Dual Boot Attempts Saga

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saxbrightwell
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Dual Boot Attempts Saga

Post by saxbrightwell »

Hi, you may remember me from my question about whether a 64GB Samsung Android tablet can be convinced to run Mint. (Answer: no.) I have since unbricked a Windows 11 Dell Inspiron laptop and have been trying to install Mint on that.

While dual-boot is encouraged as a "low-commitment" way to get into using Linux, the learning curve just to install a dual boot is SO HIGH that it would be less painful to wipe a computer and set it up as just a Linux box from start to finish. This has been horrible. Read on to laugh at my pain.

Things I have done so far, following various guides and answers found on this forum and elsewhere:
-made a live USB key with Etcher, yes verified and authenticated ISO as good, yes the live preview looked fine, okay let's go I can do this
-made the biggest partition Windows would let me make automatically (62 GB - there was over 200 GB empty but it wasn't all contiguous)
-(guide I was using said 62 GB would be fine. guide was from 2017. it was not fine.)
-run out of root space instantly upon trying to install one(1) app
-undid those partitions, erasing all work so far
-booted from USB again
-tried to do a "side-by-side" install
-found the whole hard drive encrypted by BitLocker.
-decrypted
-found "Windows Boot Manager" disabling side-by-side install, and of course no partition ready to go
-disabled Secure Boot
-after many many many "Failed to open \EFI\BOOT\mmx64.efi - Not Found" errors, got back to live version on USB (without having done anything differently from the times I got the error. possibly I should be sacrificing chickens.)
-Windows Boot Manager is *still* disabling side-by-side install!
-Partitioning 2: Electric Boogaloo, this time with a tool to force a good 200GB of contiguous free space
-sacrifice chicken.
-USB key works!
-NOW I *can* "install Linux Mint alongside Windows Boot Manager"! Without needing to muck about assigning root/swap/home partitions myself!
-*heavens open, choirs of angels begin to sing*
-don't ask why that worked, just go buy more chickens, this time for a gratitude offering... but held in escrow until I can actually install apps.
-software updates complete.
-here we go, time to install some apps.
-(my heartrate is actually elevated. this is as far as I got last time before running into problems.)
-Flatpak? More like FATpak amirite?! 3.9 GB for Nextcloud! 2.7 GB for Obsidian! I aspire someday for all the novels I've ever written to take up 1-2 MB.
-I have opened my latest manuscript from NextCloud in LibreOffice, made a change to it, and then closed it and opened the same file on my phone and verified that the change was there.

-I'VE DONE IT

-I'M

-A BEGINNER!

I'm pleased with myself for persisting and succeeding, pleased to have an escape hatch from the oncoming Windows Recall apocalypse and Google's "lock you out of your work with one hand and stuff it into Gemini's gaping maw with the other" policy... but that is a REALLY high bar for entry.
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Pjotr
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Re: Dual Boot Attempts Saga

Post by Pjotr »

Respect for your endurance... But in most cases it's a fairly painless and swift procedure, which (on a modern machine) can be completed in 10 minutes or so. For tuning and tweaking Mint post-install, I usually reserve one hour (at most).

By the way: personally, I don't install any Flatpaks: much too big, much too frequent updates. I even remove the entire Flatpak infrastructure from my Mint.

Flatpaks may be the future of Linux and may therefore at some point become inevitable, but as long as it's still reasonably easy to avoid them, I'll keep doing that.
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AndyMH
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Re: Dual Boot Attempts Saga

Post by AndyMH »

Pjotr wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 12:36 pm By the way: personally, I don't install any Flatpaks: much too big, much too frequent updates. I even remove the entire Flatpak infrastructure from my Mint.
I'm of the same view, what did you remove?
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Pjotr
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Re: Dual Boot Attempts Saga

Post by Pjotr »

AndyMH wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 1:57 pm
Pjotr wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 12:36 pm By the way: personally, I don't install any Flatpaks: much too big, much too frequent updates. I even remove the entire Flatpak infrastructure from my Mint.
I'm of the same view, what did you remove?

