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Old 09-20-2008, 09:14 PM   #1
benderan
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Registered: Sep 2008
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Dual boot linux partitioning


Hi everyone,

I've been a Linux user for many years now, but am just starting out into the 'administering' side of things. I am in the process of setting up a brand new machine (no OS currently) and for my application I need to install both Scientific Linux 3.0.9 (a free distribution based off of Enterprise) and a recent RedHat Enterprise kernel. Just in case you're asking yourself why I need both, it has to do with driver needs for pieces of legacy & current laboratory hardware/software. I have a couple of questions going into this process.

1. Are there any suggestions on which OS to install first (or does it not matter since it will be 2 flavors of Linux)?

2. In terms of the actual partions, I would like to have a data directory that is readable between both OSs. Are there any gotcha's I should know about when creating this partition?

3. Lastly, when I'm doing the initial partioning for the first OS install, do I just leave free space for the second OS? What is the best way to approach this?

Any other advice you would have for an admitted newbie would be fantastic!

Thanks.
 
Old 09-20-2008, 09:50 PM   #2
jailbait
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Registered: Feb 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benderan View Post

1. Are there any suggestions on which OS to install first (or does it not matter since it will be 2 flavors of Linux)?
I don't think that it matters.


Quote:
Originally Posted by benderan View Post

2. In terms of the actual partions, I would like to have a data directory that is readable between both OSs. Are there any gotcha's I should know about when creating this partition?

Not when you create the partitions. You can sometimes run into problems with users names and user numbers. For example you might have the data files on the shared files owned by user benderan. You create a user named benderan on both distributions and expect them to be able to share the files. Sometimes distributions assign different user numbers to the same user name. For example Scientific Linux might call benderan user number 501 and Red Hat might call benderan user number 1001. In that case the shared files could be used by user 501 or user 1001 (whichever created them) but not both. If you hit this problem ask about it in a new thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benderan View Post

3. Lastly, when I'm doing the initial partioning for the first OS install, do I just leave free space for the second OS? What is the best way to approach this?
It will probably work either way depending on how smart the partitioning part of the installer is. I know that it will work either way in Red Hat. I don't know about Scientific Linux. My personal preference is to lay out all of the partitions myself before installing either distribution.

In addition you should have a plan on how to tell grub about the second distribution. My personal preference is to let the first installation install grub. Then tell the second distribution not to instal any bootloader. Then go into the first distribution's /boot/grub/menu.lst file and add the second distribution to the first distribution's menu.lst.

------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 09-21-2008, 08:11 AM   #3
johnsfine
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Registered: Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jailbait View Post
It will probably work either way depending on how smart the partitioning part of the installer is. I know that it will work either way in Red Hat. I don't know about Scientific Linux.
I also don't know about Scientific Linux. But I struggled with the GUI partitioning in Centos (same as Red Hat) trying to put partitions in an unusual sequence (I had good reasons). It tends to rearrange them before actually creating them.

I don't remember how to use fdisk (which was the suggestion I found online for similar problems with the Centos GUI partitioning). So I booted up my Mepis liveCD, where I know how to make GUI partitioning do what I want.

The Centos installer's GUI partitioning tool is very easy and intuitive when you are telling it how to use partitions that already exist. It is much less intuitive or controllable when you are telling it to create partitions.

Quote:
My personal preference is to lay out all of the partitions myself before installing either distribution.
So I reached that same answer for a different reason.
 
Old 09-21-2008, 08:27 AM   #4
billymayday
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Registered: Mar 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
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I'd suggest that you download a live CD like GParted (go to www.distrowatch.com) and use that for the partitioning pre install.

Since both are RH distros, the default file system will utilise LVM (I assume Scientific does anyway), in which case you will need a boot partition on 100M or so formatted as ext3 (or ext2) since grub can't read LVM. Frankly I'd override the default and make the partitions all ext3.

Remember you cab only have 4 primary partitions or 3 primary/1 extended, so bear that in mind when setting everything up.
 
  


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