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#1 2009-06-18 12:43:20

ejames82
Member
From: oswego, new york
Registered: 2009-05-08
Posts: 11

help with dual-boot

my wife likes crunchbang linux.  she especially likes the fact it has drivers for her printer, but she wants to have dual-boot with another linux distro.  so she wants to make crunchbang the OS that her computer boots to after she pushes the power button.  it's a 1tb hard drive, so there's plenty of space.  i partitioned with gparted in this way:

1st 100gb primary /
2nd 100gb primary
3rd 300gb primary /home
4th 500 primary intended for use as another OS

i planned on making the first three partitions dedicated to crunchbang, and the 4th partition would be the other OS. 
i thought everything was going well.  i found the choice for root "/", and i found the choice for "/home", but i couldn't find anywhere in the installer, the option for swap space. there were plenty of other options, that i wondered why they were there, but i tried them anyway.   i tried "/boot", "dev", "var", "usr", in fact, i tried all the options cause i'm a newbie, maybe one of these options is actually the swap and i don't know it yet.  each was rejected.  i was never able to find the choice for swap partition.  i kept getting pop-ups saying "you need to choose a swap partition".
i know it doesn't make sense to use 4 primary partitions, but i'm a newbie.  at least i'm trying "something".  for what it's worth, this is probably the only time i will ever have a dual-boot hard drive.  i have seen tutorials several pages long and i just got lost in the haze.  these tutorials are applied to very complicated scenarios, and my problem is relatively simple.  two OS's, 500gb's each, with crunchbang as "Master", and where's the option to choose swap located in the crunchbang manual installer?  thanks.

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Be excellent to each other!

#2 2009-06-18 13:04:50

paulsenior
#! CrunchBanger
From: Muenster, Germany
Registered: 2009-02-12
Posts: 100

Re: help with dual-boot

Hey, did I understand you right, that you want 100gb for swap?
I hope not... wink

I take a look on my liveCD, just wait a moment.

So here is a screenshot of my installer.
The Swap should be on your #! CD too
2009_06_18__1245330664_1440x900_scrot_3jPSzE.png

Last edited by paulsenior (2009-06-18 13:13:30)


From Germany --> Bad English smile

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#3 2009-06-18 13:31:48

ejames82
Member
From: oswego, new york
Registered: 2009-05-08
Posts: 11

Re: help with dual-boot

hi paul

i don't know why my eyes just did not see that.  excellent screenshot. 
how would you divide up 500gb of free space for crunchbang?  i thought the root and swap were supposed to be about the same, with home about three times as much as either root or swap.  i readily admit that i'm a newbie. 
i'll take all the advice you are willing to give me.
i tried installing mepis (and succeeded) last night, but now my crunchbang cannot be found. i thought i used the 500gb of unallocated space for it without interrupting the crunchbang installation, but i think it's gone. 
like i said, i'll take any advice you offer.
thanks.

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#4 2009-06-18 14:08:12

iggykoopa
Script Master
Registered: 2008-12-13
Posts: 1,486

Re: help with dual-boot

Swap should be about double the size of your ram if you are planning on hibernating or suspending the machine, if not then about 1 to 1 if it's a newer machine (a gb of ram or over I would say). root only really needs to be about 50 gb for typical usage, that's being generous, but if you want to use 100 it wont hurt anything. The rest can be for the home directory. Also if the other OS is going to be microsoft(xp,vista, whatever) I would put that as the first primary partition and install that first as it will overwrite grub, which is kinda hard to fix as a newb.

edit: to explain swap is what is used if you run out of ram, the program will write to the harddrive instead of ram. If you don't have any ram or swap left you can start getting errors, system locking up and the like. With #! 512mb of ram is adequate and 1gb should handle pretty much anything you want to do.
The root partition is where all your programs are going to be installed to, I have a lot of programs installed on my mini 9 and with my music, pictures, etc. it's only taking up about 20 gb
Also if you don't want to mess around with it your root and home partition can be the same, just make one partition, set it as root, then don't set a seperate home partition. That way is easier to manage, but if you have them seperate it's easier to back up or recover from if you have a serious problem.

