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Old 08-07-2010, 08:33 PM   #1
ciao303
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"Perennial" Installation Partitioning Quandary...


How come and why come everytime I click on the "Use free space" option when installing a secondary Linux OS it always tells me I dont have enough even if Im 1000% sure the I DO have enough free space...
 
Old 08-07-2010, 10:12 PM   #2
zootboy
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Well, there are several possibilities. I'm not sure which distro you are using, it would be nice if you specified it.

One possibility is that the installer requires empty, unpartitioned free space. If that's the case, you need to run a boot CD and run something like GParted to resize your partitions and get the requisite empty space.

Another possibility is that you hard drive is fragmented, and there is not enough contiguous space to make another partition. If that's the case, you should use something like MyDefrag to push all the files to the beginning of the drive.

Finally, check your math. I know you're 1000% sure that you have enough free space, but realize that there are some funny little space hogs that pop up in linux. Like the swap partition. By default, most linux installers make a swap partition that is twice as big as your ram size. If your computer had 4 gigs of ram, then linux will want 8 gigs of swap. That can suck down your free space real quick.
 
Old 08-07-2010, 11:34 PM   #3
yancek
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Run the fdisk -l command as root to get your partition information to post here so you can get some specific suggestions.
 
Old 08-08-2010, 12:07 PM   #4
zootboy
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I'm assuming that the OP doesn't have linux on the computer yet, so that may not be possible. If it's possible, however, please run a linux boot CD and run 'fdisk -l'.

But more importantly, please tell us what distro you're using.
 
Old 08-08-2010, 04:15 PM   #5
ciao303
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OK so here's the system rundown:

Acer Aspire 5517
AMD Athlon TF-20
2GB Memory
250 GB HDD
Ubuntu 10.4 32 bit

ISOs I have so far:

Ubuntu 10.4 amd64
Ubuntu 10.4 i386
Linux Mint amd64
Linux Mint i386
FreeBSD 8.1 amd64
SlackWare64 13.1

ISOs being downloaded

SlackWare 13.1
FreeBSD 8.1 i386
Fedora 13 i386 DVD
Fedora 13 x86 64 DVD
Fedora 13 i386 Live
Fedora 13 x86 64 Live
Mandriva Linux Free 2010 Spring i586
Mandriva Linux Free 2010 Spring x86 64
Mandriva Linux Free 2010 Spring Dual Arch

That would be all of the OS's that I would like to install. Anyways, I guess the VERY basic answer I'm looking for lies behind the question, "How do I know which sda to pick when picking a partition?"

Last edited by ciao303; 08-08-2010 at 04:21 PM.
 
Old 08-08-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
zootboy
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Are you really planning to install 6 different linux distros on one computer? I certainly hope not.

I'll tell you this, though. Ubuntu live CDs have GParted built in. What you'll need to do is resize your windows partition (if you're planning on keeping it) to ~180GB. Then you'll need to make a 500MB ext3 boot partition, a 4GB swap partition, and then 6 (or more) partitions, at least one for each linux distro. I'd recommend at least 10GB for each one. To do the multi-boot, you'll need to manually create the disc layout in the installer, telling it which partition to use.

All the distros can share the one swap and one boot partition, but only one distro can be allowed to maintain the boot partition.

All in all, this seems like a really bad idea. If you want that many linux installs, I'd suggest you go with virtualization. It'll make your life way easier.
 
Old 08-08-2010, 04:37 PM   #7
ciao303
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Yes I would like all 6 distros in my computer. Kind of like owning a 700hp Corvette while living in a downtown metropolitan area. You wont be using the whole 700hp but it is nice to know you have the 700 hp.

Secondly, I dont have any form of Windows whatsoever.

Yes, I've noticed that Ubuntu installers are more helping and forgiving. I suppose GParted would be the answer behind the huge ease of installation as compared towards the other installation procedures??
 
Old 08-08-2010, 04:47 PM   #8
zootboy
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I believe that the Ubuntu installer will try to run partition-resizing tools (like GParted) to "make room" for itself on an existing system.

