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Old 02-09-2013, 11:58 PM   #1
Netnovice
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Need two Slackware installations on netbook. Help?!


Hi. I am making progress with Slackware. Version 14 is quite astonishing! It's rather good even for a newbie! I have actually emailed Slackware to thank them for making version 14 easier for newbies like me.

Ok, I need two renderings of Linux on my netbook. Honest. I do NOT need to dual boot Windows. So this should be easy I would have thought but all the posts are about dual booting with Windows or Unbuntu and the like.

I need a rendering of Slackware for general use which I do not fool around with much. I need another rendering which I can play around with, learn, bust, and re-install as required. I will also be getting students to install slackware into this partition. I would like them to be able to do this without buggering up all my settings and work.

I know it's possible and I suspect it's easy but I can't see it online or in the forums.

Can someone point me to the mind bogglingly simple process which I am missing. Experiments have failed and my stupid hours do not allow for days spent installing the OS as I try and figure it out.

Many thanks
 
Old 02-10-2013, 07:24 AM   #2
Netnovice
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OK, I did a little more playing with setup ad got both partitions selectable at boot! Yay!

Only... back into tiny text mode.
If I add video=640x480 and write using LILO... back to one boot.

I'm going to have to do aomething techie here in volving manually write in text files aren't I?

only I really need these two installtions in readable text mode.
 
Old 02-10-2013, 07:27 AM   #3
tronayne
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Best bet? Virtual machines -- Slackware as the host operating system, virtual machine guests for the students to play with. Look into VirtualBox (https://www.virtualbox.org/) and VMware (http://www.vmware.com/).

The whole idea of virtual machines is that a guest operating system is fully installed and operational under the host; the virtual machine does not affect the host in any way. You can, for example, install VirtualBox on a 64-bit Slackware host then install 32-bit Slackware as a guest, perhaps Win7 as another guest and so on. And, when you're done with the guest you can simply delete it. There are many useful features.

Hope this helps some.
 
Old 02-10-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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Virtual machine.

Logical. For some reason it escaped me. OK, I admit, I hate the whole 'virtual' aspect of computing so it's not anormal approach for me. I go back to the good old days of 6502 assembler on a commodore PET. You can't get more real than that! I got into computing so I could press button! Imagine my disgust with tablets and their virtual keyboards. No buttons? You disgust me!

Buttons! Buttons! I say! Buttons an tape reels and flashing lights! Real tech. None of this virtual nonsense!

Objects? Virtual machines? Hardware independence? What are we doing?

But, for learning and demo purposes... you make a good point.

What's my best start?
And, any other ideas, tips, warmily received!
 
Old 02-10-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
Didier Spaier
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Alternatively, you can set up your hard drive's layout this way (using fdisk, or cfdisk shipped with the installer, for instance) :
/dev/sda1 (type Linux)
/dev/sda2 (type Linux)
/dev/sda3 (type Linux Swap)

Then just fire up 'setup' and:
- when asked for the target root partition, answer /dev/sda1. Format it as ext4 (the default)
- when asked where to mount /dev/sda2, answer "/playground". Format it as ext4 (the default)
- you will be proposed to use /dev/sda3 as your swap partition. Accept.

When asked if you want to install LILO, say "yes" and choose the "simple" mode.

When you are all done, replay the installation but this time:
- do not re-format /dev/sda1
- choose /dev/sda2 as the target root partition
- accept /dev/sda3 as swap partition again
- deny using /dev/sda2 for anything when asked for
- do not re-rerun LILO

After that, you will have to boot (on /dev/sda1: this will be your primary system), edit /etc/lilo.conf to add your playground as a second OS and rerun LILO.

Possibly you could add an entry for /dev/sda1 in /playground/etc/fstab, but set it up read only to (try to) prevent your students messing with your primary Linux.

Caveat emptor: doing things this way, your students still could delete you primary installation when trying to (re)install Linux in /dev/sda2.

To be sure you will avoid that, use a virtual machine instead.

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 02-10-2013 at 03:49 PM.
 
Old 02-10-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
tronayne
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There's another option (quite workable) for students -- thin clients.

Thin clients are, essentially, a diskless computer (yeah, you get to use screwdrivers and other fun hand tools and remove the drives from old PCs you've got laying about). Maybe plug in some more memory. You download the OS from a host server to the individual clients; no saving stuff, no twiddling the utilities, the kernel, nothin', no fooling around with it. If it gets screwed up, just download again.

There are a number of ways to accomplish this; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client for a pretty good overview.

Hope this helps some.

Oh, yeah, Didier recommendation is pretty good too for dual booting instead of virtualization (which ain't bad too).
 
Old 02-10-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
allend
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Check the specifications of the CPU in your netbook to see if it supports virtualisation extensions if you are thinking of trying a virtual machine. Not all CPUs do (e.g.Intel Atom N270). Without these extensions, virtualisation software either will not load or will only run very slowly.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 03:16 AM   #8
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OK, no time for a long reply. My crazy and ever changing schedule kicks in again.

