Tips and tricks for multi-booters

   1 [16:01] <Cheri703> Welcome to "Tips and Tricks for Multi-Booters"
   2 [16:02] <Cheri703> I’m Cheri703, I have been using Ubuntu for a few years now. I started with a dual-boot machine, once I was more confident, I went to Ubuntu only, and recently set up a secondary computer as a Windows/Ubuntu machine. I help with the Ubuntu Beginners Team, am a ReLoCo lead for in the Ohio LoCo, and hang out in the Ubuntu Women irc room.
   3 [16:03] <Cheri703> As an outline, first I'm going to give references/resources for setting up a dual-boot, second I will discuss a partitioning method that works WONDERS for simplifying the day to day use of a multi-boot machine, third, I will explain how to set up a 1 button OS Swap (reboot into the alternate OS).
   4 [16:04] <Cheri703> If you have questions, follow the ClassBot format: QUESTION: <question>
   5 [16:04] <Cheri703> Where <question> is your actual question. If you do not begin the line with QUESTION:, ClassBot will not recognize it, and your question will most likely not get answered. Though I'll be keeping an eye on #ubuntu-classroom-chat
   6 [16:04] <Cheri703> And away we go!
   7 [16:04] <Cheri703> Setting up a dual-boot
   8 [16:04] <Cheri703> I’m not going to go into detail on the actual steps of setting this up, but you can check out these links to get more information.
   9 [16:05] <Cheri703> (though if there are questions, and I run too quickly, I can answer them)
  10 [16:05] <Cheri703> Windows:
  11 [16:05] <Cheri703> Mac:
  12 [16:05] <Cheri703> If you run into problems or have questions, consult the forums ( ) or come visit the Ubuntu Beginners IRC room #Ubuntu-beginners
  13 [16:06] <Cheri703> When setting your initial partitions, you CAN just install Windows on your whole Hard Drive (HDD) because the Ubuntu installer can adjust partitions, BUT it makes it easier if you have a general idea of your desired partition sizes right off the bat, and create them accordingly. This avoids the possibility of losing/corrupting data during the partition adjustments.
  14 [16:07] <Cheri703> If you decide to alter an existing installation, make sure you backup ALL important information and files. External HDD, Ubuntu One, or other online backup options are good considerations.
  15 [16:07] <Cheri703> This brings us to our next topic:
  16 [16:07] <Cheri703> Cheri703's Patented Partitioning Program!!
  17 [16:08] <Cheri703> Not really. This is just a way of partitioning that I've found gives me the most flexibility and access to my data, across multiple OSs on one computer or many.
  18 [16:08] <Cheri703> The basic version: One partition (or HDD) per operating system, and one partition JUST for storage (music, files, etc).
  19 [16:09] <Cheri703> Using Symlinks in Ubuntu, all of your usual Documents/Pictures/Downloads/Etc folders (located in your home folder) will actually be saving on your Storage drive, thus enabling access from the alternate Operating System.
  20 [16:09] <Cheri703> In Windows, you'll just have to name the other partition D: or what have you, and point to the appropriately named folders/files.
  21 [16:09] <Cheri703> (Further reading about symlinks: )
  22 [16:10] <Cheri703> This way, I can access all files without worrying about duplicates, file paths, or which OS can read which file systems.
  23 [16:10] <Cheri703> If you are using Windows/Ubuntu, be sure you make your Storage drive NTFS so you can access it from Windows! (Further reading on file systems: )
  24 [16:11] <Cheri703> Symlinks are not like shortcuts in Windows
  25 [16:11] <Cheri703> They are a "hard link"
  26 [16:12] <Cheri703> more useful in that if you navigate to /home/user/Documents, even within the open dialog from a program, you'll be accessing the contents of /media/Storage/Documents (or however you've named it)
  27 [16:13] <Cheri703> Once you've partitioned, the next step is to set the storage partition to automount at boot.
  28 [16:13] <Cheri703> If you've created an NTFS partition for use with Windows, follow the directions in the first post of this thread from UbuntuForums: (this worked for me!)