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get purge "*flatpak*"
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Re: Dual Boot Attempts Saga

Post by wwblm »

Pjotr wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 12:36 pm By the way: personally, I don't install any Flatpaks: much too big, much too frequent updates. I even remove the entire Flatpak infrastructure from my Mint.
First I just want to say thank you for your contributions to the community! I do agree that Flapaks are too big and have much too frequent updates. However, I would be interested in knowing what your take is on when the distro version lacks a significant feature that would make your life easier if you had it. Libreoffice, for me at least, the current versions are more useful (less bugs more performance) than the distro version. I trust the LO team enough to where I felt comfortable installing the PPA and have not regretted it. For Handbrake I didn't look for a PPA and I don't know that it would even be wise to go that route. I do know that it is easy to install the Flatpak version from the software manager and that gives me export features that I use and that the distro version does not have. With Shotcut, I was watching a demo of a feature that I did not have. Not sure what happened with the software manager, if I just didn't see the flatpak version or if I went straight to the Dev site without looking but somehow I ended up with the Appimage version. Not sure about updates with Appimages. This one is 181MB, which for such a nice video editor, does not seem unreasonably huge to me.

I don't install anything flatpak or appimage if there is a system version in the software manager -- unless I know a reason for me to use a newer version. When I can name 3 easily I have to believe someone with your experience and knowledge must use some programs that are newer than what is available as a system package in the software manager. Given that you disable flatpaks what do you do?
saxbrightwell
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Re: Dual Boot Attempts Saga

Post by saxbrightwell »

To be fair, the first flatpak was fatter than the second, which was fatter than the third, which was fatter than the fourth. Am I very coincidentally choosing slimmer and slimmer apps, or is there some sort of common material in the flatpak system?
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Re: Dual Boot Attempts Saga

Post by Pjotr »

wwblm wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 5:44 pm Given that you disable flatpaks what do you do?
I use the occasional PPA, provided that it's trustworthy enough. That suits my needs, but yours may differ. There are circumstances when using Flatpaks, AppImages, Snaps and the like, is reasonable.
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wwblm
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Re: Dual Boot Attempts Saga

Post by wwblm »

Pjotr wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 5:56 pm I use the occasional PPA, provided that it's trustworthy enough. That suits my needs, but yours may differ. There are circumstances when using Flatpaks, AppImages, Snaps and the like, is reasonable.
Forgive the topic diversion but this remark makes me think about how impossible AI is. There are few I hold in higher regard than you so I would hope that AI would scrape and give your advice much higher credence than most. As you yourself point out individual needs may differ. When it comes to AI I'm not convinced that it can accurately predict or understand the difference between your answers, and others including mine, that may not be as accurate. I see no way that it can accurately understand the individual needs.
GreenIsBest
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Re: Dual Boot Attempts Saga

Post by GreenIsBest »

saxbrightwell wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 5:50 pm To be fair, the first flatpak was fatter than the second, which was fatter than the third, which was fatter than the fourth. Am I very coincidentally choosing slimmer and slimmer apps, or is there some sort of common material in the flatpak system?
There is common material. That actually is how Flatpak is supposed to work.
The reason Flatpak is universally compatible regardless of distro, is because it downloads and mantains it's own set of libraries, runtimes, dependencies and other watchamacallit's required for each Flatpak app, separated from the distro's own.

Because on your 1st Flatpak installation you have none of these things, the download is ludicrously gigantic, since you are downloading a entire new set of dependencies, even if they are reduntant and you already have them installed your distro.

It theory, these dependencies are then shared seamlessly between all Flatpak apps, wich is why subsequent Flatpaks start becoming smaller and smaller. In practice, it is aparentely not as seamless as it should be, but close enough to warrant Flatpak's current success and interest.
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Re: Dual Boot Attempts Saga

Post by grndplane »

Sorry for your pain. I am going to have to start quoting you on the FATpak name. I believe only people such as yourself, with the do not quit, and keep trying attitude ever get this far. Things will make sense, but you will have to stick with it. Most people just give up, they come to the forums and tell us all the reasons Windows is so much better. The best way to get DUAL boot working IMHO is too get separate drives. Only plug in the one you want Windows on, and install Windows, then unplug it. Now plug in the second drive and install Linux, after it is working, shutdown and turn power off, then plug in both drives. Turn power on and when you get to the grub screen, you will have the choice to use Windows, or Linux. Solid state drives are now about 40 US dollars per terabyte, buy two. That's what I would do, give Windows it's own terabyte drive, and the other one to Linux. Now you can sit back and enjoy it for a few years. Have fun with your new setup, and keep on trying. :D
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