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Alright, before I get to the meat of the problem, I'll say I don't have much experience with linux at all. I am familiar with Windows, and have has a ...
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  1. #1
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    Muktiboot + Partitioning


    Alright, before I get to the meat of the problem, I'll say I don't have much experience with linux at all. I am familiar with Windows, and have has a little exposure to Ubuntu, but not much. I'll try to keep it short but it's not something I'm particularly good at.

    Anyways, the world of open source has always intrigued me and I've decided to dive right in and multiboot linux on my laptop. I tried using Ubuntu before, Dual booting it onto my PC with windows XP but that didn't help me at all because in the end I never booted into Ubuntu. So I figure the only way to make myself learn linux is to go cold turky and throw windows in the trash.

    I've been doing a whole lot of reading these past few days, from distro's too console commands and I'm liking what I'm reading. So I basically set out a plan for what I was going to do.

    Main OS: Kubuntu
    Secondary OS: Arch
    Third OS: Backtrack
    Fourth OS: Gentoo

    The ideas behind these choices are that Kubuntu will be my main desktop OS, Arch and Gentoo will be used to learn linux and bt is there for its flexibility.

    I've been asking around some other places about witch distro's will REALLY teach you linux, and I the majority of responses seem to point to Arch and Gentoo.
    I've also read a lot about LFS, seems really fun and interesting but I think it's beyond my scope atm.

    So as I've been planning all of its stuff by downloading everything I need, I got stuck when I went looking for information about partitioning. Basically, what I'm looking for is a cut and dry description of how I should be partitioning my drive for what I'm trying to attempt. Many of the guides I've found give you a barebones look at what I should be doing but none of the ones I've found go into specifics.
    I think - from what I've been reading - is that I need 3 Primary Partitions, and 1 Logical. The first three will be used for the first OS while the rest of the OS' will be installed on the logical partitions. This is basically the level of depth the guides go into and has me literally teaming with questions about how to set this all up.
    Here are a few:

    What names should I be naming all these partitions? Also what Formats? Ext1, Ext2, Ext3, Ext4 Differences?
    What does each primary partition do exactly? What are their purposes? What are the relative sizes they need to be to successfully perform these jobs?
    How many partitions does a regular OS use/need and how do I configure this?
    How many logical partitions do I need? Do I need a root partition for each OS? What is a swap partition, do I need it, size and does it need to be primary?

    And there are plenty more.

    Because I'm not dual booting with windows, many of the guides I've found are not particularly helpful.
    http//)kubuntuguide<dot>org/Multiple_OS_Installation
    This one in particular has helped a lot but has confused me a lot also.
    One of the predominant things in this guide is the differences of GRUB Legacy and GRUB2. I kinda understand what I have do to get around it but it's pretty taxing on my brain because i don't understand everything 100%, just the basic idea.

    So that's pretty much the extent of my problem, I'm sure I've missed out some kind of crucial aspect so just ask me and I'll reply asap. Basically I'm in need of some help partitioning my HD. It's 360GB (See I knew I missed something) The laptop is an ASUS UL50V
    If there are any guides for partitioning that you think I might benefit from reading, those would be greatly appreciated also.

    Cheers, Strider

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer nujinini's Avatar
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    Hello & Welcome strider,

    Alright, before I get to the meat of the problem, I'll say I don't have much experience with linux at all. I am familiar with Windows, and have has a little exposure to Ubuntu, but not much. I'll try to keep it short but it's not something I'm particularly good at.


    Anyways, the world of open source has always intrigued me and I've decided to dive right in and multiboot linux on my laptop. I tried using Ubuntu before, Dual booting it onto my PC with windows XP but that didn't help me at all because in the end I never booted into Ubuntu. So I figure the only way to make myself learn linux is to go cold turky and throw windows in the trash.
    Good for you!

    I've been doing a whole lot of reading these past few days, from distro's too console commands and I'm liking what I'm reading. So I basically set out a plan for what I was going to do.

