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kennybobby 12-06-2010 04:42 PM

How to multiboot distros from LVM and/or Non-LVM partitions?
 
i'm newbie to this forum and found it after searching the entire internet for some sort of example or explanation of how and where to store other distros within an LVM partitioned system.

The success story post on "multiple distros single /boot partition" appears closer than anything else that i've found, but i'm still confused about the actual steps of what i need to do. i don't really know anything about how LVM works and if non-LVM distros can be installed to run and co-exist on an LVM system/partition.

My drive was set as LVM during installation of FC3 and has worked fine, but now i need to upgrade to some newer distro and would like to "try before i buy" one, without losing my current data and functionality (email and browsing). Once i find something that i like, then i would want to use the new distro and still have access to my old data files.

My thoughts were that i needed to somehow create a non-LVM partition in which to download and install the newer distros, but that is scary at the thought of making a mistake and losing everything. And from the success story it appears that is possibly not necessary since he uses only LVM.

i tried using WINE a while back and something in the windows program started reformatting/deleting my linux account in /home and i lost everything, so i'm not thinking highly of virtualizations, and i've reverted to "if it ain't broke don't fix it"...

But now all the multimedia requires newer flash, and new flash requires new browser, and new browser wants new kernel, etc... so the time has come to try the new stuff, even though the old stuff works fine.

i have a /boot ext2, and the rest is / LVM.

i would like to try ubuntu or debian, knoppix, FC?.

Most of the info i've found for multiboot has been anti-LVM, so it has not been useful and i'm overwhelmed by all the information.

Could someone who used LVM and loaded other distros give me some detailed pointers on how it works and maybe some successful example scripts or partition tables, etc.?

stress_junkie 12-06-2010 05:01 PM

I can't help you directly but I do have a few comments on the issues that you raised.

Re: losing all of your data; back up your data to an external disk drive.

Re: WINE -> not liking virtualization; WINE is not a virtual machine, it is a translation layer. Virtual machines can be an excellent way to try out distributions if you have the hardware to support it.

I wish that I could be more help to you.

nocountryman 12-07-2010 06:58 AM

ok.. the main advantage ov LVM is that you can resize it without losing any data.

So resize your partition, say /home.
Create logical volume using that free space, sa call it test.

And install the new distro onto the new test VG.

As suggestion would recommend to backup your boot partition as well as home just in case.

the result will be /boot = common for any number of distros (remark = must have enough space , minimum 500MB or make sure that you dont have old kernel images laying around there., but BE CAREFUL ;) )

/PV (your main PV)
/FC3
/swap
/ and etc
/test

On a side note.. How about if you buy an extra hard drive.... ;)


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