Author Topic: Dual Boot Linux  (Read 5854 times)

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Offline TB-AV

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Dual Boot Linux
« on: February 15, 2014, 02:58:18 pm »
Is there a better way or a don't do it this way to multi-boot Linux?

The reason I ask is it seems some laptops come installed with an OEM windows and no media. Which -could- be a problem and something I may not have much control over. Especially if I bought something used.

Now let's say I have PC with OEM Win7 installed... Is there a danger, concern to install more OS's as a multi-boot situation. Is there a well known good third party app that handles this?

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Offline Majik

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2014, 09:07:32 pm »
Is there a better way or a don't do it this way to multi-boot Linux?

The reason I ask is it seems some laptops come installed with an OEM windows and no media. Which -could- be a problem and something I may not have much control over. Especially if I bought something used.

Now let's say I have PC with OEM Win7 installed... Is there a danger, concern to install more OS's as a multi-boot situation. Is there a well known good third party app that handles this?

Generally most desktop installers will, as part of their setup, give you the option of dual boot. Some (but not all) will resize the Windows partition for you (under your control), to give you room for a new Linux partition, but defrag it and back it up first!

Ideally if you have a second hard drive then use that as the install target.

These installers will then create a bootloader which includes a startup menu to select Linux or Windows.

The main complication is if you have a new PC with UEFI instead of BIOS.Most of the time it works fine with modern distros, the main problem being if you have a UEFI that has been keyed to Windows, and to Windows only.

The Microsoft requirement for such key restrictions, by the way, are that they should be able to be disabled in the UEFI menus (equivalent to BIOS menus) for Intel platforms. So worst case you should be able to disable it.

Most PCs originally sold with Windows 7 didn't have this, by the way, so the chances of it "just working" are pretty high.

Cheers,

Keith
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 09:22:26 pm »
Holy cow.... I've never even heard of UEFI....

I had assumed I would need to put it on same C:\ drive... good to know a new drive works too.

My main concern was ruining my MBR... that is provided that still exists.... no BIOS? damn.. I would have never guessed that.

I was always hardware guy... never got in the soft side too much... but damn they are making this stuff to the point even sticking hardware together is complicated.

I would .... almost .... risk doing a dual boot on my now running win7 box.... but not sure if I can convince myself or not....  ... I think I'm just going to get this other old pc running and try to multi-boot on it.

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Offline TheReplicant

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 06:10:57 pm »
I used to dual boot Windows with different distros for years. Have to say that since Win 7 came out I've not bothered with Linux so I'm not up to date.

Grub will do the dual boot just fine. Had a few problems in the past with Grub updates messing up and breaking the MBR but it's no biggie if you have a Windows CD. Pain in the xx--xx if it's a laptop with a pre-install and no CD though. Heard those dark days are gone now though.
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Offline Wishbone

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 06:45:19 pm »
Quote
Holy cow.... I've never even heard of UEFI....

I hadn't bothered to look into it either........... Until we got my niece a nice shiny new HP laptop with Windows 8 preinstalled and she asked me within a week to 'upgrade' it to Windows 7 for her. I stuck the Win 7 installation disc in, booted it up and it promptly stuck two fingers up at me. I had to make a bootable USB installation drive to kickstart it.

Interesting ........ but a little kick in the pants to remind me to at least try to keep abreast of current events  ;D

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 12:32:50 am »
I think I found someone to teach me Linux


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnSUX2otYos

His vids look pretty good to me.
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Offline Dan Graves

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 06:18:50 pm »
They are good, but keep in mind that his information is a bit dated here and there.
For instance, when he says that most serious administration is done from the command line, these days he'd be partially wrong, as many distro's will allow that sort of work through GUI's and even automated software.
But since the basics never change, it seems like a very good primer to me.
Hell, learning how to do things from the command line is a better start than learning it the GUI way and then learning how to do shell scripting, as GUI use induces lazyness.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2014, 12:02:56 am »
Yeah, I checked the date... You know it's funny in one of them he said he doesn't even like desktop distros, that he thinks Win7 is better...... and..... he said for beginner... don't get the Server distro, get the Desktop distro because it will be GUI and Server will be command prompt.

