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blain3
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:15 am    Post subject: boot partition or no boot partition.. Reply with quote

So after using Linux for the past 3 or so months i called my cousin and asked where to go as i had hacked Ubuntu's unity out and destroyed the system to boot (about a week after getting into linux) and so he told me about Gentoo. Since then I'v tryed about 10 or so major distro's and i find myself using Sabayon above all. I'v never used their update software, I emerge everything, and I'm to the point i can keep it stable through kernel updates etc. As for Gentoo, this is very hard for me as i normally use 2-4 OS's on both of my computers atm (more or less to find what i like the most ) Slackware is nice for a backup i'v found, backtrack is laughably the most stable of them all, easiest to customize (for the most part and i mean this as in a pure binary distro). Anyway so long story short I have about 3 months experience, the other day i wiped my desktop's HDD and proceded to use a gentoo live dvd to boot off. I partitioned out a boot swap and home/root using cfdisk IIRC. now my drive is a TB, Im assuming it uses MBR as well. So what i did was create a /gentoo/boot , a swap, and a /gentoo (for root) and i mounted the boot into the root, unpacked a stage 3, followed the instructions and when seting up grub i got stuck. my /gentoo/boot was /dev/sda1 rite, so i installed grub upon this. Apparently this was a huge mistake because after updating while chrooted into the partition ( I emerge -udVN world *i think* it was similar anyhow, and it was more or less this: emerge -uvDN world && --depclean && revdep --rebuild .. or something very similar) I had to update about 175 files. Afterwards i set up my use flags and setup rc settings, I had installed the meta lxde as well. Anyway this is all off the top of my head and im half asleep, but when i shutdown -r now i got tossed into legacy grub. fun times rite. well lucky me i loaded everything find, EXCEPT the root... i literally had to go down the list until one worked and then I could get into my tty's and all that. I figured before i work on installing and seting up x / xorg / xdm or whatever i need to know, I have a feeling a boot partition for me is useless. I've run 4 OS's on this computer, 1 winxp and 3 linux without a boot partition so i guess what im asking is how do i set this up? and as for my root issue? im assuming this has something to do with the boot? Oh and after restarting with the full tty access i got tossed back into legacy grub so. My drive is a 1TB sata 7500rpm, I have my media backed up on an external so i dont mind wiping the drive but what should i do as for a boot setup? when using a partition it seemed to me ( and i could be wrong ) that it would only allow my root dir to be on the /boot partition? im not entirely sure but i know i'v dual booted without an actual /boot partition. So should i simply set it up on /dev/sda IE (hd0,0) ? and how would i do this and point to my /boot/grub/grub.conf etc. sorry if i rambled im super tired.

Edit: I just realized my question may have already been answered, perhaps in the sticky so i am truly sorry if this is the case, if someone could link that for me i would really appreciate it. if not any ideas would be awesome. I'm almost done with my laptop so ill be attempting another gentoo install on my desktop tonight.
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cwr
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can dual boot without a separate boot partition - as far as grub is concerned, it
makes no difference. I find a separate boot partition useful because I tend to mess
with the other linux partitions, and having a stable boot setup (MBR => Grub)
makes life a lot simpler. All I have to do for a new OS/partition is to edit grub.conf
(this is while using legacy grub - grub 2 is pretty much automatic, which is why
I avoid it).

Will
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Fitzcarraldo
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blain3, you might find the following 2007 blog post and the associated comments instructive:

Why people insist on using /boot

In my case, having /boot on a separate partition was helpful once when my root partition became corrupted. There are a few other reasons why some people prefer to have a separate /boot partition, as cwr mentioned and as mentioned in some of the comments to the above-mentioned blog post. Have a read through it and you'll get a better idea whether or not you want to bother.
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srs5694
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another reason to use a separate /boot partition is relatively recent: If your computer boots with the new EFI/UEFI firmware, using a separate /boot partition gives you greater flexibility in your boot manager and boot loader configurations. Some EFI boot programs (such as ELILO, rEFInd, and gummiboot) rely on the firmware to read the Linux kernel and initrd. This means that these files must reside on a partition that the firmware can read. By default, this means FAT, and these files are traditionally stored on the EFI System Partition (ESP), which is where boot loaders also reside. You can mount the ESP as /boot, manually copy these files to unusual locations, or create a separate FAT /boot partition to make these boot loaders happy. It's also possible to use EFI drivers (included with rEFInd and the earlier rEFIt, upon which it's based) to give EFI the ability to read ext2fs, ext3fs, and ReiserFS partitions. Thus, you can use one of these filesystems on a separate /boot partition and have ELILO, rEFInd, or gummiboot read your kernel from this partition. This can simplify configuration, since many distributions place the kernel in /boot by default. Alternatively, you could use ext2fs, ext3fs, or ReiserFS on your root (/) filesystem, but most people these days seem to want to use ext4fs, or sometimes XFS or Btrfs, for which EFI drivers don't yet exist. Note that some of these options work most smoothly with rEFInd, which is the most flexible about loading kernel files from partitions other than the one from which it was launched. rEFInd can also load drivers automatically.
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blain3
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I actually did go with making a /boot /swap /root and then a /home on the extended partition after i made after the first 3 primary. I have mint or sabayon installed on the extended atm. The night i posted i had read that making and linking a /boot and mounting it without actually *flagging* it boot was the way to go. so I've done that, worked rite off. Now i was entirely to tired by the end of the night as i was using a minimal boot usb to do a stage 3 install, and it messed me up so i ended up booting from mint or bt, i forget which, but i unloaded the tarballs for the kernel and portage, built my kernel and all that, set everything up except for my networking and my x windows and all that. So i can effectively boot up and see my Gentoo base install from grub menu and have a fully working tty command prompt (minus usb0 / wlan0 support ) and x windows. Ill most likely work on that tonight i just need to chroot back into it and setup the rest of my install. Other then that it seems to work fine even with the second linux os installed.
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