    Main OS: Kubuntu
    Secondary OS: Arch
    Third OS: Backtrack
    Fourth OS: Gentoo

    The ideas behind these choices are that Kubuntu will be my main desktop OS, Arch and Gentoo will be used to learn linux and bt is there for its flexibility.

    I've been asking around some other places about witch distro's will REALLY teach you linux, and I the majority of responses seem to point to Arch and Gentoo.
    I've also read a lot about LFS, seems really fun and interesting but I think it's beyond my scope atm.
    I would be keeping my distance from bleeding edge distros such as Arch, Gentoo etc. if I am just beginning to learn linux. But then again, this would be your call.

    So as I've been planning all of its stuff by downloading everything I need, I got stuck when I went looking for information about partitioning. Basically, what I'm looking for is a cut and dry description of how I should be partitioning my drive for what I'm trying to attempt. Many of the guides I've found give you a barebones look at what I should be doing but none of the ones I've found go into specifics.
    Ok...

    It would make your task simpler if you can partition your HD ahead of time.
    You can use "Gparted". Its a software that can help you partition your HD quite easily since it has a GUI and you just have to drag & click, so to speak as you decide on how to slice your HD.
    You can get a pendrive version of Parted Magic.
    Gparted is included in that package. Set BIOS to boot USB and off you go!

    I think - from what I've been reading - is that I need 3 Primary Partitions, and 1 Logical. The first three will be used for the first OS while the rest of the OS' will be installed on the logical partitions. This is basically the level of depth the guides go into and has me literally teaming with questions about how to set this all up.
    Yes you are correct, 3 Primary & 1 Extended Partiton. You can then partition your Extended Partition into several Logical partitions. I think up to more than 50 or was it 72?

    What names should I be naming all these partitions?
    Your system will automatically assign "names" to each partition. Example /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, and so on. If you mean "names" as in label, you can name them whatever you so wish.

    Also what Formats? Ext1, Ext2, Ext3, Ext4 Differences?
    As you install, there will be default settings of formats in the installer options. Basically, newer releases would go Ext3 or Ext4. Just stick with the default to start with.

    Differences? Mmmmm.... I have to google that again...sorry.

    What does each primary partition do exactly?
    I personally look at partitions like several different offices (partitions) in a big building (HD)
    Each office being able to function fully and independently from each other while sharing the same building (HD)

    What are their purposes?
    I partitioned mine so that I can have several OS and Storage Bins.
    I have 9 partitions in my HD. 6 different OS and 2 Storage Bins, 1 Swap partition. You can also partition your HD for example as 1 OS and 10 different Storage Bins. 1 each for a particular purpose. (multi-media, documents, pictures, videos etc) Really depends on you.

    What are the relative sizes they need to be to successfully perform these jobs?
    Sizes? Granting you will just install basics, IMHO, 8 to 12 G for a linux OS would be good already.


    How many partitions does a regular OS use/need and how do I configure this?
    Some have separate partitions for boot, home, etc. I partiton mine as /, and the rest as 1 partition

    How many logical partitions do I need?
    You can only have 1 Extended (not logical) and slice them into as many logical partitons as you need. As I said I think 70+? I have to google that one.

    Do I need a root partition for each OS?
    I mount all my OS in "/"

    What is a swap partition, do I need it, size and does it need to be primary?
    Swap.

    Can be primary can be logical. Its up to you.

    And there are plenty more.
    Go go go!
    Because I'm not dual booting with windows, many of the guides I've found are not particularly helpful.
    http//)kubuntuguide<dot>org/Multiple_OS_Installation
    This one in particular has helped a lot but has confused me a lot also.
    One of the predominant things in this guide is the differences of GRUB Legacy and GRUB2. I kinda understand what I have do to get around it but it's pretty taxing on my brain because i don't understand everything 100%, just the basic idea.
    Just do your installations first and when you face issues in grub, you can post them in the proper forums.

    Good day, mate!


