Mints been fun but...

Questions about Grub, UEFI,the liveCD and the installer
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Mints been fun but...

Postby KDrumm » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:48 pm

I'm going to take a step. I'm going to try Debian Etch. I've been trying abunch of different distros.
My real question is I'm going to get rid of XP completely and want to install Etch in its place on my hard drive.
Heres my fstab:
# /dev/hda6 / reiserfs notail 0 1
# /dev/hda8 /home reiserfs defaults 0 2
# /dev/hda1 /media/hda1 ntfs defaults,umask=007,gid=46 0 1
# /dev/hda5 /media/hda5 vfat defaults,utf8,umask=007,gid=46 0 1
# /dev/hda7 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hdc /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec 0 0

is it possible to to have 2 /home and swap I want to keep mint completely functional? till I'm comfortable with Etch. I'm
trying to get everything up near the front of my HD.
Also is it possible to turn that front part into an extended partition?
One more thing should I keep Mint grub or let Etch take it?
My thought is I could let Mint keep it and later do grub-update from cd to change it.
I want the space at the end to continue trying new distros.
Linux Mint 4.0 / XP
Toshiba Satellite M45-S165


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Re: Mints been fun but...

Postby Chi » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:02 pm

Really only need one swap (unless you are hibernating a system). Yes you can have 2 /home partitions and swaps, just need to set up fstab correctly.

If you want LinuxMint to keep the bootloader then chainload (can google or ask in this thread). This would mean installing Debian's grub on the installation partition then using a similar line to booting a Windows system in LinuxMint's grub.

BTW; Let me know how you go with Debian, been thinking of including it as one of my distro's, just haven't found the time.
Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.

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Re: Mints been fun but...

Postby BladeNet » Sat Feb 09, 2008 5:33 pm

Hi KDrumm

You can use the same swap partition in both mint and etch.
You can also use the same /home but with different users.
You can leave mint's grub (it's nicer looking), install etch in his root, then reboot in mint and

Code: Select all


Code: Select all

install (hd0)

that should rescan and add your etch to the mint's boot menu.

P.S I haven't tried the grub part, don't copy/paste, research first.

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Re: Mints been fun but...

Postby Fred » Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:27 am



I see no reason you can't do what you want here. I assume you want to have a separate partition for your /home, at least that's the way I read it. If you do I think that's a good idea. As Chi pointed out, you don't need to duplicate your swap partition. All of your Linux installs will be able to use the same swap partition. As BladeNet pointed out, you can use a common /home partition and a different user name for the Etch install but I don't recommend trying to share /home between distros, especially when you are going to be playing or testing one of them. It also complicates what you have to do to get it all set up to work right.

Before I can really recommend a partition layout I would need to know the size, number, type, use, and placement on your disk of your current partitions. In other words your partition table. I can get some of that from fstab but not all of it.

Let me tell you the problems you need to deal with:

Unfortunately, this is still pretty much a Windows world. Almost all the BIOSs available and on machines still expect to see a primary partition as the first partition on the first bootable disk. Some BIOSs choke and won't even boot if this isn't the case, even if the file system you are booting is somewhere else. Others get confused and cause other problems. I suspect more people have this problem than realize it. Still others work correctly with no problems in this regard.

As far as partitioning goes there are a couple other challenges. You can only have 4 primary partitions on one physical hard drive. You can only have one extended partition on a physical hard drive. Or, you can have 3 primary partitions and one extended partition. You can't sub-divide primary partitions. You can sub-divide the extended partition, (they are sometimes called logical partitions), but the logical partitions must be contiguous. They can't be scattered all over the drive. As you can see this can create some logistics problems when trying to reorganize an existing set-up.

Also, after you partition and reformat any part of your drive, whether as part of another install or independently with Gparted or another partitioning program, you will need to correct the UUID tags in Mint /etc/fstab and also in Mint /boot/grub/menu.lst. This is another issue we can discuss when the time comes. This post is getting long enough as it is. lol

As far as the grub set up. this won't be a difficult chore. When you install Etch do not put grub on the mbr. Put it in the partition /boot is in, usually the / (root) partition. Then open the Mint /boot/grub/menu.lst and put the chain load lines for the new Etch install in place of the old Windows install. This is what one of my chainloader entries looks like:

title Kbuntu Gutsy 7.10
root (hd0,0)
chainloader +1

If it won't boot into Etch, then in Mint open a terminal and type:

sudo grub

root (hd0,0)

setup (hd0,0)


This of course assumes you have Etch / (root) on the first partition of the first hard drive.

If you want me to help you with a recommendation on the partition table, post the info. I asked for above and I will be happy to look at it.

Enjoy, :-)


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