Last edited by iggykoopa (2009-06-18 14:12:57)


I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may.

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#5 2009-06-18 14:43:44

ejames82
Member
From: oswego, new york
Registered: 2009-05-08
Posts: 11

Re: help with dual-boot

iggy,

after hammering on a piece of paper for a while, this has been my determination:

3gb swap
67gb root
430gb home

crunchbang is going to be the OS that the computer boots to when she turns on the computer.  the other OS will be linux as well.  we're leaning toward PCOS, because it also can be used to print.
thanks for the reply.  it was very easy to read.  any other advice would be great.

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#6 2009-06-18 16:08:43

ejames82
Member
From: oswego, new york
Registered: 2009-05-08
Posts: 11

Re: help with dual-boot

i think i see what i did wrong initially.  i chose ext3 when the first opportunity presented itself, disregarding and not even recognizing the rest of the options being offered.  i could not choose both ext3 and swap.  it was either one or the other.  i thought all partitions had to be ext3 and that's where i went wrong.  i didn't even notice swap on the list.

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#7 2009-06-20 04:32:45

frostfire
Member
Registered: 2009-06-13
Posts: 12

Re: help with dual-boot

That's plenty of space for a bunch of distros! I'm not sure you're done with this but I'll add a little food for thought. One hard drive can only have 4 primary partitions, so with the current scheme if you ever needed another partition besides the 4 you stated, you can't have it. I generally use 1 primary partition, and 1 extended partition. The extended partition can house many partitions inside it. So you can have the swap partition, an extra distro, music, storage, etc. . I think you can have 14 partitons in an extended partition? I may be wrong on that, and I know it's possible to use 100 with setting it up certain ways, but here are some reasons or ways to use more partitions in you're scheme.
one for /
one for swap
one for /home ( not essential, but as stated above can help with recovery or upgrade. I personally don't use a /home cause that limits the size of you're home partition, and I prefer just leaving a lot of space for / but it's personal )

besides those I use a partition for music. Set up a partition with you're music and you can share one set of tunes between 2 os's!!

I also use  a separate partition for storage of photos, themes, programs, notes, etc and that is shared between 2 os's also.

add another for testing a new os and now you're up to 6 without a home partition lol
so here is my thoughts on partitioning

1 primary, and one extended partition for the hd. Then add partitions to the extended. One note : make sure you use all the space in the original formatting of the extended partition , you may end up with a little at the end but that is ok )
so it will look something like this:
primary:       sda1    /     ( operating system 1 )
extended:
                    sda5   swap
                    sda6   /      (operating system 2)
                    sda7  (music)
                    sda8  (storage)
                    sda9  (extra os, left empty )
                    sda10 ( everything else)

That's 7 partitions and room to grow! The swap can be placed anywhere but I prefer between the 2 operating systems. They will share that. The benefit of this is you will end up with a bunch of space in sda 10 and it will just sit there until needed. You can erase that partition and make a bunch more there if needed. It's a lot harder getting rid of a partition that isn't at the end and involves resizing and moving partitions.
  Hope that helps and confuses you smile

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#8 2009-06-20 07:14:08

Tuxfriend
Member
From: Hamburg, Germany
Registered: 2009-06-10
Posts: 41

Re: help with dual-boot

Very interesting, grub and lilo can boot an os from extended partition too. So a harddrive can be easy configured like this.

sda1 / first os
sda2 / second os
sda3 / third os
sda5 /extended home
sda6 / extended swap for all

I suggest around 10 to 50gb for an linux root, that will be enough room for all packages and updates. Shared home for different os should be big. Swap should have ram or 2x ram. Keep aware for the filesystem, an fsck on 300gb can took an hour and you have to wait if you want to use the machine.
The first linux set the grub or lilo on sda1 (mbr), the next setup should recognize that but some linux overwrite the frist grub with theri own settings. If one linux can be bootet, the menu.lst for the broken one can be corrected.

