Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    England / U.S.
    Beans
    277
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

    Hi, So out of bordom I thought I'd see how to take advantage of having a separate /boot partition using an old laptop for experimentations. I know many will say don't bother but please, let's accept I want one.
    Set up so far:



    Whilst I have allocated some partitions for other Linux OS's they're not all installed yet. I tried to install Lubuntu but messed up somewhere to do with how to deal with /boot during install. Lubuntu grub wouldn't see Ubuntu. Recreated /boot using a backup image and now boot into Ubuntu but now grub can't see Lubuntu.

    So, question: When I install other OS's, what is the proper way of dealing with the /boot partition? SHould I always mark it as /boot and format it with each install (I did this before and caused errors)?

    Sorry for being so long-winded.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Mr_JMM; November 13th, 2012 at 06:50 PM. Reason: image, spelling
    Linux is not windows // Ubuntu (Quantal:12.10) Guide
    Use descriptive thread titles // Linux... is... not... windows // OSX... is... not... Linux

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    England / U.S.
    Beans
    277
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

    Bump.

    Additional: Each time I install a new distro it replaces grub. All other distro's are missing from the grub menu and all attempts to update grub fail.
    Linux is not windows // Ubuntu (Quantal:12.10) Guide
    Use descriptive thread titles // Linux... is... not... windows // OSX... is... not... Linux

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    INDY
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

    So it appears that each installation is replacing all the files in /boot with it's own.
    Thus os-prober is unable to find any other /boot files for other installations.

    I presume that the use of a universal /boot directory is not possible for a multiboot system.
    I do not know for sure but it seems logical.
    There may be other ways to configure this but by default each install would write its own files to /boot.

    I know; not much help.
    Castles Made of Sand,
    Fall in the Sea,
    Eventually!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    England / U.S.
    Beans
    277
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

    Odd as from what I've read, a shared boot is ideal when there's multiple distros. I'm guessing there is something I am doing wrong when I install each distro - marking the boot partition and formatting it.

    So I guess what I need to know is: Now that I've installed all four OS's, how do I get grub to see the two missing Linux distros? All it see are the newest Linux and Windows Vista.
    Updating grub via a live CD doesn't work, in that it never picks up the other distros.

    Alternatively, I'd like to know how I should install the three linux distros (if I delete them and start again) so that the /boot partition idea works as expected.

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by Mr_JMM; November 14th, 2012 at 05:46 PM.
    Linux is not windows // Ubuntu (Quantal:12.10) Guide
    Use descriptive thread titles // Linux... is... not... windows // OSX... is... not... Linux

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    INDY
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

    I have seen that too but there seems to be issues:
    http://www.googlubuntu.com/results/?...lubuntu.com%2F

    Edit:
    If you are formatting the /boot part. on each install, then there are no files related to the previous installs for os-prober to find.
    I would think the other installs would be unbootable without their /boot files. there must be a way as I too have seen this advised, but I don't know as I have never tried.
    Last edited by arpanaut; November 14th, 2012 at 06:01 PM. Reason: added after link.
    Castles Made of Sand,
    Fall in the Sea,
    Eventually!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    England / U.S.
    Beans
    277
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

    Thanks for that link. Seems that grub2 may not play nicely with a separate boot.
    Also, I see your point about overwriting boot each time. I just figured that grub would find the other distros just as it would if each distro had it's own boot file.

    Unless anyone can correct me on the above thoughts I guess I'll either have to learn to edit grub custom files or remove the separate boot. Or go back to grub 1... Dang.
    Linux is not windows // Ubuntu (Quantal:12.10) Guide
    Use descriptive thread titles // Linux... is... not... windows // OSX... is... not... Linux

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

    I have never seen anyone say a shared /boot should work. And several that have posted who tried all failed. The only place now that you do have a shared boot is with UEFI, but that is totally different.

    You can have a shared grub partition, but that does not have any system kernel files, just grub. That worked better with grub legacy as you could install grub to a PBR - partition boot sector and chain load each install. I used that with grub legacy and at first did not like grub2 as chain loading did not really work with grub2.

    But with grub2 you can have the one install you primarily boot in charge and with a sudo update-grub add in all the other installs. But updates in each install required updates to main install also. Often better to manage other installs yourself and manually edit grub2's 40_custom and turn off os-prober.

