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Wubi (mint4win) and triple boot

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:12 pm
by Orbmiser
Did a search and answered some of my questions tho dated info. Last using linux was from Ubuntu Hardy Heron days.
So been awhile and started checking out Ubuntu again and was Horrified with the Unity Direction.

Saw mint downloaded both mate & cinnamon iso's. Really was blown away!
Dual monitors correct max resolution,wifi,sound,video was up and running.
And was smooth and usable.

Now my quandary Thinking to Wubi (mint4win) as have dual boot Win 7 64 and Win Xp at present.

1) Only have 1 drive 160 gb 3 Primary partitions C: (Win 7 36gb partition) D: (WinXP 15gb partition) E: Data ( 97gb partition) 47gb free.

So have some free on data partition. Any problems with going inside windows route?

2) What will mint4win do to present dual boot loader? See both and adjust for it?
3) Is Mint4win an option for install in liveCD session?
4) If decide to actual install on E: with free space. Do I need to shrink E: and leave an unallocated chuck for mint? Or can mint do it without losing data on my E: drive.

Biggest worries is grub messing up bootloader and been awhile and hope some progress made with grub?
Want a triple boot. Easy to change default select without a bunch or term commands or editing grub if possible
and not mess up loader listing all three for selection.

Am I on the right path mint4win? advantages disadvantages or better to actual install for advantages?

Thanks for any help and have many years experience with computers and not a complete newbie with linux!
But your insights will help me make my final decision.

Re: Wubi (mint4win) and triple boot

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:13 pm
by karlchen
Hello, Orbmiser.

Basically Mint4win is the same as Wubi. Therefore, basically you can use the Ubuntu Wubi Guide for Mint4win as well.

If you decide to go the Mint4win/Wubi way, then of course there is no need to resize any of your existing partitions. After all this is the main, if not the only advantage of installing through Mint4win/Wubi: no need to resize an existing NTFS partition in order to get free disk space for a Linux partition.
Mint4win/Wubi creates a large root.disk file on the NTFS partition specified by you. It uses this root.disk as the container which holds the Linux filesystem, ext4 as a rule.

If you decide to perform a normal Linux Mint installation and install Mint in a dedicated disk partition of its own, then you will have to proceed like this:
  • On Windows 7, launch diskmgmt.msc and shrink the "Data" partition, drive E: in Windows terms, by a minimum of 20 GB.
  • Boot the Linux Mint 13 Live System and launch the Mint installer.
  • Select "Something else" as the type of installation which you want to perform.
  • Point the installer to the unallocated disk space and tell it to create its root file system there.
  • Leave the decision to the installer how much of this partition it wants to assign to the Linux swap partition and how much to the root filesystem.
  • Install Linux Mint 13

The boot loader question:

I assume currently the primary boot loader is the Windows 7 bootloader. It will display a boot menu on every reboot that allows you to either boot Windows 7 (default) or Windows XP.

If you decide to go the Mint4win/Wubi way, Wubi will add a third option to the Windows 7 boot menu, offering to boot "Linux Mint". Basically, this is all. No further action required from your side.

If you decide to perform a normal Mint installation, it will be your decision which boot loader should be the primary bootloader:

Most Linux users will tell you to make sure that the Mint installer puts the Grub bootloader in the MBR of /dev/sda. This is the master boot record of your harddisk. If Grub gets written to /dev/sda, it will overwrite the MBR put there by Windows 7.
From inside the running Linux Mint the command

Code: Select all

sudo update-grub
should make sure that Grub offers 3 choices in its boot menu:
(1) Linux Mint 13 (default)
(2) Windows 7
(3) Windows XP

There is an alternate choice as well where the primary boot loader will still be the Windows 7 boot manager and where you will have to add a third option to the boot menu which is booting "Linux Mint".
Going this way is feasible. The easiest approach of doing so is by using the Windows software EasyBCD from inside Windows 7 after the Linux Mint installation has been finished.
If you decide to go this way, then during the Mint installation you have to instruct the installer to put the Grub bootloader on the same partition where you install Linux Mint and not to put Grub on /dev/sda.[/color]

Some notes of Mint4win and Linux Mint 13:

In the beginning, I stated that basically Mint4win is the same as Wubi. - In order to make life a bit more interesting the Mint makers have implemented the following challenges:
  • As per the Linux Mint 13 release notes, Mint4win can only be used in order to install Linux Mint 13 64-bit, not Linux Mint 13 32-bit.
  • There are ways of getting around this restriction, cf. this how to article.
  • If you install using Mint4win, Mint4win will perform its job under Windows correctly. Then it will reboot the machine and make sure that the Linux Mint live system gets launched from the harddisk. But it will not launch the second phase of the installation automatically. Instead you will have to click the "Install Linux Mint" icon on the desktop yourself.

All right, now the decision on how to install Linux Mint 13 on your dual boot Windows machine and make it a triple boot machine is up to you ....

Kind regards,
This post has been written on a Linux Mint 13 32-bit which has been installed via Mint4win. :wink:

Re: Wubi (mint4win) and triple boot

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:02 pm
by Orbmiser
Thanks Karl for the complete and through explanation. Didn't get no replies the first 24 hrs. So did the footwork and prepped some free space and did a Install and used easyBCD to do the menus. As change the default install point to point at my / sda4 instead of installing on mbr. Then had easyBCD add it to the windows bootloader.

Re: Wubi (mint4win) and triple boot

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:25 pm
by karlchen
Hello, Orbmiser.
Didn't get no replies the first 24 hrs.
This the trouble with us volunteers. We tend not to answer in a timely fashion. :wink:

Yet, the choice which you have made,
  • regular installation in a dedicated partition
  • keeping the Windows boot manager in its place and have it chainload Grub from /dev/sda4
was a wise decision.

This machine where I am typing the reply now is triple boot as well:
  • Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 x64
  • Ubuntu 12.04.1 x64, Unity desktop
  • Linux Mint 13 x64, Cinnamon desktop
The primary bootloader is the Windows bootloader, chain loading either the Ubuntu boot sector or the Linux Mint boot sector. - Not the commonly recommended way of handling it. Yet, it does work.