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Old 02-07-2012, 06:08 AM   #1
EevaH
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Ubuntu as 3rd opsys


I have a system with WinXP and EComStation installed and booting from BootManager. At the same time I created 3-4 partitions for Linux and an entry for Linux in BM pointing to a smallish partition which should include Linux startup. As I have very little experience installing Linux, I need some help here.

1. Can I be confident that Linux installation is NOT messing up with MBR and Boot Manager?
2. How do I set up the partition BM is pointing to, to make it start Linux (or Grub)? Should this be the /boot partition?

Big thanks for any and all help!

Last edited by EevaH; 02-08-2012 at 07:20 PM.
 
Old 02-07-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
SecretCode
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In recent versions of Ubuntu, installing using the graphical installer WILL write a new GRUB bootloader - the option not to has been removed from the GUI (although it will not mess with the partition table unless you tell it to).
To avoid this, you need to boot to the live CD environment and run
Code:
ubiquity -b
from a terminal window. However, I can't see that option in the Manpage: ubiquity -- install Ubuntu from a live CD so I would research it further.

Here's some detailed info on running dual boot with BootManager (I have not tried this!): Install Ubuntu without GRUB using Vista Bootmanager | fstyle.de
 
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:35 PM   #3
Paulom
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I Agree.
 
Old 02-11-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
EevaH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretCode View Post
In recent versions of Ubuntu, installing using the graphical installer WILL write a new GRUB bootloader - the option not to has been removed from the GUI (although it will not mess with the partition table unless you tell it to).
To avoid this, you need to boot to the live CD environment and run
Code:
ubiquity -b
from a terminal window. However, I can't see that option in the Manpage: ubiquity -- install Ubuntu from a live CD so I would research it further.

Here's some detailed info on running dual boot with BootManager (I have not tried this!): Install Ubuntu without GRUB using Vista Bootmanager | fstyle.de
Please, bear with me, I am computer literate, but Linux illiterate, and I'd like to get this right the first time.
Let's say I have dedicated for Ubuntu
- partition W (4 GB) set as bootable in BM
- partition X (5 Gb) /home (?)
- partition Y (2 Gb) swap
- partition Z (4 Gb) FAT16 for compatibility
and do the GUI installation. When it asks me (it DOES ask me, right?) where it should put grub and I tell it to put it to W: which is where BootManager is pointing (and passing the control to), does it start grub from there and go ahead with the Linux startup/loader/whatever code. I do not really mind having grub between BM and Linux, if that is what it prefers. When I have learned some Linux, I might figure out how to bypass it, if it bothers me.

I should have told in my previous post that my BootManager is the one EComStation inherited from Warp, not any winstuff, if there is such (and I like it a lot).

Also, should I combine W and X? Or should I leave a partition for my own stuff, not to be touched by any Ubuntu updates? Or does it leave it intact regardless?

Have to add, that installation probably will set MBR to point to grub (and maybe add XP to the list) ignoring BM and EComStation. So if I backup MBR and restore it after installation, might that work?

Last edited by EevaH; 02-12-2012 at 03:24 PM. Reason: afterthought
 
Old 02-11-2012, 08:27 PM   #5
TroN-0074
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O.k so, GRUB will modify your MBR and your W partition is really small I dont know if you can fit the Ubuntu File System in there, maybe just do the full installation in the 11 GB partition and leave the installer do the partitioning for you. Keep your Z partition for compatibility but from Linux you can easily access your windows file system and open up your directories and stuff.

You can also make a bootable flash drive and run ubuntu from there if your PC can be booted from a usb, make sure you select the journaling

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/pendrivelinux.html

Good luck to you!
 
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:56 AM   #6
SecretCode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EevaH View Post
Please, bear with me, I am computer literate, but Linux illiterate, and I'd like to get this right the first time.
Let's say I have dedicated for Ubuntu
- partition W (4 GB) set as bootable in BM
- partition X (5 Gb) /home (?)
- partition Y (2 Gb) swap
- partition Z (4 Gb) FAT16 for compatibility
and do the GUI installation. When it asks me (it DOES ask me, right?) where it should put grub and I tell it to put it to W: which is where BootManager is pointing (and passing the control to), does it start grub from there and go ahead with the Linux startup/loader/whatever code.
Some worries:
Those are very small partitions ... swap is OK of course, but for a root partition I wouldn't go with less than 8GB (I use 20GB partitions for each OS on my system but that's with a 500GB internal disk). I don't think you will get any value from separating root and home with such small partitions.

Remember that drive letters are a Windows and OS/2 thing - you will not see anything like that in Linux, including the installer - they'll be sda5, sda6 and so on, numbered according to the partition table - and you make sure you know how to identify which is which when you are installing!

FAT16 is not much good for compatibility; but I'm sure you mean FAT32.

If you tell the installer to install GRUB on the partition you're calling W, and then point bootmanager to it, it should chain load OK ... but as I said I have no experience with bootmanager.

---

Have you backed up (Ghosted / cloned) your entire disk and do you have a tested way to recover your EComStation installation? Things can go wrong ...
 
