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Old 09-07-2006, 02:17 AM   #1
pranavchoudhary
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Installing linux on dell640M


Hi,
I am trying to install linux on my new dell 640M laptop. The problem is that the hard-disk already has 3 primary and one extended partition. Apart from the one primary partition that has windows there are a couple of more primary partitions that have some kind of recovery image. I have decided to get rid of them.
AFAIK, swap and /boot partitions should be primary. I wanted to know if the / (root) can be a logical one in the extended partition. Actually i am a bit confused on how do i partition my disk.
Please help me in deciding "how to partition the disk"

Thanks,
pranav
 
Old 09-07-2006, 05:22 AM   #2
weibullguy
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Yes, ? can be on a logical partition. So can /boot and swap.
 
Old 09-07-2006, 07:21 AM   #3
pranavchoudhary
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Hi Arow,
I was reading the gentoo installation handbook. It says that the /, /boot and swap partitions should be primary. You mean to say that i can have them (all three) as logical partitions (in the extended partition)? So, do i have to do something different to accomodate them as logical partitions, or can i do rest of the things just as the handbook says?

Thanks,
Pranav
 
Old 09-07-2006, 11:34 AM   #4
weibullguy
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I don't recall the Gentoo installation handbook saying that. I do recall the example partitioning scheme in the handbook only using the first three primary partitions for those mount points. That's only an example; there is another example that show /dev/hda5 (logical partition) being mounted at / and /dev/hda6 being swap.

My Gentoo / is on partition /dev/hda8 (fourth logical partition). I forgot to make a swap partition one time and ended up sticking it on an extended partition. I don't recall ever mounting an extended partition at /boot, but the only potential issue I can think of would be the bootloader not being able to recognize extended partitions. If you use GRUB, this shouldn't be an issue.

In fact, you really only need two partitions. One for swap and one for /. There is no technical reason for putting /boot on a seperate partition. I would be more likely to put /home on a seperate partition.

If you're worried about the primary/extended partition then keep Windows on the first primary right where it is. Make the second primary a little swap partition, make the third primary /, and keep the rest of the drive available for future expansion. You would then partition like this:
  • /dev/hda1 NTFS for Windows
  • /dev/hda2 swap (maybe 500MB - 1GB)
  • /dev/hda3 / (let's say 15-20GB)

When you follow the handbook, nothing different needs to be done as far as I remember. The only place it discusses things like /dev/hda is when your creating and mounting the partitions. Every where else the handbook references the file system which will be no different.

That's a long post, if anything isn't clear let me know and I'll try to be more lucid in my explanation!!
 
Old 09-08-2006, 02:10 AM   #5
pranavchoudhary
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Hi Arow,
I have completed the installation but its not successful. While booting there is a kernel panic, it fails to locate the device sda7, which happens to be my / and is a logical partition. Does the location of the boot partition matter, my root partition is the last partition on the disk.

Thanks
Pranav
 
Old 09-08-2006, 07:34 AM   #6
weibullguy
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Do have a seperate partition for /boot or is /boot a directory on your / partition? Also, what exactly are the errors reported by GRUB (if you're using GRUB)? If you are using GRUB, here is the GRUB manual if you don't already have it.

Last edited by weibullguy; 09-08-2006 at 07:37 AM.
 
Old 09-08-2006, 07:56 AM   #7
pranavchoudhary
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/boot is a seperate partition and grub does not report any errors. Its the kernel that panics and say something like "provide a proper root= argument".
 
Old 09-08-2006, 08:31 AM   #8
weibullguy
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How did you install GRUB?
Can you post your /boot/grub/menu.lst?
 
Old 09-08-2006, 10:37 AM   #9
pranavchoudhary
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i installed grub just as the gentoo handbook asked me to. First i edited the grub.conf file

default 0
timeout 30

title=Gentoo Linux 2.6.17-rc5
root (hd0,4)
kernel /boot/kernel-2.6.17-gentoo-rc5 root=/dev/sda7

title=Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,1)
makeactive
chainloader +1

then
# grep -v rootfs /proc/mounts > /etc/mtab
#grub-install /dev/sda
 
Old 09-08-2006, 10:38 AM   #10
pranavchoudhary
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i installed grub just as the gentoo handbook asked me to. First i edited the grub.conf file

default 0
timeout 30

title=Gentoo Linux 2.6.17-rc5
root (hd0,4)
kernel /boot/kernel-2.6.17-gentoo-rc5 root=/dev/sda7

title=Windows XP
rootnoverify (hd0,1)
makeactive
chainloader +1

then
# grep -v rootfs /proc/mounts > /etc/mtab
#grub-install /dev/sda
 
Old 09-08-2006, 11:03 AM   #11
weibullguy
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GRUB doesn't distinguish between IDE and SCSI drives according to the GRUB manual. Try replacing root=/dev/sda7 with root=/dev/hda7.

I don't have a SCSI drive, so I am only guessing.

Last edited by weibullguy; 09-08-2006 at 11:12 AM.
 
Old 09-08-2006, 11:10 AM   #12
pranavchoudhary
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i edited the grub config at boot-time, replacing sda7 with hda7, but the result was the same.
I had another query, i thought after the bootloader jumps to the kernel, its duties are over and the kernel takes over. In my case too, the kernel starts to boot, but panics mid-way.
 
Old 09-08-2006, 11:37 AM   #13
weibullguy
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I was making a stab hoping that the sda7 -> hda7 might be the problem. Like I said I have no experience with SCSI drives, so everything is hda with me. It would've been alot easier. But, yeah, the problem is likely with the kernel itself.

Two potential problem areas to look at. Did you compile file system support into the kernel? Make sure they're not compiled as modules. Did you compile support for your drive into the kernel (under Device Drivers)? Since I'm a purely IDE guy, I don't know if there is anything particular for a SCSI drive that's not needed for an IDE drive.

When you get to the point that the handbook tells you to make menuconfig, type make oldconfig instead. This way you will start with the current configuration. Check these and recompile the kernel if necessary.
 
Old 09-10-2006, 04:40 AM   #14
pranavchoudhary
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The file system support was there in the kernel. I reinstalled and this time i did not have a seperate /boot partition and it worked. !?
Thanks for tbe help.

-pranav
 
Old 09-10-2006, 09:18 AM   #15
weibullguy
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Glad to hear it! Now, back up your install for easy recovery. Something must have been missing, 'cause it should've worked with a seperate /boot partition. Have fun with Gentoo.
 
  


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