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[SOLVED] Booting setup when installing Gentoo
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naviehuynh
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: [SOLVED] Booting setup when installing Gentoo Reply with quote

Hi,
I am installing Gentoo for the first time. I have Windows 8 and Mint installed on my machine and just want to try Gentoo to learn more about Linux, not to replace those 2 OS.
I am reading the Gentoo handbook and find that I need to create a boot partition with a boot flag. In present, the boot partition is my windows partition. I intend to make another boot partition for Gentoo and when I want to switch back to Windows, I just need to set boot flag on Windows partition, is it right?

What do I need to backup so I can restore the whole booting configurations of my hard-disk?


Last edited by naviehuynh on Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

naviehuynh,

Welcome to Gentoo.

The Bootable flag in the partition table is used by your BIOS, (if at all), not by any operating system. Set it/them to keep your BIOS happy.

As you will keep Windows and Mint and add Gentoo, you need not install another bootloader, nor a /boot partition for Gentoo. Gentoo can become another item on your boot menu.

The idea of a small /boot partition at the front of the drive is to keep all the files needed for booting in a region of the drive that could be read by the BIOS. Most bootloaders use BIOS calls to load these files. There has been a race on between BIOS providers and HDD makers to outdo one another. HDD reached a size that the BIOS could not read when the 528Mb size was reached. Unless you have an old PC, this will not be an issue for you.
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Computer users fall into two groups:-
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naviehuynh
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Seagoon,
Thanks for your answer.
Does that mean the boot partition should be 528MB or less? Mine is 100GB+. Does Mint have a similar boot partition by default? I cant find it in the list of partitions.
btw, I installed Mint after Windows 8.

Code:
Number  Start   End    Size    Type      File system     Flags
 1      32.3kB  115GB  115GB   primary   ntfs            boot
 2      115GB   147GB  31.5GB  primary   ntfs
 3      147GB   500GB  353GB   extended                  lba
 5      147GB   168GB  21.0GB  logical   ext4
 7      168GB   179GB  11.0GB  logical   linux-swap(v1)
 8      210GB   220GB  10.5GB  logical   ext4
 6      220GB   500GB  280GB   logical   ntfs

Before I installed Windows 8, there was a SYS_DRIVE created by Windows 7. I formatted the disk and installed Windows 8, and it didn't create a SYS_DRIVE this time. I wonder if I use my current (windows) boot partition as the boot partition for Gentoo as its size is large. If so, what are the changes I need to note. (I am following the guide by Gentoo handbook)
And in case I make some mistakes, how can I backup the booting configuration of my system (Windows and Mint)?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

naviehuynh,

The 528Mb limit has been consigned to history. There were several more limits between than and today.
2G, 4G 33G and 137G all spring to mind. Today BIOSes and HDD all use 48bit logical addressing, so 2^48 sectors can be reached by the BIOS. That means the next BIOS limit comes when drives get bigger than 2^48*512bytes, thats 1.441151881×10¹⁷ bytes. Thats about 50,000 times bigger than todays drives, so its a while away yet.

It doesn't look like Mint has a /boot partition. It probably stores its boot files in a /boot directory on its root filesystem.
Gentoo won't need a boot partition either. In fact, you only need a root partition for Gentoo as Gentoo and Mint can share swap.

You don't say what you use for a boot loader for Windows and Mint. Whatever it is, there will be a way to add Gentoo to its menu. Be careful about how and where you install the Gentoo boot loader.
Its probably not needed.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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naviehuynh
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, update-grub detected the kernel.
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