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Old 02-04-2007, 08:08 AM   #1
makowka
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multiple distributions


Hi to all

I want to install two distributions (Slackware and Debian-based) on one hard disk, but there are some questions, that I dont know the answer for. First, this would be the partitioning scheme:

/dev/hda1 /boot (common for all distros) 100 MB
/dev/hda2 / (root partition for Slackware) 7 GB
/dev/hda3 /home (home partition for Slackware) 10 GB
/dev/hda5 /usr/local (for Slackware) 3 GB
/dev/hda6 / (root partition for Debian) 7 GB
/dev/hda7 /usr/local (for Debian) 3 GB
/dev/hda8 /mnt/stuff (common data partition for both distros) 8 GB

Sure you noticed, that there isn't a swap partition. That is my question: in which place should it be located, in order to be utilized most effectively by both of the distros? I want it to be 500 MB. And where should be the common partition located, too (/mnt/stuff, the last partition in the scheme).

The other question is, must be lilo installed by all means to the MBR, or can I install it just to the first block of the first bootable partition (hda2)? I will use lilo form Slackware, with option to choose between the distros at boot time.

I am sorry for my bad english, hope, that the question is understandable. Cheers to Linux users out there.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 08:37 AM   #2
acid_kewpie
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right... youre partitioning scheme looks fine, but i'd have a seperate /usr, not /usr/local... your call really. as for swap, really doesn't matter. end should be fine. as far as lilo goes, use grub if you can, it's much nicer, especially for a more complex architecture over all like this. as you clearly want, you can use a single /boot to cover both systems, which would in turn also mean a single installation of grub. as grub stores its goncig files and images within /boot compared to lilo preferring /etc/ then you have a totally distribution agnostic bootloader, referencing it's own config from /boot alone with all relevant images and such. never needs to leave hda1 to get your chosen system up and booting.

another partitioning angle actually... you may perfer to look at LVM to hold each distro and so not need to have seperate partitions for / and /usr/local. indeed you could happily fit everything inside a single LVM volume, other than /boot and have a massively more flexible system with no downsides, assumgin both distros are now built to support LVM in the first instance.
 
Old 02-04-2007, 08:38 AM   #3
acid_kewpie
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btw. the only people who appologise for their poor english are the ones who do not have poor english at all. never ever appologise for it again, it's superb
 
Old 02-04-2007, 08:42 AM   #4
bigjohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makowka
Hi to all

I want to install two distributions (Slackware and Debian-based) on one hard disk, but there are some questions, that I dont know the answer for. First, this would be the partitioning scheme:

/dev/hda1 /boot (common for all distros) 100 MB
/dev/hda2 / (root partition for Slackware) 7 GB
/dev/hda3 /home (home partition for Slackware) 10 GB
/dev/hda5 /usr/local (for Slackware) 3 GB
/dev/hda6 / (root partition for Debian) 7 GB
/dev/hda7 /usr/local (for Debian) 3 GB
/dev/hda8 /mnt/stuff (common data partition for both distros) 8 GB

Sure you noticed, that there isn't a swap partition. That is my question: in which place should it be located, in order to be utilized most effectively by both of the distros? I want it to be 500 MB. And where should be the common partition located, too (/mnt/stuff, the last partition in the scheme).

The other question is, must be lilo installed by all means to the MBR, or can I install it just to the first block of the first bootable partition (hda2)? I will use lilo form Slackware, with option to choose between the distros at boot time.

I am sorry for my bad english, hope, that the question is understandable. Cheers to Linux users out there.
Unless you're really emphasising access times etc then I doubt that it really matters where you put a /swap partition. You mention 500MB size, well traditional wisdom, as I understand it, was that /swap was no bigger than 2 X the installed RAM, so unless you are running with only 128 megs of ram 500MB shouldn't be a problem. As for location, well if you're that worried you can always change the partition scheme so that any /swap sits in the middle between the two / partitions. I have about 1.5 gigs of /swap (2 X 768 megs of RAM), but it's rarely used as theres not much that I do that needs more than the 768 of installed RAM.

I don't recall (when I was messing with having multiple distros installed) ever reading that where common partitions were located was a particular issue.

Plus, the only thing that I found an issue (for bug hunting and comparative reasons), was that I had to make sure that there were mount points for each of the installed distros in the opposing /etc/fstab files so that I could look into both distros from each other i.e. when logged into mandriva (I was running mandriva and debian) I could look straight into the debian files and system, and vice versa.

Thats my view, others may have different.

regards

john

p.s. Oh and your english is fine.
 
Old 02-05-2007, 08:35 AM   #5
makowka
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Well, thanks for the appreciation of my english and for the answers
As far as it goes for the LVM, its somewhat complicated and I dont have much time to sit on it, so I would stay just by the traditional way of partioning the hard disk.
I have 500 MB of RAM and 500 MB of swap, because I read somewhere, that waisting more than 500 MB on the swap just makes no sense, because it wont be used anyway, if you have enough RAM (I looked at the system load several times, and the swap space wasn't occupied to an extense, that would justify adding more space to it).
Thank you for the tip on grub, I will try it out for sure. Lilo isn't bad at all, and it's configuration is pretty simple, but a fundamental config with grub should be easy, too. The only thing with lilo is, that you have to issue "lilo" after altering the config file, I had to boot tens of times from the floppy, because I forgot to do that.
I don't understand, why one would want to create mount points for the opposing distro in fstab. Isn't it more rational to have a common data partition, which could be accessed for both of the distros?
 
Old 02-05-2007, 08:47 AM   #6
acid_kewpie
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the traditional view is that swap should be double your ram. tradition gets outdated very quickly though... ignore it i say.

as you saw yourself, you need to run "lilo" inside the "primary" distro to commit an update. when this is done on multiple distros this just sucks. whereas with grub you can edit the config file happily under either os.
 
Old 02-05-2007, 12:54 PM   #7
makowka
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Do I have to install grub to the MBR of the disk, or can I install it just to the MBR of some partition? Do you know, what exactly is the difference and how grub is affected by that? Now I installed it to a floppy, works wonderful (the config process is even easier, compared to lilo).
 
Old 02-05-2007, 01:25 PM   #8
acid_kewpie
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you *can* install it elsewhere, but why would you want to?
 
  


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