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Old 03-04-2012, 05:15 AM   #1
barnac1e
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Question about dual booting two Linux distros, one hard disk...?


I have a gpt partion table and uefi current. 750 gb hard disk.

Currently, one distro is installed, and spread out over 7 partitions, four of them are boot, swap, root, bios_grub. I would like to install another distro along side this one, however, my current is a Debian Sid distro specifically, and the other will either be an rpm or gentoo distro. However, on the Debian system I did not create LVM. So if I install the 2nd system, do I just proceed giving it its own root and boot partions? Or should I assign the new one to use the existing root and boot? I would love first to go back now and create and LVM to assure seperation of the two but I don't know if that is possible? Any ideas on how to proceed?
 
Old 03-04-2012, 05:39 AM   #2
Larry Webb
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It is not a good idea to try and share partitions among distros. Most modern distros do well in just two partitions (/ and /home).

Just use a partition manager from a live cd and create two new partitions. If you create new partitions from a partition it will not destroy existing data as long as there is plenty of room.

Last edited by Larry Webb; 03-04-2012 at 05:41 AM.
 
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
snowday
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Another option, install your RPM distro experiment in VirtualBox.
 
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:58 AM   #4
barnac1e
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Well, I got 3 distros running and booting all fine through GRUB2 after all, so I consider this solved I guess. UEFI is quite amazing! Thanks for the helpful words though...
 
Old 03-04-2012, 10:59 AM   #5
Larry Webb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnac1e View Post
Well, I got 3 distros running and booting all fine through GRUB2 after all, so I consider this solved I guess. UEFI is quite amazing! Thanks for the helpful words though...
Please use 'Thread Tools' button at top of first post and mark as "Solved"
 
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
chathamdavid
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is there a reason to have so many partitions for the one system? Does it make Ubuntu run faster cause i am running Ubuntu 11.10 and was wondering if I could run more than two operating systems on one laptop. Is that even possible?
 
Old 03-18-2012, 05:43 PM   #7
barnac1e
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chathamdavid View Post
is there a reason to have so many partitions for the one system? Does it make Ubuntu run faster cause i am running Ubuntu 11.10 and was wondering if I could run more than two operating systems on one laptop. Is that even possible?
Actually, yes, if you create a new GUID (gpt) partition table, which is somewhat of a new thing, you could have 10 operating systems on your computer if you wanted. You see, as is most common now, partition tables are msdos still and that restricts the number of partitions to just four so then you must cream logical volumes under one extended volume to be able to meet the 4 partition maximum. You can go into Gparted and up at the top, click on "partitions" tab and create new partition table, then make sure to select "gpt" or else any new partition table will default to msdos again. Also, you'll need Grub 1.99 at a mimimum as the original and current Grub 0.97 does not support gpt partitions.
 
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:12 PM   #8
chathamdavid
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Thumbs up Booting 2 linux distros

Thanks for the information. I have also heard about GAG 4.0 It's an GUI boot loader that puts itself into the MBR. I think that is how it was explained to me. Currently researching that and if it will work on my laptop. I have been working on Virtual Box, and seeing which distro I'd like to run along with my Ubuntu 11.10. I think maybe Simply Mepis,Backtrack 5, or Dream Linux. So the partitions are limited to 4 even with the GUID partition table? Or is that where the logical partitions come in. Ok i see where things are going now the gparted gpt is the "new" way. so to keep from having msdos partitions click the gpt button and create new partitions and that way you can have up to 10, is that right? And how will I know what GRUB I am using, don't most of the new distros come with like grub 2.6.9, or something? Or am I thinking of the kernel? Any ways thanks for your help and hopefully I will get this going.
PEACE
David Chatham
 
Old 03-21-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
barnac1e
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Your welcome. You know, I think I read somewhere that a GPT partition will support up to 15 individual partitions but it also can hold some enormous amount of disk space, something like 9.4 zettabytes, which I could never count too. Check out the wiki on it for the details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPT_Partition

As for the Grub you are using, I usually read the release notes of any distro I am downloading and it should list the packages included on it so it will say Grub 1.99 in there. Also, if you use an efi boot type, the 1st partition usually should be 1 or 2 mb of unformatted space. Also, either use Gdisk or use Gnome's disk utility to specifify its type to be "bios_grub" and never allow any distro to copy over it or it will generally create a new msdos partition by defauly. For example, if you install Ubuntu, do not let it auto-partition for you but rather choose to manually partition. That was you can skip over the 1st bios_grub partition and tell Ubuntu to use your 2nd as /boot and then you can select whatever other partion(s) for root, etc... It's complicated at first but you will get used to it. Try it out in VirtualBox like you've been using till you see what I'm talking about.

Good luck.
 
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