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Thread: Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

  1. #1
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    Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

    Hello all,

    My old laptop PC is functional, but in need of repair (2 keys on the keyboard no longer work & it has only 4GB of RAM). Fortunately I was given a "new" (for me) 5 year old PC by a relative. I am presently dual booting Windows 10 and Lubuntu 22.04 LTS on the "new" (for me) PC. I installed the Lubuntu during a USB Lubuntu liveboot next to the "native" Windows 10. And I sized the respective partitions (using the Lubuntu installer at the beginning of the installation process). I have about a 150GB partition for Windows 10 and about 330 GB partition for Lubuntu. The hard drive is 500GB total capacity. See the attached screenshot below showing the partitions in the KDE Partition Manager
    (that came with Lubuntu). I have 8GB of RAM; I hope to add another 8GB of RAM (for a total of 16GB of RAM) in the next few weeks.

    It's been about 7-10 days since I installed the Lubuntu and I pretty much have gotten it the point where I want to use the "new" (for me) PC instead of the old PC laptop (that needs repair). I want to
    experiment for a period of time by adding Windows 10 as a Virtual Machine with Lubuntu as the host. I may also increase the size of the Lubuntu partition and decrease the size of the Windows partition by a corresponding amount. And if the experimentation seems to work well, I will likely pursue one of two courses of action. First course: increase the Lubuntu partition to it's maximum size and delete the Windows partition. I tentatively plan to resize partitions using the Lubuntu KDE Partition Manager. Second course: do a fresh install of Lubuntu and eliminate Windows 10 (either before or during the Lubuntu install).

    I am not sure
    which of these two courses is the best/wisest -- I am concerned that resizing or deleting partitions could be problematic. Perhaps there also is another approach I should consider.

    QUESTION(S):
    Should I eventually: 1) do the first course: change current dual boot partitions or 2) do the second course: do a fresh reinstall Lubuntu with elimination of Windows on the hard drive with the addition of Windows as a VM?

    Or is there another course of action I should consider?

    As always, thank you,

    A.

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    Last edited by AbleTassie; June 22nd, 2023 at 05:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

    If you intend to keep windows, it is best to shrink the windows partition from the windows Disk Management tool and after that reboot and run chkdsk.
    To resize Lubuntu, you need the install usb as you cannot resize a Linux partition while it is mounted.
    As far as which method to use, deleting windows or not is a personal choice. I still have windows on the laptop I use although I boot it maybe twice a year.

  3. #3
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    Re: Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

    Can't answer, since what you intend to do with each OS isn't laid out nor is the hardware listed. Use inxi -bz to provide an overview of the hardware on the system. If the passmarks are over 4000, I wouldn't worry about running a VM for Win10 using 3GB of RAM for it. I'd probably allocate 40-65G of storage for Windows, if it is used for just a few things, like taxes and accounting.

    16GB is fine, but so is 8GB. RAM is the easiest thing to change in a VM. No reinstall needed.

    If the system doesn't have an SSD for the boot, I'd look at replacing that before adding more RAM. It will likely matter more for speed. I saw a 1TB Samsung 980 NVMe SSD for US$45 and a 1TB Samsung 870 2.5in SATA SSD for $50 yesterday. Both had free shipping. Don't know the conversion to AUD or availability there. Quality SSDs are getting cheap. I paid $70 for a 980 a month ago, so I'm a little unhappy.

    Use the current HDD for backups, if you don't already have a backup solution.

    If you don't plan on video editing in MS-Windows, then I'd definitely move to a VM. You'll need to deal with the license key. I don't know how to handle that, since my newest MS-Windows is win7 still and they used keys, not something embedded into the laptop BIOS.

    I'd also use LVM for disk management, not straight partitions. Regardless, I'd never allocate the / partition to be over 35G in size. I'd setup /home, /var to be separate. Doesn't matter if this is partitions or LVM LVs. Keeping the OS and data separate is an important idea worth following, unless this entire system is just a toy/play system. Then do whatever you like.

    Of course, only you know your situation.
    Last edited by TheFu; June 23rd, 2023 at 03:00 AM. Reason: s/all/allocate/

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    Re: Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

    +1 -- (To TheFu's recommendation)

    The question is very open ended and wide-scoped. I do Multi-Boot and have for a decade and a half. Though I wonder lately why. About the only reason I boot Windows anymore, is to apply updates.

    I used to keep Windows there so I could support my Windows Customers and for Gaming on native hardware. I don't have time to Game much these days. (Dang.)

    My daily driver is still Ubuntu Linux, or Ubuntu Linux based.

