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ts1971
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:37 am    Post subject: Partition Question Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm in the process of installing Gentoo from the Rescue CD and I have a question about partitioning. The machine in question (a Thinkpad T430i) with a 500 GB HD. It came with Windows 7 preinstalled. There were three partitions, boot, a big partition with Windows 7 and third, small recovery partition. I used Parted to shrink the large partition from ~450GB to ~150GB with the intention that I would subsequently install two linux systems on the remaining ~300GB, using ~150GB for each system. Towards that end I also created an extended partition with the ~300 of disk. Was that reasonable? Here is a link to a photo of my table as it stands now according to the output of 'fdisk / p'

http://i1327.photobucket.com/albums/u672/ts1971/P1000298_zps6a5001f5.jpg

I'm now at the point in the gentoo installation where I have to create partitions and I'm not sure how to proceed with respect to the boot partition. Should I create a new boot partition and delete the existing one? I think that I know that I'm going to need to boot from grub which implies yes, but I"m not sure and I'm a little leery of deleting the existing boot partition. The installation handbook seems only to handle the case where the installation is on a clean disk which isn't generally the case, I wouldn't think. Am I maybe looking at the wrong place? I installed gentoo once three or four years ago and don't remember having these questions.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer what are probably silly questions.

-ts1971
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BillWho
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ts1971,

DO NOT delete any partitions. You can use the gparted gui application on the Rescue CD if you feel more comfortable :wink:

Your partitions are fine - you had to create an extended for additional logical partitions. This is what mine looks like:
Code:
Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x1ebac000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048      206847      102400   de  Dell Utility
/dev/sda2   *      206848    41166847    20480000    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3        41166848    97632303    28232728    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda4        97634304   976773119   439569408    5  Extended
/dev/sda5        97636352   135385087    18874368   83  Linux
/dev/sda6       135387136   177330175    20971520   83  Linux
/dev/sda7       177332224   215080959    18874368   83  Linux
/dev/sda8       215083008   252831743    18874368   83  Linux
/dev/sda9       252833792   277999615    12582912   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda10      278001664   976773119   349385728   83  Linux

It looks like you're good to go :wink:
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a note here: windows MAY not play well with Linux partition tools. You are best off using windows tools to shrink the windows partition rather than Linux ones. That is not to say that the Linux tools will not work. Its just that they are more likely to make windows unbootable.
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ts1971
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BillWho wrote:
ts1971,

DO NOT delete any partitions. You can use the gparted gui application on the Rescue CD if you feel more comfortable :wink:

Your partitions are fine - you had to create an extended for additional logical partitions. This is what mine looks like:
Code:
Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x1ebac000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048      206847      102400   de  Dell Utility
/dev/sda2   *      206848    41166847    20480000    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3        41166848    97632303    28232728    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda4        97634304   976773119   439569408    5  Extended
/dev/sda5        97636352   135385087    18874368   83  Linux
/dev/sda6       135387136   177330175    20971520   83  Linux
/dev/sda7       177332224   215080959    18874368   83  Linux
/dev/sda8       215083008   252831743    18874368   83  Linux
/dev/sda9       252833792   277999615    12582912   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda10      278001664   976773119   349385728   83  Linux

It looks like you're good to go :wink:


Thanks Bill. So does grub get installed on the NTFS partition?
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ts1971
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
a note here: windows MAY not play well with Linux partition tools. You are best off using windows tools to shrink the windows partition rather than Linux ones. That is not to say that the Linux tools will not work. Its just that they are more likely to make windows unbootable.


Hello. While that's generally speaking great advice I'm sure, the issue I had was that the partition tool native to Windows 7, has the seemingly arbitrary restriction that it doesn't allow one to shrink a partition to less than half of it's current size. Since I wanted to go from 450GB to 150GB that wouldn't have worked for me. It occurs to me as I type this that maybe I could have shrunk it and than shrunk it again, and merged the what was left. I don't know if that would have worked or not.

-ts1971
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ts1971 wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
a note here: windows MAY not play well with Linux partition tools. You are best off using windows tools to shrink the windows partition rather than Linux ones. That is not to say that the Linux tools will not work. Its just that they are more likely to make windows unbootable.


Hello. While that's generally speaking great advice I'm sure, the issue I had was that the partition tool native to Windows 7, has the seemingly arbitrary restriction that it doesn't allow one to shrink a partition to less than half of it's current size. Since I wanted to go from 450GB to 150GB that wouldn't have worked for me. It occurs to me as I type this that maybe I could have shrunk it and than shrunk it again, and merged the what was left. I don't know if that would have worked or not.