So I figure I have to take some with grain of salt..... but.... I can put that audio on listen to it while I do other stuff.... and his hand writing sucks about as bad as mine. so the way he repeats everything makes it pretty good to learn by.

=============================

Well I bit the bullet and bought a refurb laptop. Win8.... I -hope- I'm going to be able to download a win 8.1 upgrade DVD.... I think Wishbone hooked me up to a bunch of Win images... I need to find that link again.

I am really really hoping I can do a clean 8.1 + Linux Dual or Triple Boot... I wouldn't mind having that Kali distro available as well.

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Offline Majik

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2014, 11:06:45 am »
and..... he said for beginner... don't get the Server distro, get the Desktop distro because it will be GUI and Server will be command prompt.

There's an element of truth to that but, really, the only difference between a "desktop" and a "server" distro is which software is included at install time. In fact a lot of distros only come in one flavour and ask you what you want installed during the installation process, so you can create a Desktop machine, a server, or a hybrid. And you can always easily install stuff later if you want to change the purpose.

Cheers,

Keith
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Offline Majik

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 01:38:18 pm »
Regarding UEFI, here's an article which just popped onto my screen:

http://www.zdnet.com/seven-ways-to-set-up-multi-booting-with-windows-8-and-linux-7000026392/

Cheers,

Keith
Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2014, 03:36:32 pm »
Fantastic... I'll read that a little later. I don't know if this PC has BIOS or that UEFI. It's an ASUS. I hope I won't regret buying a refurb.. Not really something I normally do but I got a 500G drive 4G mem which is not great but should be more than enough for intended use. and 11.6" which is something I really wanted and just couldn't find cheap.

BTW... if I want to do three boots.

Win 8.1 - Will run one prog but any data I create will be off loaded or stored on USB if needed. then may run Reaper but again I won't keep any huge projects.

So I was seeing that for Linux I think you are supposed to set up a swap file area and then set up an install partition?

How would you you allocate partitions for this...

Special Part - this is usually a restore part that comes with it. I think it's usually like 10G max
Win Part - want this largest if possible 290G
Linux SolydK - Swap + OS = 100G 10G+90G  ???
Linux Kali - Swap + OS = 100G 10G + 90G ??

The 290G for Win8.1 is probably overkill... maybe 250 and give 20G more to each Linux? Can the Linux SWAP areas be shared? Doesn't all that stuff get over written or erased on shut down?

Also I'm not really seeing anyone using GRUB although I do recall using that years ago... So I'm just going with the most recent instructions i can find which seem to be working for people... and that seems to be whatever the OS is built to do.

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Offline Dan Graves

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2014, 03:55:01 pm »
You're not seeing mention of GRUB because it's so ingrained with most distro's people don't even bother mentioning it.
Any major Linux flavor install will install GRUB to manage OS bootup.
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2014, 04:05:50 pm »
Ah... ok,,, I thought maybe there was simply something else new going on..  Good... so if I hose the whole deal someone may be able to dig me out.

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Offline Majik

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 04:38:05 pm »
So I was seeing that for Linux I think you are supposed to set up a swap file area and then set up an install partition?

It's a swap partition, and at least a root partition. Most installers will prompt you to do this or give you a default arrangement based on this.

Warning: I'm going into detail here that you don't need to know, but that you might want to know:

The root partition is where "/" lives. Everything else is a "subdirectory". But, because, it's a Unix-like file tree you can, if you want, create other partitions and point other parts of the file tree at those partitions, as we have described before.

A common thing that a lot of people do with Linux is to create a separate partition for "/home". On linux (and other Unix) systems that are used as servers, it's also relatively common to split out the "/var" directory into it's own file system. There are advantages and disadvantages to these approaches. The primary disadvantage is you are pre-allocating space on the hard drive to a specific use. If it turns out you didn't get it right, then it can be tricky to change afterwards. In contrast, if you have a single "root" partition and nothing else, you won't run out of space until the entire disk fills up.

