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Old 02-28-2011, 05:26 AM   #1
deltrem
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mount points


Sometimes, I see people installing Ubuntu with the /boot or whatever folder in a separate partition. What's the advantage? I'm biased towards thinking the /boot advantage is to use only one /boot, but then what happens to the other /boots? I mean, I have Ubuntu, then install Fedora, but want to use the Ubuntu /boot. Now, what? I install an unneccessary Fedora /boot? Please, explain.
 
Old 02-28-2011, 05:47 AM   #2
EDDY1
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It's not unnecessary.
It's the seperate / home allows you reinstall and save home partition if you have to reinstall os. Although there may be other reasons the main 1 is to preserve data that you accumulate.

Last edited by EDDY1; 02-28-2011 at 05:48 AM.
 
Old 02-28-2011, 05:48 AM   #3
druuna
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Hi,

A separate /boot partition doesn't have anything to do with multiple distro's. Every distro has its own /boot (be it separate or not).

/boot holds (among other things) the kernel, a map and, sometimes an initrd file specific for your distro.

The bootloader (normally lilo or grub) uses the files in /boot. If you choose distro X in your bootloader, the /boot that belongs to distro X is used. If you use distro Y, /boot that belongs to distro Y is used.

Hope this clears things up a bit.
 
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:07 AM   #4
Soadyheid
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As EDDY1, You can have multiple /boot partitions, one for each distribution you want to use. When you install a Distro, use custom partition and use the same /home partition each time, (Make sure it doesn't format it!) then when you boot Ubuntu you have access to exactly the same data/pictures/videos/music as when you boot Fedora (I reckon there may be some funny .config files and possible problems though!)
If you also have the misfortune to have your system get in a state where it's unbootable, your data can still be accessed by one of your alternate ones.

Play Bonny!

Last edited by Soadyheid; 02-28-2011 at 10:08 AM. Reason: addition
 
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:14 AM   #5
onebuck
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Hi,

Actually you have to be very careful when sharing '/home' across distributions or even versions of the same Gnu/Linux. Potential conflicts!
 
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
DavidMcCann
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You need /boot if you let distros like Fedora saddle you with logical volume management. Some people make it as small as possible, and then find it's too small when their distro changes its contents :-(
 
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:48 AM   #7
PTrenholme
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Also, some people want to be able to use the older GRUB instead of the new GRUB 2. The old GRUB cannot boot from an ext4 file system, and Ubuntu defaults to creating an ext4 file system for /. So, you have two choices: Force Ubuntu to use the old ext3 fs for everything, loosing the improvements of ext4, or just make /boot an ext3 fs on its own partition and keep ext4 for the rest of your system.
 
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:52 PM   #8
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltrem View Post
Sometimes, I see people installing Ubuntu with the /boot or whatever folder in a separate partition
In addition, in the past there have been problems with kernels at a cylinder position beyond 1023 (or, maybe, it was 1024?). You can imagine that this is an interesting distraction when you replace your old kernel with a new kernel that happens to get placed too far into the disk for the BIOS to cope; suddenly your computer doesn't boot and you seem to have replaced an older working kernel with a newer one. So, for some people, this 'separate boot partition' has become a standard defensive manoeuvre, whether it is needed these days, or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltrem View Post
... or whatever folder in a separate partition...
Well, the biggest advantage for most people is separating the /home partition, or some variation thereof, to make upgrading less fraught.

BTW, if you are going to go with several distros and share data between them, the arrangement that I think that I prefer is to have a separate partition for, eg, documents and use that from each distro, allowing each distro to have its own /home and mount the other partition as /home/documents (even though I hate having to navigate to something named /home/documents.../home/stuff maybe?).

The details all change again if the box that you are talking about is a genuine multi-user box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltrem View Post
....in a separate partition. What's the advantage?
The other advantage that comes from multiple partitions (...in general...not necessarily helpful to you...) is that the filesystem mount options can be set up differently for different filesystems. So, if, for example, you were running a database server, you could optimise separately the behaviour of the database storage from the Operating System data, and, for serious, high performance boxes that could be critical. Even at a smaller scale, you could decide on, eg, encryption or the journalling characteristics separately for '/' than for '/home'.

At this point, on my laptop, I have /home foratted as ext3 and / on ext4, but that was primarily a convenience in upgrading without reformatting the /home partition, but I might have decided on that anyway.

Now ask ten different 'experts' on this and you'll get eleven different recommendation for the best way to do it, but, if its the kind of thing that floats your boat, you can do it.
 
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:33 PM   #9
EDDY1
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Quote:
As EDDY1, You can have multiple /boot partitions, one for each distribution you want to use. When you install a Distro, use custom partition and use the same /home partition each time, (Make sure it doesn't format it!) then when you boot Ubuntu you have access to exactly the same data/pictures/videos/music as when you boot Fedora (I reckon there may be some funny .config files and possible problems though!)
If you also have the misfortune to have your system get in a state where it's unbootable, your data can still be accessed by one of your alternate ones.
Thanks alot soadyheid, it's something that I'll try 1 of these days, is it possible to test it in Virtualbox?
 
Old 03-01-2011, 03:19 AM   #10
Soadyheid
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Quote:
Thanks alot soadyheid, it's something that I'll try 1 of these days, is it possible to test it in Virtualbox?
I dunno? VirtualBox seems to make virtual disks in the / directory. Whether you can assign a "real" /home partition I've no idea. As my original build had a separate small / partition I ended up with a full file system and everything ground to a halt! I've since changed to a large / partition and a /home one so I can use VirtualBox without problems though as yet I don't use it much.

Play Bonny!
 
Old 03-01-2011, 03:42 AM   #11
EDDY1
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Quote:
I dunno? VirtualBox seems to make virtual disks in the / directory. Whether you can assign a "real" /home partition I've no idea. As my original build had a separate small / partition I ended up with a full file system and everything ground to a halt! I've since changed to a large / partition and a /home one so I can use VirtualBox without problems though as yet I don't use it much.
Since everyone here who has helped me get a stable system and also introduced me to Vbox, I test everything there before actual install.
 
  


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