-ts1971


Its not quite arbitrary. Windows is protecting the system restore points and swap. If you turn them off it will let you claim more disk space. <insert your own "poorly designed" joke here.>
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Doctor wrote:
ts1971 wrote:
The Doctor wrote:
a note here: windows MAY not play well with Linux partition tools. You are best off using windows tools to shrink the windows partition rather than Linux ones. That is not to say that the Linux tools will not work. Its just that they are more likely to make windows unbootable.


Hello. While that's generally speaking great advice I'm sure, the issue I had was that the partition tool native to Windows 7, has the seemingly arbitrary restriction that it doesn't allow one to shrink a partition to less than half of it's current size. Since I wanted to go from 450GB to 150GB that wouldn't have worked for me. It occurs to me as I type this that maybe I could have shrunk it and than shrunk it again, and merged the what was left. I don't know if that would have worked or not.

-ts1971


Its not quite arbitrary. Windows is protecting the system restore points and swap. If you turn them off it will let you claim more disk space. <insert your own "poorly designed" joke here.>


Ah, ok. I would never have guessed that. I'm considering just blowing it away altogether since I bought this laptop primarily to learn linux. But I don't know ....

-ts1971
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BillWho
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ts1971 wrote:
Thanks Bill. So does grub get installed on the NTFS partition?

Nope, it will install to your gentoo system if you decide to use a separate boot partition or not.

ts1971 wrote:
Hello. While that's generally speaking great advice I'm sure, the issue I had was that the partition tool native to Windows 7, has the seemingly arbitrary restriction that it doesn't allow one to shrink a partition to less than half of it's current size.

Not quite accurate - I shrunk my win partition to 27gig. It was the first thing I did when I booted windows. I retained windows to ensure I didn't violate any warranty conditions.
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ts1971
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I don't want to belabor this, but I'm still a tad confused. Do I want to mount /mnt/gentoo/boot on the ntfs boot partition? That's the part that seems strange to me.

Thanks.

-ts1971
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BillWho
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ts1971,

If you're following the handbook (and there's no reason you shouldn't be) you created a small 'boot' partition - most likely sda5.

You also should have a /mnt/gentoo and /mnt/gentoo/boot directory. When you mount /dev/sda5 /mnt/gentoo/boot you're using the newly created partition that's now accessed via the mount point of /mnt/gentoo/boot.

You're not going to touch any of the windows partitions during installation :wink:
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ts1971
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BillWho wrote:
ts1971,

If you're following the handbook (and there's no reason you shouldn't be) you created a small 'boot' partition - most likely sda5.

You also should have a /mnt/gentoo and /mnt/gentoo/boot directory. When you mount /dev/sda5 /mnt/gentoo/boot you're using the newly created partition that's now accessed via the mount point of /mnt/gentoo/boot.

You're not going to touch any of the windows partitions during installation :wink:


Hi Again,

I am following the handbook but I didn't create a boot partition because there was already an NTFS boot partition which you suggested that I shouldn't delete. Should I have two separate boot partitions then? I notice in the partition table that you posted earlier, you only have one boot partition and it's NTFS. What am I not getting here?

Thanks again.

-ts1971
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BillWho
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ts1971,

I know this might be a little confusing and I don't want to make things more confusing, but linux does not require a separate /boot partition.

For this gentoo installation I have a separate '/' and '/home' partition. The '/' refers to the root partition. To kick-off linux you're going to install an application called grub toward the end of the installation process. Grub will modify the mbr to take over the boot process for both linux and windows.

So the bottom-line is if you don't want a separate partition for the linux kernel and grub that's fine :wink:
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ts1971
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BillWho wrote:
ts1971,

I know this might be a little confusing and I don't want to make things more confusing, but linux does not require a separate /boot partition.

For this gentoo installation I have a separate '/' and '/home' partition. The '/' refers to the root partition. To kick-off linux you're going to install an application called grub toward the end of the installation process. Grub will modify the mbr to take over the boot process for both linux and windows.

So the bottom-line is if you don't want a separate partition for the linux kernel and grub that's fine :wink:


Hi Again,

I really appreciate your help but I'm still confused and maybe we're talking past each other.

On my system /dev/sda1 looks like this:

Device Boot Start End Id System
/dev/sda1 * 2048 3074047 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

This was the original windows boot partition which I didn't touch.