  29 [16:13] <Cheri703> If you are dual-booting multiple linux variants, and your Storage drive is ext3 (or extsomethingelse) use the directions here:
  30 [16:14] <Cheri703> Now we're ready for the joys of Symlinking!
  31 [16:14] <Cheri703> Setting Up Symlinks:
  32 [16:14] <Cheri703> This is a multi-step process, but not especially difficult.
  33 [16:14] <Cheri703> 1. Boot into Ubuntu
  34 [16:15] <Cheri703> 2. Open Home Folder
  35 [16:15] <Cheri703> 3. Choose folder (Documents, Pictures, Downloads, Whichever)
  36 [16:15] <Cheri703> 4. Cut/paste (Move) folder to Storage Drive
  37 [16:15] <Cheri703> 5. Right click the folder, choose "Make Link"
  38 [16:15] <Cheri703> This creates a "Link to Documents" icon
  39 [16:16] <Cheri703> 6. Cut/paste (Move) icon to Home folder
  40 [16:16] <Cheri703> *Move "Link to Documents" icon to home folder
  41 [16:16] <Cheri703> 7. Rename as Documents
  42 [16:16] <Cheri703> Congratulations! You now have a Symlink! Repeat this process for any other folders you'd like to access from your alternate OS. Naming the Symlinks to match the original folder names will allow the “Places” bookmarks to work, adding to the convenience factor.
  43 [16:17] <Cheri703> Now, I can already assume that a few of you will be asking, "Why not just mount /home on a different partition?"
  44 [16:17] <Cheri703> That CAN be useful. I found that I had more issues with it. Also, when using multiple linux variants, and even different flavors of Ubuntu, you don't necessarily want to mix your .app folders in /home.
  45 [16:18] <Cheri703> If you have a Kubuntu .mozilla folder and an Ubuntu .mozilla folder, they might have vastly different settings. This can lead to conflicts and issues. Having only benign data lumped together makes it much easier to avoid screwing things up! I mess up random obscure things easily enough, I don't need to make it more likely to happen!
  46 [16:19] <Cheri703> One other benefit that I use HEAVILY is the fact that if you need to reinstall your OS (any of them) you can simply copy relevant system/configuration files (and in Ubuntu your entire home folder to save your program settings) to the Storage drive, Reinstall on the OS drive, and copy back over as needed.
  47 [16:20] <Cheri703> Using this method, I have gone from blank OS drive to fully functioning (and reconfigured) Ubuntu install in under 45 minutes (and my computers are fairly slow). This includes updates and program installation, and everything. THAT IS WAAAAAAY faster than I have EVER installed Windows.
  48 [16:20] <Cheri703> Finally we come to the OS change method.
  49 [16:21] <Cheri703> A bit of backstory: when I decided to set up a hand-me-down computer as a dual-boot (Thanks Dad!), I idly wondered if it was possible to have it set up as a headless secondary server. For those unfamiliar with the term, headless implies "without monitor/keyboard/mouse."
  50 [16:22] <Cheri703> The main difficulty I had when previously setting up dual-boot machines was catching the GRUB menu in time to choose my OS. When trying to use the computer via SSH or VNC, there would be no access to GRUB. After much googling, I found a magical command built into GRUB: grub-reboot.
  51 [16:22] <Cheri703> (Further information about SSH:  Further information about VNC: I use tightVNC in Windows)
  52 [16:23] <Cheri703> grub-reboot X is the format used, where X is the POSITION in the GRUB menu of the OS you want to choose.
  53 [16:23] <Cheri703> Just to check, does anyone have any questions about what I've covered so far?
  54 [16:25] <Cheri703> One important thing to remember is that the numbering starts with 0 (this threw me off when I was initially attempting this). For my system, I need grub-reboot 6. This command ONLY boots into the selected OS once, then goes back to the default selection.
  55 [16:27] <gpc> mhall119> QUESTION: How difficult is it to mix security/access control when using NTFS as your Storage partition?
  56 [16:28] <Cheri703> I have not run into any issues in my own use of it, depending on your specific use case, it may vary.