    Here's an example of my HD partitions:
    Code:
    [root@localhost ~]# fdisk -l
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xc5e3f820
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *           1        1930    15502693+   7  HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda2            1931       15817   111547327+   5  Extended
    /dev/sda3           15818       29555   110350485    7  HPFS/NTFS
    /dev/sda4           29556       30401     6795495   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda5            9778       14512    38033856   83  Linux
    /dev/sda6            3836        5224    11157111   83  Linux
    /dev/sda7            5225        8475    26113626   83  Linux
    /dev/sda8           14513       15817    10481663+  83  Linux
    /dev/sda9            1931        3835    15301849+  83  Linux
    /dev/sda10           8476        9777    10458283+  83  Linux
    
    Partition table entries are not in disk order
    [root@localhost ~]#
    Last edited by nujinini; 07-27-2010 at 07:51 AM.
    nujinini
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    Wow, thanks for the quick reply. That's helped heaps.
    I will post more as I progress through the installs.
    One major thing that's bugging me is the GRUB issue.
    The guide I'm reading seems to suggest that installing Ubuntu 9.04 Server edition (Jaunty) first, and make sure GRUB legacy is installed in the MBR.
    Then when installing Kubuntu, you need to make sure it doesn't overwrite the MBR. Kubuntu 10.04 Desktop Does overwrite it, but I'm not sure if 10.04 server edition does though. Anyone got any info on this?
    Partition wise, I think I'm getting the idea of what I'm supposed to be doing, I'll give you a layout of what I'm planning.
    Feel free to let me know if I've missed something.

    1st Primary Partition: Root for Kubuntu OS Install - 20GB - ext4
    2nd Primary Partition: Boot Partition - 150MB - ext3
    3rd Primary Partition: Swap partition - 2GB - ext3
    4th Extended Partition:
    1st Logical: Root for Arch OS - 20GB - ext3
    2nd Logical: Root for Bt OS - 20GB - ext3
    3rd Logical: Root for Gentoo OS - 20GB - ext3
    4th Logical: Partition for home directory - ? - ? (Not sure what this would be used for)
    5th Logical: Partition for files - The rest - ext4

    So that's what I have so far. Some things I've been thinking about with this setup. Will each distro run fine on one partition? Or do I need more (2+ partitions for each distro?) Also, the guide indicates I should put my swap on a logical partition. But does not state a reason for this. I am guessing it would be to free a primary partition to be used for something else, but I'm wondering what exactly this "something else" would be.
    As soon as I know 100% what I'm doing, I'll begin by using GParted running off a USB and start partitioning the HD before I begin the installs.
    Cheers, Strider.

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    Ubuntu 9.0 uses Grub Legacy. Kubuntu 10.04 I believe uses Grub2. I know Ubuntu 10.04 uses Grub2 so I would expect that version of Kubuntu to use it also. The default on almost all distribution installations is to install Grub to the mbr. You will need to look for an Expert or Advanced tab to select to install Grub to root partition rather than mbr.

    I would put swap on a logical rather than a primary partition. Mostly personal preference and will work either way. Some non-linux systems can't boot from a non-primary partition or at least it is difficult to do.

    Will each distro run fine on one partition?
    Yes, is it's set up correctly.

    You do not need more than one partition for each distro. There are reasons for having more than one depending upon personal choice and the use of the computer.

    Here is a link to a Grub tutorial. It is Grub Legacy but there is a link to a Grub2 tutorial on the page.