I'm at the point in the handbook where it says that I should do this:

Code:

# mkdir /mnt/gentoo/boot
# mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/gentoo/boot


Do I (1) issue the command as it's listed in the book which mounts /mnt/gentoo/boot on the NTFS boot partition (2) instead mount it on /dev/sda6 which is the root partition I created earlier (3) skip that step altogether or (4) something else.

Thanks.

-ts1971
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BillWho
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ts1971,

Any references in the handbook to sda1 or sda2 etc. you should replace with the partition(s) you created. So if you created a small partition sda5 for /boot then it would be
Code:
mount /dev/sda5 /mnt/gentoo/boot

Same for your root partition - if it's sda6 then you would
Code:
mount /dev/sda6 /mnt/gentoo

and so forth :wink:
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BillWho wrote:
ts1971,

Any references in the handbook to sda1 or sda2 etc. you should replace with the partition(s) you created. So if you created a small partition sda5 for /boot then it would be
Code:
mount /dev/sda5 /mnt/gentoo/boot

Same for your root partition - if it's sda6 then you would
Code:
mount /dev/sda6 /mnt/gentoo

and so forth :wink:


I sincerely appreciate your help but this will probably be my last attempt because I think that we are simply speaking different languages. I feel like I'm stuck in an Abbot and Costello routine. I DID NOT create a small partition for boot because there was ALREADY the NTFS boot partition which you suggested that I not delete. Should I have created one and had two boot partitions? Should I have created a partition for boot but not marked it as bootable? In the table that you printed at the beginning of the thread, you only had one partition marked as bootable. I only created two additional partitions, one for swap and one for /root.

Here's a photo of my partition table as it stands now:

http://i1327.photobucket.com/albums/u672/ts1971/P1000299_zpsc541155a.jpg

Do I need to add an additional boot partition? And if not, onto which partition do I mount /mnt/gentoo/boot?

If anyone else understands my confusion, feel free to jump in :)

Thanks.

-ts1971

note: edited to fix link to photo
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ts1971 wrote:
I DID NOT create a small partition for boot because there was ALREADY the NTFS boot partition which you suggested that I not delete.

A separate boot partition is not required so you're OK with just the / partition.
ts1971 wrote:
Should I have created a partition for boot but not marked it as bootable?

Even if you did create a separate boot partition you would not change the boot flag.
ts1971 wrote:
Do I need to add an additional boot partition? And if not, onto which partition do I mount /mnt/gentoo/boot?

Since you don't have a separate boot partition then you don't mount anything to /mnt/gentoo/boot - you can remove that directory and just leave /mnt/gentoo. As I tried to explain earlier a separate boot partition is not mandatory.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BillWho wrote:
ts1971 wrote:
I DID NOT create a small partition for boot because there was ALREADY the NTFS boot partition which you suggested that I not delete.

A separate boot partition is not required so you're OK with just the / partition.
ts1971 wrote:
Should I have created a partition for boot but not marked it as bootable?

Even if you did create a separate boot partition you would not change the boot flag.
ts1971 wrote:
Do I need to add an additional boot partition? And if not, onto which partition do I mount /mnt/gentoo/boot?

Since you don't have a separate boot partition then you don't mount anything to /mnt/gentoo/boot - you can remove that directory and just leave /mnt/gentoo. As I tried to explain earlier a separate boot partition is not mandatory.


Okay, I think that I've got it. Thanks Bill!

-ts1971
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ts1971 wrote:
I DID NOT create a small partition for boot because there was ALREADY the NTFS boot partition which you suggested that I not delete. Should I have created one and had two boot partitions?


First, unless Gentoo (or Linux generally) documentation refers to a partition specifically as a Windows (or other non-Linux) partition, it probably means a Linux partition. Thus, a "boot partition" in Linux documentation means a Linux boot partition, which is entirely distinct from anything that Windows might have created. Windows' partitions are Windows' business, and Linux's partitions are Linux's business. (There can be overlap for shared-data partitions, though.)

Second, many Linux partitions are referred to by their mount points -- that is, from where within Linux's directory tree they can be accessed. In writing, these partitions' names generally begin with a slash, as in "the /boot partition." This refers to a partition with a specific purpose and mount point (namely, /boot). This might not be the same as "the boot partition," since as others have said, a separate /boot partition isn't strictly required; but every OS has a "master" partition that controls the boot process (that is, a "boot partition"). If there is no /boot partition, then Linux's boot partition (no slash) is the root (aka "/") partition.
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