The processor is a 1.4 GHz dual core celeron sporting 2GB of RAM. Not bad for a netbook but not quite a desktop replacement. It's arguable though.

Beyond that I do not know. I haven't checked the specs of the Celeron but my guess it should handle virtualisation.

I'll be damn busy for a while now. So keep the suggestions coming in and I will see what I can do time permitting. Which is unlikely to be a lot now though.
I have contract with a nice cushy school coming up and I now have to tell me old boss I am going to be moving on. He wants me to sign up for another year.

What? Another year of working 9:30 to 9:30 six days a week on a minimal wage with zero benefits and effectively no leave. Hmmm... let me think... Oh look, I seem to have this job were I work normal hours, a social life, weekends off, medical insurence and housing benefits, papers guarenteed on time and full medical insurance and housing benefit plus much better pay plus a return to computing plus three months annual leave plus an excellent working environment including windows so I see daylight all in addition to considerably more pay!

Life stinks dunnit?
 
Old 02-11-2013, 04:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Didier Spaier View Post
Alternatively, you can set up your hard drive's layout this way (using fdisk, or cfdisk shipped with the installer, for instance) :
/dev/sda1 (type Linux)
/dev/sda2 (type Linux)
/dev/sda3 (type Linux Swap)

Then just fire up 'setup' and:
- when asked for the target root partition, answer /dev/sda1. Format it as ext4 (the default)
- when asked where to mount /dev/sda2, answer "/playground". Format it as ext4 (the default)
- you will be proposed to use /dev/sda3 as your swap partition. Accept.

When asked if you want to install LILO, say "yes" and choose the "simple" mode.

When you are all done, replay the installation but this time:
- do not re-format /dev/sda1
- choose /dev/sda2 as the target root partition
- accept /dev/sda3 as swap partition again
- deny using /dev/sda2 for anything when asked for
- do not re-rerun LILO

After that, you will have to boot (on /dev/sda1: this will be your primary system), edit /etc/lilo.conf to add your playground as a second OS and rerun LILO.
Thank you very much indeed.

Only two things.. I have to re-run LILO to get the append video mode to work so my eyes don;t hurt and that... wipes out a second install on boot. I did try the above (minus manually editing lilo.conf which I am not proficient in yet. Bear in mind that I want a second boot so that I can screw it up and start again!)

Advice on modifying lilo.conf to get dual boot whilst preserving append settings would be appreciated.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 04:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allend View Post
Check the specifications of the CPU in your netbook to see if it supports virtualisation extensions if you are thinking of trying a virtual machine. Not all CPUs do (e.g.Intel Atom N270). Without these extensions, virtualisation software either will not load or will only run very slowly.

I have checked the specs of my netbok in detail online. It sports a celeron 877 which does sport virtualisation. So it sounds like a goer.

Is there is utility in Slackware to display CPU info? I read about something somewhere but I forget.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 04:49 AM   #11
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BTW, please excuse typos. In my current crazy job I get to post in the few minutes I get between classes and I think my eyesight is failing but I have no time to see an optician.

REALLY looking forward to new job!
 
Old 02-11-2013, 05:05 AM   #12
Didier Spaier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Netnovice View Post
Advice on modifying lilo.conf to get dual boot whilst preserving append settings would be appreciated.
Just append this at end of file:
Code:
image = /playground/boot/vmlinuz
  root = /dev/sda2
  label = Playground
  read-only
I'm assuming that your second system's root partition is /dev/sda2 and it is mounted as /playground, otherwise adapt accordingly.

So launch your first install, edit /etc/lilo.conf ('nano' is good enough for that), run
Code:
lilo -t -v
then if all seems OK
Code:
lilo

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 02-11-2013 at 05:06 AM.
 
Old 02-11-2013, 05:23 AM   #13
allend
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Quote:
Is there is utility in Slackware to display CPU info?
Will 'cat /proc/cpuinfo' do?
On Intel processors check for the vmx CPU flag for virtual machine support. http://blog.incase.de/index.php/cpu-...heir-meanings/
 
Old 02-11-2013, 05:43 AM   #14
Didier Spaier
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In addition, you could try cpufreq-info to see the current settings, if the acpi-cpufreq kernel module can be used with your hardware and is loaded.

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 02-11-2013 at 05:44 AM. Reason: s/actual/current/. A false friend, again ...
 
Old 02-11-2013, 05:57 AM   #15
EDDY1
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Quote:
I will also be getting students to install slackware into this partition. I would like them to be able to do this without buggering up all my settings and work.
I believe that it would be better to pickup some used machines because at some point in the future 1 of your students will overwrite the partition yhat you don't want them to write to.
 
  


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