    GRUB bootloader - Full tutorial

  6. #5
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    Code:
    1st Primary Partition: Root for Kubuntu OS Install - 20GB - ext4
    2nd Primary Partition: Boot Partition - 150MB - ext3
    3rd Primary Partition: Swap partition - 2GB - ext3
    4th Extended Partition:
    1st Logical: Root for Arch OS - 20GB - ext3
    2nd Logical: Root for Bt OS - 20GB - ext3
    3rd Logical: Root for Gentoo OS - 20GB - ext3
    4th Logical: Partition for home directory - ? - ? (Not sure what this would be used for)
    5th Logical: Partition for files - The rest - ext4
    This is how I might divide mine if I were to do it though.
    Code:
    1st Primary Partition: 20GB - ext4 - Kubuntu
    2nd Primary Partition: 150GB - ext3 - Storage Bin
    3rd Primary Partition: 20GB - ext3 Arch Linux
    
    Extended Partition:
    1st Logical Partition: 2GB -Swap- Swap
    2nd Logical Partition: 20GB- ext3- Gentoo
    3rd Logical Partition:  20GB - ext3 - BT
    4th Logical Partition: XXXGB - ext3 - Storage Bin (Encrypted)
    I am bent to agreeing with yancek in these.

    I would put swap on a logical rather than a primary partition.
    You do not need more than one partition for each distro.
    And also it would be good to study this link he gave. I will be definitely reading it too.

    Good luck!
    nujinini
    Linux User #489667

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    Code:
    1st Primary Partition: 20GB - ext4 - Kubuntu
    2nd Primary Partition: 150GB - ext3 - Storage Bin
    3rd Primary Partition: 20GB - ext3 Arch Linux
    
    Extended Partition:
    1st Logical Partition: 2GB -Swap- Swap
    2nd Logical Partition: 20GB- ext3- Gentoo
    3rd Logical Partition:  20GB - ext3 - BT
    4th Logical Partition: XXXGB - ext3 - Storage Bin (Encrypted)
    Ok, I can see how this would be better, though I'm not sure where I would store the grub files. (This is what the small 150MB partition was for.)
    Currently burning distro's to CD's.
    9.04 Server
    10.04 Server
    Arch
    Backtrack4
    Gparted
    Grub legacy

    This url is great, I'll try installing grub from cd after I've installed the OS' if they still don't work.

  8. #7
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    Ok, I can see how this would be better, though I'm not sure where I would store the grub files. (This is what the small 150MB partition was for.)
    Usually, the last OS that you installed would be taking care of grub. Meaning if you installed kubuntu last, then you by default would be using the kubuntu grub.

    Regarding the 150MB, I'm not sure if its really reserved for grub. Sometimes when I partition my HD there seems to be some few MBs that I failed to include in the partition. Quite an annoyance everytime I check my HD and see some few MBs of unused partition. :rooleyes:

    By the way, can't help but notice your choices.

    9.04 Server
    10.04 Server
    Arch
    Backtrack4
    I would be having a nose bleed if I try these all together.

    Good luck!
    nujinini
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    Quote Originally Posted by nujinini View Post
    Usually, the last OS that you installed would be taking care of grub. Meaning if you installed kubuntu last, then you by default would be using the kubuntu grub.
    Good luck!
    Yeah, I decided to partition it without the 150MB partition. I'll see what happens. I'm beginning to think GRUB might be a problem. I created a Super GRUB Disc 0.9799 with GRUB Legacy on it so I can overwrite the GRUB if it gets overwritten automatically from the Kubuntu install. I'll see how I go.

    Also, I forgot Gentoo. XD
    Server 9.04 is just a temporary one to get the computer running and the GRUB installed, it will be overwritten with 10.04 and I'll install KDE over the top of it as well.

    Just starting the installs now. First one is 9.04 Ubuntu Server.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    How much RAM do you have?
    There is no need of 150MB partition for /boot unless you are using LVM.

    I won't suggest you to install both 9.04 and 10.04 versions. Just install latest version only. It will be waste of space if you install both versions.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

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    Really? I've got 4096 MB of DDR2 800 MHz Ram.
    The only thing is I'm not sure where I would install the GRUB files for it to chainload if I didn't include a small partition for it. If I knew more I think it would be easier.
    I've got no idea what LVM is, though I'm googling it.
    Edit: Also many of the guides I'm reading suggest using a separate partition. I would post some links but I'm restricted at the moment.

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