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  1. #1

    Question Is this a good partitioning scheme for multi booting? MBR+LVM

    Hello everyone,

    I've been reading, asking, and trying to find the most suitable partitioning scheme for my multi booting 2 TB hdd, and probably this is the definitive one (or close). I want to hear your opinions, and I have some questions also. Now let's take a look:

        N   type      label   FS      Size
    |--sda1 primary    grub2   ext4    32 MB
    |--sda2 primary    swap             2 GB
    |--sda3 extended  distros        400 GB
    |   |
    |   |   N         label   FS      Size
    |   |--sda5-----> OpenSUSE ext4     5 GB 
    |   |--sda6-----> FreeBSD           5 GB
    |   N   type      label   FS      Size
    |--sda4 primary     LVM    lvm   1536 GB
        |    N       LV name  FS      Size    Mount point
        |----1         home    ext4  1300 GB     /home      
        |--- 2         ubuntu  ext4    25 GB     /    
        |--- 3         debian  ext4    10 GB     /
        |----4         fedora  ext4    10 GB     /
        |----5         mint    ext4    10 GB     /

    1. GRUB2 has its own partition, that will be updated from inside Ubuntu with the following command: grub-mkconfig –o /media/btldr/boot/
    2. Each distribution will keep it's own native bootloader in it's own partition just in case. Anyway GRUB2 is going to do all the work. If there's a problem, I can chainload to the selected partition (I'm thinking of the distributions that are going to be inside sda3).
    3. Unfortunately I won't be using GPT at all because it seems it is not completely supported yet by all distros, and I don't want to struggle so much as long as I can avoid it.
    4. Home partition is going to be shared among all distributions using different user folders.
    5. I'm very concerned about resizing partitions and the physical volume of LVM. I placed the "distros" partition (/dev/sda3) outside LVM because there are some distributions or systems such as FreeBSD that doesn't support it, or doesn't support it easily (example: OpenSUSE). I want to be able to free space from /dev/sda3 and resize the extended partition and give that extra, freed space to /dev/sda4 (the LVM physical volume) so I can extend the LVM volume group and therefore the logical volume home.
    6. All sizes are approximate.
    7. My main distribution is Ubuntu


    1. Will this procedure allow me to extend /dev/sda4 whenever I want?
    2. Is it better to place the extended partition (distros) in sda4 (at the bottom of the disk) and the LVM partition before, in sda3? I guess not, that it is simpler to extend the LVM partition in the scheme I designed, but please correct me if I'm wrong.
    3. What is the best way to create the logical volumes in LVM? I heard something about contiguous and non-contiguous logical volumes.
    4. What is the best order of logical volumes I should follow or choose?

    My idea is to extend the home partition if I need so. So I didn't give the whole capacity to LVM in the beginning because it is hard to shrink, so I'll be giving it more capacity, extending it gradually if I see I need it.

    Any other ideas, advices or suggestions will be hugely appreciated too.

    Thank you

    PS: Sorry for possible mistakes, I hope I explained it all clearly.
    Last edited by tauro_kpo; 07-26-2012 at 10:44 PM. Reason: mistakes

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Virginia, USA
    If you're going to use lvm, make sure /boot is on a primary/extended partition, not inside a lv.
    I suggest the following
    /sda1 : swap
    /sda2 : /boot (OS1) 50M-100M (more if you plan on installing multiple kernels)
    /sda3 : /boot (OS2)
    /sda4 (extended)
    /sda5 : / (FreeBSD)
    /sda8 : volume_group1
    lv1 : / (OS1) 10g
    lv2 : / (OS2) 10g
    lv6 /share 100g (put files you want to share between distros here)
    lv7 /distros 100g

    As you suggested, leave the unused disk space unallocated. If you decide you need more space somewhere, create a new partition with however much disk space you need. If you need more space on a / on /share (I would leave /home as part of each / )
    That's how I would do it anyway, if I were doing what you're doing.

    Personally, I would just spin up VMs using KVM on my distro of choice.

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