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Old 10-06-2008, 04:28 PM   #1
forgery
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Partition for 2 Distros


Hey, this is a really simple question, I just want to get it right.

If I am to install two distro's of linux on one Hard Drive do I need two lots of boot partitions and swap space? Or do I use the same space for both distros?

Thank you

Forg
 
Old 10-06-2008, 04:31 PM   #2
Total-MAdMaN
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You can use the same boot and swap partitions. In fact, using the same boot partition will help if there's a problem, as you won't need to check multiple locations if there's a problem with GRUB/LILO.
 
Old 10-06-2008, 05:26 PM   #3
forgery
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excellent, thank you
 
Old 10-07-2008, 03:22 AM   #4
salasi
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You probably should not use a single swap partition if you intend using suspend and resume.
 
Old 10-07-2008, 03:48 PM   #5
forgery
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Ok, I'm still a little confused by this and in the process of sorting out the partitions.

Ok so before I look at installing Ubuntu I already have one distro on my hard drive that works, this currently looks like (from running the ubuntu CD)

/dev/sda1 61MB Boot
/dev/sda2 5109MB Swap Space
/dev/sda3 77174MB (the equivilant of Free space but ubunut recognises it as its own seperate partition) All of these are ext3.

So I would like to install Ubuntu on top of this but I don't know what to do.

At the moment by editing partition it says "do not use this partition" but do I make sda1 also the boot for ubuntu? Do I make a seperate swap and how to I go about making the free space so each distro can have space to access? They dont have to share the free space but obviously that could be handy.

basically what do I need to make it to look like so i can run Ubuntu

Incase you need to know the other version of linux I have on here is BT.

Many Thanks

Forg
 
Old 10-07-2008, 03:59 PM   #6
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Are you sure you've got the partition layout correct? If /dev/sda3 is indeed unpartitioned, then there's nowhere for an existing version of linux to be installed. What does "df -h" show?
 
Old 10-07-2008, 04:09 PM   #7
forgery
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df -h gives me

Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
tmpfs 189M 16M 173M 9% /lib/modules/2.6.24-16-generic/volat
ile
tmpfs
ile
varrun
varlock
udev
devshm
tmpfs

The other rows are all filled with similar stuff, on seperate computer so unable to copy and paste.

When I installed BT I left sda3 simply as "free space" but I assume ubuntu sees it as "free space for BT" so assumes not to use it, but it can.

The paritions I put up are correct.

Thanks again
Forg
 
Old 10-07-2008, 04:15 PM   #8
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Are you sure /dev/sda2 is used as swap space? It looks far too large for swap, and /dev/sda1 is too small to hold a regular distro (though I've not heard of BT Linux, so if it's a minimal distro it may fit).
 
Old 10-07-2008, 04:20 PM   #9
forgery
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I set the sizes myself. Swap space is large but I had a stupidly large hard drive so just made it a big number. The boot is big enough to run BT. BT is a slackware distro

BT is running and runs fine.
I would however like to add Ubuntu on top of this and am not sure how to free up the space or to jsut write over the free space that Ubuntu says should not be used i.e sda3

Thank you again

Forg
 
Old 10-07-2008, 05:45 PM   #10
forgery
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Im still playing around with this and struggling.

I tried editing /dev/sda3 making it smaller free space for BT

I then created /dev/sda4 as a boot for Ubuntu but it then says unusable for the rest of the disk space.

That confuses me, I'm not really sure what to do.

Thank you

Forg

EDIT: Ok so I discovered the meaning of Unusable, basically I was trying to make more than 4 physical partitions. In the mean time to doing that I bodged up my HDD so I need to re-install everything, which would give me a chance to get everything right.

Ok so I have BT which has

/boot
swap space
free space

Ubuntu will have

/
swap space
free space

and I also want to install Helix which is part of the ubuntu group so I assume that will also need to have a

/boot
swap space
free space

Lets assume I have a 100GB HDD how would I go about setting up the partition table to be able to run all 3 from boot and be able to access data from all distro's. That's a lot more structure question so should be easier to answer by someone who knows. I am only a student who's playing around to learn for his course so I would not need much free space for each distro really, although Ubuntu will need a nice amount as it will be using apache and mysql.

Thank you for listening to my rambling, hopefully this will get to everything running nicely.

Many Thanks

Forg

Last edited by forgery; 10-07-2008 at 06:48 PM.
 
Old 10-07-2008, 09:25 PM   #11
louieb
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Something to think about when sharing a /boot partition. Been there done that- it can becomes a mess when one of the distros has a kernel upgrade - And alters the entry for the other distros.

Its less of a hassle to let each disto have its own copy of GRUB and leave /boot in the / (root) partition of that distro.

However if you plan to install several distros making a dedicated grub partition is a very good idea.

If you need more that 4 partitions make an extended partition. Inside an extended partition you can create logical partitions. In face you you can have up to 15 logical partitions on a sata drive. (if the drive is ide you can have more that 15). Nuts n Boldt: Partitions 101

Unlike Windows Linux doesn't care if its installed on a primary or logical partition.
 
Old 10-08-2008, 03:53 AM   #12
brianL
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Before you try anything else, you really need to do more reading about multi-booting. Use the search function on these forums, there's plenty of information available.
 
  


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