good information in it.
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