    "Concurrent coexistence of Windows, Linux and UNIX..." || Ubuntu user # 33563, Linux user # 533637
    Sticky: Graphics Resolution | UbuntuForums 'system-info' Script | Posting Guidelines | Code Tags

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    Re: Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

    Quote Originally Posted by yancek View Post
    ... To resize Lubuntu, you need the install usb as you cannot resize a Linux partition while it is mounted.
    Thanks Yancek, just to clarify: to resize the Lubuntu partition on the hard drive, I would need to do a liveboot using a usb and then use a tool like the Lubuntu KDE partition manager on the liveboot usb to resize the Lubuntu hard drive partition, correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    Can't answer, since what you intend to do with each OS isn't laid out nor is the hardware listed. Use inxi -bz to provide an overview of the hardware on the system. If the passmarks are over 4000, I wouldn't worry about running a VM for Win10 using 3GB of RAM for it. I'd probably allocate 40-65G of storage for Windows, if it is used for just a few things, like taxes and accounting.
    Thanks Fu, the 500 GB hard drive is an SSD; here is hardware info: Output from inxi - bz terminal command:
    System:
    Kernel: 5.19.0-45-generic x86_64 bits: 64 Desktop: LXQt 0.17.1
    Distro: Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish)
    Machine:
    Type: Laptop System: ASUSTeK product: X556UQ v: 1.0
    serial: <superuser required>
    Mobo: ASUSTeK model: X556UQ v: 1.0 serial: <superuser required>
    UEFI: American Megatrends v: X556UQ.316 date: 04/16/2019
    Battery:
    ID-1: BAT0 charge: 19.9 Wh (98.5%) condition: 20.2/38.0 Wh (53.1%)
    volts: 7.6 min: 7.6
    CPU:
    Info: dual core Intel Core i7-6500U [MT MCP] speed (MHz): avg: 2466
    min/max: 400/3100
    Graphics:
    Device-1: Intel Skylake GT2 [HD Graphics 520] driver: i915 v: kernel
    Device-2: NVIDIA GM108M [GeForce 940MX] driver: nouveau v: kernel
    Device-3: Chicony USB2.0 VGA UVC WebCam type: USB driver: uvcvideo
    Display: x11 server: X.Org v: 1.21.1.4 driver: X: loaded: modesetting
    unloaded: fbdev,vesa gpu: i915 resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz
    OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel HD Graphics 520 (SKL GT2)
    v: 4.6 Mesa 22.2.5-0ubuntu0.1~22.04.3
    Network:
    Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet
    driver: r8169
    Device-2: Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 802.11ac Wireless Network Adapter
    driver: ath10k_pci
    Drives:
    Local Storage: total: 476.94 GiB used: 20.1 GiB (4.2%)
    Info:
    Processes: 204 Uptime: 16m Memory: 7.62 GiB used: 2.36 GiB (30.9%)
    Shell: Bash inxi: 3.3.13

    As always, thanks for the advice Fu, MAFoElfeen and Yancek.

    Any more comments or advice from the three of you (Yancek, Fu or MAFoElfeen) or anybody else will be welcomed.


    Thanks,

    A.
    Last edited by AbleTassie; June 22nd, 2023 at 11:31 PM.

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    Re: Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

    Using a partition manger can be scary. Especially when you first see the warnings about loss of data. I have resized/moved/deleted/created partitions many time over the years. No failures so far. When resizing partitions it is good not to be too confident. Double check your decisions.

    The partition manager will let you queue several actions to be run one after the other. This will often take many minutes. Which can be nerve racking. I prefer to complete one action at a time. I am less nervous doing that.

    As stated above, use Windows tools to alter Windows partitions and defrag before and after.

    Regards
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
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    Re: Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

    My primary PC died late last year (a 2009 dell) & I finally got a new box to replace it earlier this year (a second hand/refurbished 2017 dell). Whilst at the swap meet I also purchased a number of other newer (second hand) boxes too.

    My new primary PC came with windows 11, the other 4 came with w10, all were resized using Lubuntu installs (they each now have a non-LTS & LTS installed in dual boot now along with original windows; resizing being done by `calamares` installer but it's the equivalent of booting a 'live' system & using KDE Partition Manager to resize what I assume was NTFS windows partitions), with 4 of the 5 booting windows exactly as expected afterwards.. Alas one doesn't boot windows anymore , which was no loss for me (except I couldn't PASS the QA-test!) thus maybe emphasizing the warning already provided that its best to use windows tools to resize windows partitions already mentioned by @yancek & others... FYI: No data on the partition was lost; the few files I added for validation purposes were all there untouched, but windows failed to boot on 1 of the 5 boxes & needed fixing.


    Myself, if I needed to resize a partition, I may actually boot a non-Lubuntu/Kubuntu/Ubuntu-Studio ISO (ie. Ubuntu Desktop, Xubuntu, Ubuntu-MATE etc) & use `gparted`. The main reason I'll do that is I'm more familiar with `gparted` then KDE Partition Manager and thus have a higher confidence I'll not make a mess with it (I QA-test with KDE Partition Manager for sure, but I've had a higher failure rate with it on some older boxes than `gparted` too). If I only had a Lubuntu thumb-drive handy; I'd just use that; but may `apt install gparted` & use that on Lubuntu over KDE Partition Manager. In 99% of cases KDE Partition Manager & Gparted are equal; but for maybe 1% I've had more success with gparted.