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#9 2009-06-20 11:13:03

mcarni
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-10
Posts: 132

Re: help with dual-boot

Attached is a print screen of my hard disk,

i have
OS_1 crunchbang (main OS, simply beacuse it is the best...)
OS_2 kubuntu (for when i feel I need some eyecandy and for the wife)
OS_3 ubuntu (because you never know...)

http://img40.imageshack.us/i/gparted.png/

they don't share /home, but a common /DATA folder where i keep all my docs etc.

I would say the only difference with what previously said in this thread is that I have a separate partition for Grub, which i found kind of convenient so that all systems get updated.

i found all the info on how to set the separate partition on  herman grub page,
http://members.iinet.net/~herman546/index.html
but if you need some help please let me know


M

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#10 2009-06-20 11:50:36

Toolz
#! Die Hard
From: Asia
Registered: 2009-02-02
Posts: 937

Re: help with dual-boot

The above is more like how I do it, with the exception of the very interesting GRUB partition.

@ejames82: you can see the 6GB partitions being only half full. No need for huge partitions for OS - you'll appreciate that space in a contiguous block at some point in the future.

@mcarni: I might experiment with mapping /DATA - which folders get created under there - is it music, downloads, videos, etc?

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#11 2009-06-20 12:44:02

mcarni
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2009-02-10
Posts: 132

Re: help with dual-boot

@ Toolz

in DATA I have created the following folders:

- Downloads (transmission, deluge and Ktorrent all save downloaded files here)
- Music
- Pictures
- Personal files (docs, etc)
- PDF (I use cups-pdf in kubuntu 8.10 and in crunchbang 8.10, and set it so that all pdf go there, it seems not necessary with ubuntu 9.04 since I can print to pdf in any folder, i will remove it when i upgrade both kubuntu and crunchbang)

plus the following hidden folders:
- mozilla (contains our Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird profiles, so that are shared for all OS's)
- ekiga (ekiga's addressbook, I create a link from the ekiga folder, actually a sub folder in /home/.evolution..., so that also ekiga on all OS's use the same address book, it got a bit more complicated now that 8.10 use ekiga 2 and 9.04 use ekiga 3 and addressbooks are not 100% compatible... i booted in Ubuntu 9.4 today to sort this out and it was less pain then expected..)


Hope this helps


M

Last edited by mcarni (2009-06-20 13:01:17)

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#12 2009-06-20 19:16:40

frostfire
Member
Registered: 2009-06-13
Posts: 12

Re: help with dual-boot

Thx mcarni for the great tips! I hadn't thought of adding some of those settings. I recently set up some drives and was debating a partition for grub, but decided to keep grub installed in the mbr , install grub for each distro in the root partition of that distro, and chainload them from the master record. Not sure if this is better or worse but then updates to the menu.lst only change that os , and I can boot to any of them with a boot disk in case something gets messed up.
  I would add one more tip for anyone using a seperate partition for data and sharing it between operating systems. The user id on some distros is different like mandriva, pclinux, and I think fedora use 500? while ubuntu uses 1000. I change the 500 to 1000 on install so there are no user rights issues, and use a group also for it. I'm not sure if that is the best way to do it, but it seems to work.

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#13 2009-06-22 14:15:00

ejames82
Member
From: oswego, new york
Registered: 2009-05-08
Posts: 11

Re: help with dual-boot

maybe i will try each suggestion and weigh the benefits of each.  my problem is that OS's that, for instance, mepis, my wife didn't like, somehow was still on the HDD several installs later.  i just don't seem to be able to direct which OS goes where very well.  any screenshots would be helpful.  they're probably hard to get because you're not exactly in the OS at the time.
sorry i couldn't reply.  i worked several days.

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#14 2009-06-25 08:12:20

frostfire
Member
Registered: 2009-06-13
Posts: 12

Re: help with dual-boot

Did mepis show up on you're list when you booted up or were you able to load mepis and log into it? If it's on the boot screen thats just left over on you're grubs menu list which is booting from you're other install.
Manually edit that off the list and it's gone. There are a lot of dual booting tutorials on the web, and you got some great info here for why you would need more partitions or how and where to set them up. Let us know how it goes!

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