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Thread: Yuck, partition soup...

  1. #11
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    Re: Yuck, partition soup...

    Couldn't I just boot from CD and use GParted to remove the partition and move everything else "to the left"?
    I'm not booting from it so it's not doing anything, right?
    I don't think you'll be able to move the entire extended partition to the left.

    Yea, I read about that when first getting set up with Ubuntu. Can't remember why I didn't. Think I read somewhere that separating out the data means your drive head has to run about more and wears it down slightly quicker or something. Also, might it complicate things if I have 32bit distros alongside 64bit ones? (my laptop can convincingly emulate 64bit apparently, good for testing during development)
    I don't know anything about wearing your hdd down quicker.
    Yes, if you are using more than one distro, you don't want a /home for each of them. There are other ways to do that. However, the advantages of having a /home for your main distro are very nice.

    I wouldn't worry too much about grub, it's a matter of 2 commands to reinstall or move. Sometimes only one command.

    So, say you have two copies of Ubuntu installed side by side. Every time you do a kernel update the boot menu appears to be reordered, putting the latest installed kernel at the top. Does that mean that as part of the process of updating the kernel grub is moved to the updating partition?
    If I understand you correctly, the answer to that is yes. For example, just about everyday when I update Natty on Ubuntu & Kubuntu, I have to reinstall grub2 to the system I want it on, but Natty gets a lot of updates right now, and the version of grub it uses is technically 1.99 as opposed to 1.98.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Yuck, partition soup...

    I do not know for sure, but if you have a large system partition then the drive heads have to search all over the drive for the most used system files. Smaller system partitions avoid that issue. Data typically is loaded one or two files at a time so having data all over drive is less wear.

    We have seen 1 or 2TB drives with only a root partition and then with grub located near the end of the drive.
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  3. #13
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    Re: Yuck, partition soup...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch70 View Post
    Removing the old kernels by going to synaptic & search for "linux-image-2" and mark the old ones for complete removal.
    Did that, apart from the previous two. Looking a lot neater now.

    I got the 2.6.32.31 update this morning, on my main install (/dev/sda8 ). I was expecting it to do what it used to do - "take over" grub and put itself at the top of the boot menu. But oddly, this time, it didn't - I had to boot /dev/sda6 and update-grub there, as oldfred mentioned. I've been using only one install since last last summer, I guess the update to grub2 must have happened since then and I just didn't notice grub no longer did that taking-over thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch70 View Post
    To move Grub2 to sda8, run this command.
    Code:
    sudo grub-install /dev/sda8
    Here is the link for that, you may want to look over it.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2#Changing%20or%20Moving%20GRUB%202
    I read over the documentation there. I'm sure it's safe to do, as you said you do it almost every day, but y'know, warnings in allcaps are worrying.

    The warning (as you'll know) says that I'm asking grub to be installed to a partition rather than the MBR. Is there a way to install it "properly" to the MBR, or just update the MBR to look to /dev/sda8 rather than /dev/sda6?

    e.g., The instructions for Reinstalling Grub, Method 2 on the Grub2 help page you linked show an example of using grub-setup, as opposed to grub-install, and says that the former command installs what's needed to the MBR as well as files to the partition. Might I be able to use it for my purposes? (with different arguments since I wouldn't be using a live cd, naturally)

    What's weird is I read somewhere in the past half-hour that it grub-install can invoke grub-setup, so I would've thought grub-install would install to the MBR instead of throwing out threatening errors about installing to a partition...

  4. #14
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    Re: Yuck, partition soup...

    use startup-manager (system admin startup-manager) after installation from synaptic

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    Re: Yuck, partition soup...

    Quote Originally Posted by doubi View Post
    Did that, apart from the previous two. Looking a lot neater now.

    I got the 2.6.32.31 update this morning, on my main install (/dev/sda8 ). I was expecting it to do what it used to do - "take over" grub and put itself at the top of the boot menu. But oddly, this time, it didn't - I had to boot /dev/sda6 and update-grub there, as oldfred mentioned. I've been using only one install since last last summer, I guess the update to grub2 must have happened since then and I just didn't notice grub no longer did that taking-over thing.
    That's because you have grub installed to sda6, you're not using grub on sda8 according to your last boot script.