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    Re: Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    I'd also use LVM for disk management, not straight partitions. Regardless, I'd never allocate the / partition to be over 35G in size. I'd setup /home, /var to be separate. Doesn't matter if this is partitions or LVM LVs. Keeping the OS and data separate is an important idea worth following, unless this entire system is just a toy/play system. Then do whatever you like. Of course, only you know your situation.
    Hi Fu and others,

    Thanks for bringing LVM disk management to my attention. I was not aware of it. And I have spent some time studying it and it certainly appears to be a very powerful tool compared to storing data on partitions that are limited to a physical device. Here are some of the things I have studied on LVM disk management:
    An Introduction to LVM Concepts, Terminology, and Operations
    at
    https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/an-introduction-to-lvm-concepts-terminology-and-operations
    and

    How To Use LVM To Manage Storage Devices on Ubuntu 18.04
    at
    https://www.digitalocean.com/communi...n-ubuntu-18-04 and

    Lvm (Ubuntu Wiki) at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Lvm

    There are also youtube videos. Any other suggestions of sources of instruction for a beginner (who just wants to use LVM on a simple laptop, not a server) would be appreciated.

    QUESTION: I am thinking that since LVM can be modified on the fly, I may be able to set up my LVM with my current Lubuntu/Windows 10 dual boot, rather than wipe out the Lubuntu and Windows > then set up my LVM > then install Lubuntu and Windows. Is this correct?

    If this is correct, do you (or others) have any suggestions as to how to do this without screwing up my present dual boot?

    Thanks again,

    A.

  9. #9
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    Re: Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

    Quote Originally Posted by AbleTassie View Post
    [/B][/U]QUESTION: I am thinking that since LVM can be modified on the fly, I may be able to set up my LVM with my current Lubuntu/Windows 10 dual boot, rather than wipe out the Lubuntu and Windows > then set up my LVM > then install Lubuntu and Windows. Is this correct?

    If this is correct, do you (or others) have any suggestions as to how to do this without screwing up my present dual boot?
    I don't dual boot and haven't in over a decade. I put MS-Windows into a VM.

    I think laptops need to be encrypted. All portable devices do and doing encryption for multiple booting OSes is just too much hassle for me. So, on a laptop, I simply check the "Encrypt + LVM" checkbox and let the installer do its thing (wiping the storage completely is step 1).

    Post-install, I boot from the live-boot-installer, mount the LUKS partition, then lvreduce the "root" LV, add a "home" LV, add a "var" LV and mount those where needed, carefully moving over any files that were placed on /var and /home during the install. I'll delete the "swap" LV and create a new "swap01" LV of the size I want (always 4.1GB for non-servers), and finally, I'll fix the fstab for the installed area to mount these LVs using /dev/{vgname}/{lvname} links.

    Here's the last df -Th output from the last time I booted the laptop with all the junk removed (loop and fake storage items). It has been over a year now.
    Code:
    Filesystem                       Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root       25G   19G  4.3G  82% /
    /dev/sda2                              721M  261M  424M  39% /boot
    /dev/sda1                              511M  4.5M  507M   1% /boot/efi
    /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-stuff      99G   65G   30G  69% /stuff
    /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-home--lv   74G   23G   48G  33% /home
    That storage on the laptop was setup in 2018, so I've changed how I do it. As part of my backups, I capture some storage information. Back then, I'd dump lvdisplay to a file. The egrep 'LV Path|LV Size' lvdisplay.txt important things:
    Code:
      LV Path                /dev/ubuntu-vg/root
      LV Size                25.00 GiB
      LV Path                /dev/ubuntu-vg/swap_1
      LV Size                <4.46 GiB
      LV Path                /dev/ubuntu-vg/home-lv
      LV Size                75.00 GiB
      LV Path                /dev/ubuntu-vg/stuff
      LV Size                100.00 GiB
    The storage in that system is a 500G SATA SSD. As you can see, I've allocated less than 50% and I'm using about 50% of that. "stuff" is an area that doesn't get backed up. It is for temporary workspace. For me, a laptop is never a trusted system. It can be wiped without any real data loss expected. Important data is kept elsewhere, unless it is being actively worked.

    lvreduce is a hassle and dangerous, so it is best handled immediately after install when the risks for data loss are smallest. I think I have a diagram showing this ... see attached.
    Hope this helps.

    As for MS-Windows, run that in a virtual machine. I run it on a VM on a Ryzen system not on a laptop. Remote access using SPICE into the Windows VM is easy to setup. SPICE makes remote access nearly as fast as local access and only works for KVM-based VMs. Most of the time, I'll use an LV for the storage of each VM, but I don't do that with MS-Windows. My Windows VM is from 2008-ish, so migrating it from file-based storage has some risks. OTOH, I've migrated it from system to system 3+ times and not needed to 'reactivate' it thanks to KVM virtualization.

    With Linux, the migration between systems is nearly risk free, assuming you have good backups. No license validation needed or license tracking for paid software. That is very freeing.

    Anyway, I don't have the best advice for someone who feels dual booting is a good idea.
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    Re: Change current dual boot partitions or fresh reinstall Lubuntu with Windows VM?

    The good news is that LVM is LVM regardless of distro. The core commands used are the same to create, resize, move, change across all distros for at least the last 20 yrs. A few options have been added, like for LVM-RAID, but most people wouldn't use that.

    In a single disk setup, LVM is pretty simple.

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