The advantages are:
  • If all the important data is confined to a specific partition, it's easier to back it up in isolation to the rest of the system. This is why "/home" is often made a separate partition, as this is where all your user-data is stored. You can, for instance, clone a partition containing the /home directory to an image file, or to a new hard drive using the "dd" command previously described
  • Similarly, if you want to upgrade or reinstall your system, you can do it without trashing your user data. You need to be careful during the installation phase, but I have gone through over a dozen complete reinstalls of Linux on my systems over the years, just making sure I don't mess with the /home partition during the reinstall, and the new system comes up with the user data intact (you have to recreate the user accounts)
  • In the /var case, the benefit of using the whole drive becomes a problem. If you fill up the root partition of a machine it will normally crash, or misbehave in some major way. The "/var" directory is where a lot of spool and log files are kept and, if these aren't carefully managed, they can easily eat up disk space and, ultimately cause the server to stop working. By keeping them in a separate partition, you constrain their ability to eat all of the disk space on the system

TBH these are mostly things you don't need to worry about the first time you install a Linux system. However, there is one other advantage to keeping "/home" in a separate partition that I will talk about below...

Quote
How would you you allocate partitions for this...

Special Part - this is usually a restore part that comes with it. I think it's usually like 10G max
Win Part - want this largest if possible 290G
Linux SolydK - Swap + OS = 100G 10G+90G  ???
Linux Kali - Swap + OS = 100G 10G + 90G ??

The 290G for Win8.1 is probably overkill... maybe 250 and give 20G more to each Linux? Can the Linux SWAP areas be shared? Doesn't all that stuff get over written or erased on shut down?

Here's where you can be clever on a triple boot system. By the way, I don't think any of the installers I have come across will specifically help you set up a triple boot system, but most will give you enough control to do it. You just need to be careful and have a plan.

I will ignore the first two partitions which you generally don't want to mess with (unless you choose to reduce the size).

Firstly, you are correct: Swap partition does get erased on restart. It can safely be shared between different Linux versions on a multi-boot machine.

But, if /home is on a separate partition, you can also share that between distros, so you have one place for user data which is the same regardless of which Linux you boot. You just need to configure the user accounts on both systems to be identical.

What I would do is something like this:
Swap (shared) 4G
SolydK root partition 20-50G**
Kali root partition 20-50G**
/home whatever is left over

** 20G is normally more than enough than most Linux distros (most can get away with 10G), but if you are intending on installing a lot of stuff then the extra space can be useful. I would consider 50G to be approaching overkill for a system that has /home on a separate partition.

When you run the installers, the first Linux distro should be used to create the partitions in this way, but leave the one destined to be the root partition of the other Linux as empty (don't associate it with a mount point).

When the second installer is run, use the existing empty partition as this Linux's root, set the swap as the shared swap and set the mountpoint for the "home" partition to "/home". Make sure you don't format the partition that the "/home" is on the second time around.

Cheers,

Keith
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Offline TB-AV

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Re: Dual Boot Linux
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2014, 05:16:55 pm »
I think I'm 90% with you.... I think you lost me on that last two paragraphs....


Ok... let's forget windows and say I take 250 for that...

So now I have 250G for Linux.

I'll go 25G for each distro. then I want what 10G SWAP? so that leaves me 190G for a shared /home between two distros.

/home will have my user names.  Let's say I make TB-Sol and TB-Kal.

So.... if all hell breaks looks I restore the distros no prob... and I make an image of /home and that saves all my data, all my settings, email, progs, etc...? So a restore would be.

Re-install Solyd, re-install Kali, write latest image of /home saved to some other drive to the partition for /home and I'm back to where I was?????

I suppose if I screw up the initial install I just wipe the partitions and start over until I get it right. I intend to make a notebook as to what I'm doing.

BTW:... 25G OS Part. .. any problem with expanding them later on if needed? I assume a good partition software exists? I would rather go small and have room for data.... Although I can always hang a drive on for data or a USB stick.


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