    I read over the documentation there. I'm sure it's safe to do, as you said you do it almost every day, but y'know, warnings in allcaps are worrying.

    The warning (as you'll know) says that I'm asking grub to be installed to a partition rather than the MBR. Is there a way to install it "properly" to the MBR, or just update the MBR to look to /dev/sda8 rather than /dev/sda6?

    e.g., The instructions for Reinstalling Grub, Method 2 on the Grub2 help page you linked show an example of using grub-setup, as opposed to grub-install, and says that the former command installs what's needed to the MBR as well as files to the partition. Might I be able to use it for my purposes? (with different arguments since I wouldn't be using a live cd, naturally)

    What's weird is I read somewhere in the past half-hour that it grub-install can invoke grub-setup, so I would've thought grub-install would install to the MBR instead of throwing out threatening errors about installing to a partition...
    Use the live cd/usb install method and you won't get that error. This is actually the way I normally do it, but I do it from a different install. For example, you could run these two commands from the system you have on sda6 or from the live cd/usb. I just ran these for the heck of it, and I got no warnings like that. (except mine is sda1)
    Code:
    sudo mount /dev/sda8 /mnt
    and...
    Code:
    sudo grub-install --root-directory=/mnt /dev/sda
    Here is the link for that, check it out to make sure I didn't make a mistake.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2#Reinstalling%20from%20LiveCD

    Edit: After looking at oldfred's post below, I just noticed the command I originally gave you had "sda8" instead of "sda". Probably from where I'm used to doing the one in the 1st command above, which is correct. Sorry about that, glad you heeded the warning.
    Thanks oldfred!
    Last edited by Dutch70; April 21st, 2011 at 05:27 PM.
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    Re: Yuck, partition soup...

    If you boot into your install on sda8, you can directly install grub to the MBR from there with one line.

    #reinstall from working (not liveCD) system - first find Ubuntu drive:
    sudo fdisk -l
    #if it's "/dev/sda" then just run:
    sudo grub-install /dev/sda
    #If that returns any errors run:
    sudo grub-install --recheck /dev/sda
    sudo update-grub

    This only applies if you have more than one drive:
    #to get grub to remember where to reinstall on updates:
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure grub-pc
    #Enter thru first pages,spacebar to choose/unchoose drive, enter to accept, do not choose partitions
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  7. #17
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    Talking Re: Yuck, partition soup...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch70 View Post
    Edit: After looking at oldfred's post below, I just noticed the command I originally gave you had "sda8" instead of "sda". Probably from where I'm used to doing the one in the 1st command above, which is correct. Sorry about that, glad you heeded the warning.
    Thanks oldfred!
    Aha! Silly me for not noticing the difference on the Grub2 page you linked.

    WELL, thanks to your and oldfred's advice I've finally got things looking a bit tidier

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch70 View Post
    I'm thinking that we could make it simpler by a) Getting rid of sda1, but I'm not sure how to do that.
    Turned out GParted was fine with that - booted from CD, unmounted everything inside the extended partition and I could extend it over where sda1 used to be no problem. Got rid of the extra swap and old kernels too, and grub is now installed to /sda7 - there wasn't even any confusion with /sda8 becoming /sda7 when I removed the /sda5 swap partition, thanks to the magic of UUIDs. Joy!

    The only thing left to do now really is try some themes 'n' such on the grub menu so when people see it it looks more attractive and friendly and less "Oooh that linux stuff looks scary"

    Many thanks for your help all!

  8. #18
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    Re: Yuck, partition soup...

    Nice work doubi!

    Just want to mention, now that you've gotten rid of the /boot partition, you've got room for another primary partition if you ever wanted to create one. You could cut it out of sda3 for example.

    Here's a good place to get ideas, and show your themes when you get it the way you like it.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1718689&page=44
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