As for your install, if you're starting fresh (no existing system you need to keep), It'll be even easier. You can just run the first install, let it setup the disks, then modify the partitioning before it applies (Ubuntu will let you do this). Just leave the boot and swap partitions alone, but make the actual data partition (the "/" partition) smaller. Leave enough room for 5 more. Then in each subsequent install, tell it to leave the boot and swap alone, and just create another "/" partition. You'll need to modify GRUB yourself, as the secondary installs will not add themselves to the boot list. Don't let the secondary installs install GRUB.
 
Old 08-08-2010, 04:50 PM   #9
yancek
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You haven't posted any partition information. Do you have anything installed? Use a Live CD to get the fdisk output suggested above. If you use the Ubuntu cd, use sudo fdisk -l.
 
Old 08-08-2010, 05:07 PM   #10
ciao303
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Thanks.

One more thing, if you have enough things done (experience wise)....how do I install the OS's in a sequential order so that Ill be using the Ubuntu GRUB...
 
Old 08-08-2010, 05:54 PM   #11
zootboy
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You'll want to install Ubuntu first if you want the Ubuntu GRUB. Allow the Ubuntu installer to create the boot partition and install GRUB to the MBR.
 
Old 08-08-2010, 07:38 PM   #12
ciao303
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zootboy View Post
You'll want to install Ubuntu first if you want the Ubuntu GRUB. Allow the Ubuntu installer to create the boot partition and install GRUB to the MBR.
...if the subsequent OS installations inquire if Im going to install GRUB, where should I lead the installation to?

If its not too much trouble can you do a recount in verbatim which generalities i should be expecting and what i should do....somewhere within the lines of

1)Boot with OS disk
2)Choose X option when asked to allocate partition for OS being installed
3)Install GRUB where

etc etc
 
Old 08-08-2010, 11:07 PM   #13
zootboy
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Most (if not all) installers will give you the option of not installing a bootloader. Just tell it to skip installing GRUB, it's usually a separate step in the installer.

To start, begin the Ubuntu installer. Let it make the partitions, then edit them. Make the "/" directory smaller. Let Ubuntu install GRUB. Let Ubuntu install.

Start next distro installer. Make a customized partition setup, setting the boot and swap mount points but DO NOT FORMAT THEM. Make a new "/" partition, still leaving enough room for the other distros. Choose not to install GRUB.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Once you have all the distros installed, you will have to boot into Ubuntu and add all the other distros to the GRUB boot menu. Check the documentation of each of the specific distros for info on how to do that.

Also, you'll have to manually update the GRUB menu each time you update the kernel on any of the distros (except for the base Ubuntu one, which will update GRUB automatically).

Phew, you're in for a long ride. Best of luck to you.
 
Old 08-09-2010, 01:40 AM   #14
ciao303
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zootboy View Post
Most (if not all) installers will give you the option of not installing a bootloader. Just tell it to skip installing GRUB, it's usually a separate step in the installer.

To start, begin the Ubuntu installer. Let it make the partitions, then edit them. Make the "/" directory smaller. Let Ubuntu install GRUB. Let Ubuntu install.

Start next distro installer. Make a customized partition setup, setting the boot and swap mount points but DO NOT FORMAT THEM. Make a new "/" partition, still leaving enough room for the other distros. Choose not to install GRUB.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Once you have all the distros installed, you will have to boot into Ubuntu and add all the other distros to the GRUB boot menu. Check the documentation of each of the specific distros for info on how to do that.

Also, you'll have to manually update the GRUB menu each time you update the kernel on any of the distros (except for the base Ubuntu one, which will update GRUB automatically).

Phew, you're in for a long ride. Best of luck to you.

So saying I want to install 7 OSes in a 250GB HDD that would mean a 35GB x 7 clean split would be A-OK, correct??
 
Old 08-09-2010, 10:39 AM   #15
zootboy
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Correct, as long as you leave ~500 MB for the boot partition and ~4 GB for the swap partition.
 
  


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