  57 [16:28] <Cheri703> The reason I use NTFS on my secondary drive in my server is for backup purposes
  58 [16:29] <Cheri703> If my computer dies (It is old and has fits), I can pull that HDD and plug it into any other computer and access my data.
  59 [16:29] <gpc> <decumanus> QUESTION: My windows grub entry is _last_ - kernel number above it  tends to increase - is it possible to use grub-reboot last entry?
  60 [16:31] <Cheri703> Other than keeping track of the number I'm not sure. Perhaps clearing old kernel versions from your list on a regular basis? Once I'm done, I will check to see if there is any info about that available.
  61 [16:31] <Cheri703> Any further questions? If not, I'll continue
  62 [16:32] <Cheri703> To set the default selection, open the terminal, type "sudo gedit /boot/grub/grub.conf"
  63 [16:32] <Cheri703> Change the default line to "default=0" if you want Ubuntu (first selection) to be your default.
  64 [16:33] <Cheri703> You may also use startupmanager It is a GUI for changing your GRUB settings (I have used it several times)
  65 [16:34] <Cheri703> To use the grub-reboot method, there are a few options: you can open terminal and type "sudo grub-reboot 6" or you can make a script and add a launcher to your panel (this is nice if you reboot often). My script is as follows:
  66 [16:35] <Cheri703> #!/bin/bash
  67 [16:35] <Cheri703> gksu grub-reboot X
  68 [16:35] <Cheri703> gksu reboot
  69 [16:35] <Cheri703> Also available here:
  70 [16:35] <Cheri703> X is replaced by the number
  71 [16:36] <gpc> <russjr08> QUESTION: Doesn't grub-reboot automatically reboot? or do you have to have the reboot command?
  72 [16:36] <Cheri703> No, because it is just setting the condition
  73 [16:37] <Cheri703> you are telling it "Grub, next time you reboot, use selection 6"
  74 [16:38] <gpc> <wolfpack> QUESTION: Does grub-reboot is same as system-reboot ?
  75 [16:39] <Cheri703> No, it is a command within GRUB.
  76 [16:39] <Cheri703> you will still need to reboot separately from running grub-reboot
  77 [16:39] <Cheri703> Any further questions?
  78 [16:40] <Cheri703> Oh, you must run grub-reboot as sudo
  79 [16:40] <Cheri703> (forgot to note that :) )
  80 [16:40] <Cheri703> This script/launcher is very handy when sitting at the computer, or when connecting via SSH or VNC. This is what enables headless use. I've found it incredibly useful to have VNC set up in both Ubuntu and Windows, so I can access it with the same IP address, no matter which OS is loaded.
  81 === Flavio is now known as Guest34592
  82 [16:41] <Cheri703> As previously stated, grub-reboot only changes OS once, so simply rebooting from Windows brings you right back to Ubuntu.
  83 [16:41] <Cheri703> (or any other alternate OS)
  84 [16:43] <gpc> <bircow_> I have one question about NTFS (if I can). NTFS has ACL permissions - multiple users/groups can have particual access. How to achive the same with extN if there's only owner, group, other?
  85 [16:44] <Cheri703> You should be able to add the users to a new group, and (I may be wrong) perhaps give group one access also to group two (if you are wanting group one to access a folder that others can access as well)
  86 [16:44] <Cheri703> Any further questions?
  87 [16:45] <Cheri703> Well, there you have it, Cheri703's Patented Partitioning Program and The Amazing Headless Dual-Boot!
  88 [16:46] <Cheri703> bircow_: I was provided with this link as well:
  89 [16:46] <Cheri703> That may help you
  90 [16:46] <gpc> <wolfpack> QUESTION : Can we remove some of the kernel entries from grub?
  91 [16:48] <Cheri703> wolfpack: if you uninstall the kernel entries using synaptic OR sudo apt-get autoremove I believe grub should update at your next reboot, if you want it to happen sooner, you can run update-grub
  92 [16:49] <Cheri703> We have about 10 minutes before the next session, so questions are welcome :)
  93 [16:49] <Cheri703> If none, take an intermission :)

UserDays/01292011/Tips and tricks for multi-booters (last edited 2011-01-29 19:10:21 by ptr)