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  1. #1

    Newbie Gentoo partitioning question

    Okay, I just went through... most of a Gentoo installation and failed around the part with the grub bootloader.

    First of all, emerge grub gave me some errors about not being able to write to boot. I understand this, because I didn't set up a boot partition for Gentoo, only a root and a swap. Now, do I need to have a boot partition?

    The fdisk in Gentoo showed me my Windows partition, some 60 GB, was labeled as the boot partition, and I had some leftover linux partitions from Ubuntu that I wrote over with a filesystem and that.

    To be honest, I have no clue what to do with the partitions. I took a quick glance around these forums but didn't find an answer, so I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes.

    Another tidbit, when I went to /boot, it gave me the contents of the root directory for the Windows partition.

    I'm guessing only one filesystem can be a boot partition and that I would end up having to move the windows partition, but I'm not sure and I don't want to go messing with things that might not need to be messed with.

    Thanks in advance.

    P.S. first Gentoo install if you haven't figured it.

  2. #2
    I'd also like to say that I deleted the partitions and fixed the mbr from the Windows recovery console. So I am ready to do a full install again.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Knee deep in Grand Rapids, Michigan
    No, you do not need a separate /boot partition.
    /root and /boot can be the same partition.
    If you want to learn more about linux take a linux journey
    Use CODE tags when posting output of commands. Thank you.

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Re: Newbie Gentoo partitioning question

    Quote Originally Posted by StayPuft
    I'm guessing only one filesystem can be a boot partition and that I would end up having to move the windows partition...
    It's not so simple as that. In order to boot, the following (and nothing more) must be satisfied:
    • The BIOS must know what device to boot to,
      The boot device must be bootable (it must have a bootloader written to it's first sector),
      The boot device's bootloader must be configured to hand off operation to an operating system.
    You can have multiple bootable devices in a system and you can have multiple operating systems that can be booted. A common arrangement with Linux is to have 2 hard drives, one with a bootable Windows and the other with a bootloader set up to boot Windows and one or more Linuxs. Depending on how the BIOS is set, the BIOS will turn to the bootloader on one hard drive or the other and that bootloader will hand off to the configured or selected OS.

    In your situation, you may create a /boot partition anywhere on your hard drive or you may have the /boot directory on the root partition as budman7 says. To boot the hard drive, the BIOS expects to find a bootloader written to the MBR, but that will not affect Windows at all except for over-writing Windows' MBR (which may easily be restored).

    The bootloader on the MBR is only 512 bytes. the Linux /boot directory or partition is just another directory which happens to hold the kernel and initrd (if used) as well as the Grub menu (grub.conf) and Grub stages 1 and 2 which are the files which are called by the bootloader (at only 512 bytes big...) to get the system up.
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

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