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Old 07-31-2007, 04:05 PM   #1
dacotre
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Question Where to mount multiple root partitions?


Hi all

I'm quite new to Linux. I've looked around for an answer to my question, but I'm not sure what to search for. So here it is:

I wanted to give Linux another shot (failed with it a while back).
I installed Ubuntu, and was liking that, but kept seeing good reviews of PCLinuxOS. Tried the Live version, seemed good. I'd like to install it as well, having the dual boot.

I've got 2 hard drives, though the second has all my music and pictures and what not. I wouldn't mind messing up my Ubuntu install, but I definitely don't want to lose my media.

So I resized the main (Ubuntu-hda1) partition on the first disk, and created a second (hda5) to install PCLOS to. Now the installer says:

You must have a root partition... Choose a partition and set its mount point to "/".

I tried this, but the installer seemed to say that doing so would overwrite hda1's root, or move its contents to the new one.

I'm sorry if this is confusing, or if its been covered before. If so, what should I search for? Otherwise, can anybody help me?

Thanks for reading

- d
 
Old 07-31-2007, 04:42 PM   #2
monsm
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If I understand your situation correctly, I think you need a separate boot partition for Grub to manage your different installations. Grub can then be set up to select different root partitions for each entry. If you keep your media files on one you can mount it e.g. under /mnt when booting the other.

If the partition you have the media files on is already ext3 or another of the linux supported partitions formats you should be able to use it as root without formatting it (and hence loosing your files).

(...I think....)
 
Old 07-31-2007, 05:00 PM   #3
pixellany
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You never need a separate /boot partition---no matter how many versions of Linux you install.

If you re-sized a partition and created empty space on the disk, then the PCLinux installer will give you the option of making a new partition in that empty space. It should also give you the option of installing on an existing partition. After creating the new partition (hda5) did the PCLinux installer see it?
 
Old 07-31-2007, 06:35 PM   #4
dacotre
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The second hard drive is fat32/vfat, don't know why I mentioned it.

Yes, when I created the new partition, the installer recognized it. This was where my problem came up. It asked me to mount this partition as the root, "/". When I chose this option, it asked if I'd like to move all the folders in root to the new partition, making me think that doing so would kill my Ubuntu install.

Could I set up Grub so that I could have two different roots? Is that what I should do? I've still got the installer waiting to find out where it should mount the root...

Thanks
 
Old 07-31-2007, 08:12 PM   #5
jay73
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Quote:
So I resized the main (Ubuntu-hda1) partition on the first disk, and created a second (hda5) to install PCLOS
What did you use to do this?
 
Old 07-31-2007, 08:22 PM   #6
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Pixellany: You never need a separate /boot partition---no matter how many versions of Linux you install.
I don't want to steal this thread, but this doesn't seem right. grub/lilo has to know where /boot is, doesn't it? So, barring a separate /boot partition, won't you have to either symlink /boot on all other versions on the disk or use chainloader? I guess I'm missing something, but it seems like a separate /boot would solve a lot of issues in a multi-boot situation - especially for a newbie.
 
Old 07-31-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
jay73
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I don't know about lilo but I'm sure that grub is fine with it. You can simply add a manual entry to an existing grub. Or place a new grub on the new / partition and chainload.
 
Old 07-31-2007, 09:41 PM   #8
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73
I don't know about lilo but I'm sure that grub is fine with it. You can simply add a manual entry to an existing grub. Or place a new grub on the new / partition and chainload.
I thought it might be a chainload issue.
 
Old 07-31-2007, 09:44 PM   #9
jay73
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Well, that's still a possibility. But when grub is set up correctly, there shouldn't be any such problem.

Last edited by jay73; 07-31-2007 at 09:46 PM.
 
Old 07-31-2007, 10:10 PM   #10
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quakeboy02
I don't want to steal this thread, but this doesn't seem right. grub/lilo has to know where /boot is, doesn't it? So, barring a separate /boot partition, won't you have to either symlink /boot on all other versions on the disk or use chainloader? I guess I'm missing something, but it seems like a separate /boot would solve a lot of issues in a multi-boot situation - especially for a newbie.
GRUB has to know where the /boot directory is....

Consider the generic menu.lst entry:
title My_whizbang_Linux
root (hd0,3) #tells grub that the /boot directory is on disk 1, partition 4
kernel /boot/vmlinuz....etc #tells grub that the kernel is in the /boot directory on the named partition
etc.

If you're chainloading, then you just tell grub where the grub code is
title
root (hd0,3)
chainloader +1 #sends grub off to the boot sector of the named partition (from here, the /boot directory could be somewhere else)
 
Old 07-31-2007, 10:10 PM   #11
masonm
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During the install you obviously didn't select the newly created partition as the root partition for your new install. That is what it was warning you about. Each installed OS must have it's own root partition. Just tell it to use the newly created partition as root and it will install just fine.
 
Old 07-31-2007, 10:39 PM   #12
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
root (hd0,3) chainloader +1 #sends grub off to the boot sector of the named partition (from here, the /boot directory could be somewhere else)
So grub looks through all the chainloaded /boot directories to build the grub screen. OK, I'll buy that.
 
Old 07-31-2007, 10:47 PM   #13
masonm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quakeboy02
So grub looks through all the chainloaded /boot directories to build the grub screen. OK, I'll buy that.
No, Grub's menu screen comes directly from whatever is in the menu.lst file, it's up to you to make sure that file is correct.

Come on, this isn't rocket science people, Grub reads the menu.lst file upon boot and presents the options written in that file.

Last edited by masonm; 07-31-2007 at 10:49 PM.
 
Old 07-31-2007, 11:00 PM   #14
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Come on, this isn't rocket science people, Grub reads the menu.lst file upon boot and presents the options written in that file.
The OP has two posts. I've been here a bit longer. After posting this nonsense, I figured out what I was misunderstanding. The OP is still probably shaking his head. Yes, I understand now what Pixellany meant by there is one /boot directory. I wonder if the OP does. I agree that there is no need for a separate /boot partition. But, if the OP is like me, it makes more sense and is easier to deal with as a separate partition. Why? Because if it's not, then I have to mount the partition where it resides if I want to make a change to menu.lst. So, in some ways, grub is rocket science.

I'm withdrawing from this so I don't cause still more confusion.
 
Old 07-31-2007, 11:42 PM   #15
dacotre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masonm
During the install you obviously didn't select the newly created partition as the root partition for your new install.
Actually, I had tried that, but a message popped up asking if I wanted to keep all the contents of the preexisting root folder, or to overwrite. That was how I understood it anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by masonm
Just tell it to use the newly created partition as root and it will install just fine.
Yeah, I wasn't worried about PCLinuxOS installing, but about keeping my earlier Ubuntu install intact. Anyway, I went ahead and installed, using the new partition as root. The installer opened up a GRUB gui, but I didn't see any reference to hda1 and didn't want to mess with it, thinking I could come back after the reboot and edit. Sure 'nuff, on reboot, GRUB popped up with several options, none was for Ubuntu/hda1, though.

So I guess now I need to edit my menu.lst file on hda5 to reflect some of the options from menu.lst on hda1. I'll give that a shot and report back

Thanks for all the help, though I gotta say - I thought this would be a little easier...
 
  


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