Old 02-13-2012, 02:42 PM   #7
EevaH
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Thank you so much for your input. OK, we have a couple of issues left:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretCode View Post
Some worries:
Those are very small partitions ... swap is OK of course, but for a root partition I wouldn't go with less than 8GB (I use 20GB partitions for each OS on my system but that's with a 500GB internal disk). I don't think you will get any value from separating root and home with such small partitions.

Remember that drive letters are a Windows and OS/2 thing - you will not see anything like that in Linux, including the installer - they'll be sda5, sda6 and so on, numbered according to the partition table - and you make sure you know how to identify which is which when you are installing!

FAT16 is not much good for compatibility; but I'm sure you mean FAT32.
I have got confirmed (thread HPFS on Ubuntu) that there is a module to read HPFS, so that I do not need the FAT compatibility partition. And I really did mean FAT16, because I know that WARP did not do FAT32, have not checked if EC does.

So the partitioning of all Linux disk space can be done whichever way is best, but I am not knowledgeable enough to decide what it is. I usually install everything so that the first physical disk holds all opsys stuff while data and programs are on other disks (learned that while working in the labs and had to install a new opsys driver every other Monday or so). Of course Windows insists on installing programs on C:, but I try to avoid that kind of software. I only gave 10 Gb to XP so I think 15 should be ample for Linux, especially as I do not need multimedia (sound or moving image) and hope there is a way to exclude that from installation. Also I have some 7 Gb unallocated space at the end of the disk if needed. There is only one primary partition so far, so Linux can have a primary if it wishes.

Quote:
If you tell the installer to install GRUB on the partition you're calling W, and then point bootmanager to it, it should chain load OK ... but as I said I have no experience with bootmanager.
This last line in my post:
... installation probably will set MBR to point to grub (and maybe add XP to the list) ignoring BM and EComStation. So if I backup MBR and restore it after installation, might that work?

is what worries me most. I think Ubuntu may not know about BM and EC and even if it does not touch the partition table, it will probably make MBR point to grub adding XP to its start list. Right or wrong?
If I just save MBR and put it back after installation, it should point to BM with its pointers to all three bootable partitions. So the boot sequence would be like this:

boot -> BM |-> XP
...........|-> EC
...........|-> GRUB |-> Linux (maybe several lines?)
....................|-> XP


Which is not very elegant even if it works. I suppose there is a way to manually remove XP from the second list (?)
(sorry, had to put periods instead of blanks, did not find a way to make them stay put).

Quote:
Have you backed up (Ghosted / cloned) your entire disk and do you have a tested way to recover your EComStation installation? Things can go wrong ...
Yes, I cloned the opsys disk with DFSEE, just in case ... The other internal disk (programs & data) I backup to an external disk. I have got EComStation install media, but none for XP. Might as well make a separate image of XP disk ...

There probably is a lot I should know but do not. I am quite willing to learn and experiment, but do not have much time for it, so I do appreciate your insights
 
Old 02-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #8
TroN-0074
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Hey EevaH. I think the distro that will work best for you is SlackWare. During installation SlackWare gives you 100% control and you pretty much decide what you want to have installed.
Boot manager for slackware is LILO (Linux Loader) but if you have a different boot manager you can just skip the installation of LILO.

SlackWare is one of the first Linux distros and you can get lots of information from their forums here in LQ.

Good luck to you.
 
Old 02-13-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
EevaH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
Hey EevaH. I think the distro that will work best for you is SlackWare. During installation SlackWare gives you 100% control and you pretty much decide what you want to have installed.
Boot manager for slackware is LILO (Linux Loader) but if you have a different boot manager you can just skip the installation of LILO.

SlackWare is one of the first Linux distros and you can get lots of information from their forums here in LQ.

Good luck to you.
Thank you, I'll definitely check that out! Luckily I'm in no hurry - better safe that sorry....
 
Old 02-14-2012, 02:36 AM   #10
SecretCode
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Linux is happy installing on a logical partition, and will generally do that by default if any partitions already exist.

Backing up your MBR and restoring it after installation would be a good way to ensure bootmanager remains the ... boot manager. You'll have to work out how to get it to recognise the Linux installation and chain load to GRUB, sorry.
 
Old 02-15-2012, 11:52 AM   #11
EevaH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretCode View Post
Linux is happy installing on a logical partition, and will generally do that by default if any partitions already exist.

Backing up your MBR and restoring it after installation would be a good way to ensure bootmanager remains the ... boot manager. You'll have to work out how to get it to recognise the Linux installation and chain load to GRUB, sorry.
Thanks SecretCode! I thought I'd let Linux to do its partitioning, maybe first wipe off all partitions from the "Linux-space" at the end of the drive. I do not know what it is putting into the partition that is given to Grub (that's the problem), but if it is the "industry standard" stuff what usually is at the start of a booting/starting partition, it should do fine. BM is at the moment pointing to XP, EComStation and Linux, the two are starting without problems, have not tried how it would react to the empty Linux partition. Probably would tell there is nothing to load, even thou I told it the partition is bootable.

But as you said, if I save and restore MBR, it should at least keep my disk organization intact. I'll do some exploring on the distros before I continue.
 
  


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