    How to: Create a Customized GRUB2 Screen that is Maintenance Free.- Cavsfan
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ma...tomGrub2Screen
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    England / U.S.
    Beans
    277
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

    Hi Oldfred,
    Thanks for the info.
    It does seem like I'm making hard work for myself, it was just something I saw and thought I'd give it a try.
    Could you help me out then with one last thing then so that I can go back to a more standard install? If I installed Ubuntu first but want it to remain the "boss" of grub, can I just update grub from the Ubunti live CD (DVD) after all other distros are installed? alternatively, is there a way I can achieve this during the install of other distros so that they don't take over grub?

    Many thanks again.
    Linux is not windows // Ubuntu (Quantal:12.10) Guide
    Use descriptive thread titles // Linux... is... not... windows // OSX... is... not... Linux

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Eugene, OR, US
    Beans
    20

    Re: Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

    Cool idea, I am working on a similar configuration on my home machine, five partitions on a 1 TB disk, five operating systems.

    If you are using a common /boot partition among different distro installations, you definitely do not want to reformat it with each install. If you do so, then all previously installed kernel files will be gone.

    A problem I can see in trying to implement your scheme is that each distro does not identify these kernel files (vmlinuz, initrd, System.map) uniquely. Note the following naming:
    Code:
    RHEL:
    config-2.6.18-308.16.1.el5
    initrd-2.6.18-308.16.1.el5.img
    symvers-2.6.18-308.16.1.el5.gz
    System.map-2.6.18-308.16.1.el5
    vmlinuz-2.6.18-308.16.1.el5
    
    Mint:
    abi-3.2.0-23-generic
    config-3.2.0-23-generic
    initrd.img-3.2.0-23-generic
    System.map-3.2.0-23-generic
    vmlinuz-3.2.0-23-generic
    
    Debian:
    config-2.6.32-5-amd64
    initrd.img-2.6.32-5-amd64
    System.map-2.6.32-5-amd64
    vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-amd64
    There is no guarantee that you will not run into naming conflicts between distributions. Analyzing the contents of /boot would be quite a task. Organizing using a directory heirarchy would be the way I would go, but then you are looking at manually maintaining each entry in grub.cfg so that it refers to the correct sub-directory for each distro. But, this would break aptitude (Update Manager for you GUI people) updates to the kernel.

    It would seem that each distro assumes that it has exclusive control over /boot.

    I admire the idea of having a shared /boot, it is do-able with some effort, though it may be easier to make sure you have a shared grub configuration instead.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    England / U.S.
    Beans
    277
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Quad Boot OS with separate boot partition

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck_theobald View Post
    Cool idea, I am working on a similar configuration on my home machine, five partitions on a 1 TB disk, five operating systems.
    Glad I'm not the only one. I just figure if you want to try out other distros or have a backup version then why not use multiple partitions rather than mess about with VM's.
    I personally like to have a duplicate of the main distro for testing, especially upgrades, Lubuntu for when I want a fast OS or run intensive software like Skype on an older system and I like to try out alternatives.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck_theobald View Post
    There is no guarantee that you will not run into naming conflicts between distributions. Analyzing the contents of /boot would be quite a task. Organizing using a directory heirarchy would be the way I would go, but then you are looking at manually maintaining each entry in grub.cfg so that it refers to the correct sub-directory for each distro. But, this would break aptitude (Update Manager for you GUI people) updates to the kernel.

    It would seem that each distro assumes that it has exclusive control over /boot.
    I didn't think of that, it's a good point. The more I read about shared boot with grub2 the more I wonder if it's an old idea that no longer serves a purpose / is a usable idea. But then, it is STILL recommended for server distros. But I guess the hassle of maintenance is less of an issue in that environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck_theobald View Post
    I admire the idea of having a shared /boot, it is do-able with some effort, though it may be easier to make sure you have a shared grub configuration instead.
    As you say, it is a lot of hassle and I the main reason for trying it, apart from learning for when I set up a server environment was to simply upgrades / installs etc and it seems that this isn't going to be the case. I think I'll undo it all and reinstall the OS's using their own internal boot directory. I'll keep the partition though for future use should things change.
    Thanks again for your comments.
    Linux is not windows // Ubuntu (Quantal:12.10) Guide
    Use descriptive thread titles // Linux... is... not... windows // OSX... is... not... Linux

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •