Adivce on Partitions

Andy Anderson opus at
Fri Jun 2 22:50:37 UTC 2006

Thiers Botelho wrote:

> On 6/1/06, Andy Anderson <opus at> wrote:
>> . . . I'll share my approach.
> And I'll ask a few more questions if you don't mind . . .

I don't mind at all...

> You didn' say so but I understood that you've got a triple-boot setup
> (Windoze + Breezy + Dapper). That approaches what I wish myself, so if
> you don't mind please clarify a bit more :

Well, no Dapper yet - I haven't been able to download it, but hopefully I
soon will have it.

> One single /boot for both Ubuntu's ?
> And how to you deal with GRUB on this setup ? (two installs or just
> one ?)

Well, this gets a bit tricky as well.  The last machine I did this on I
had to create separate directores under /boot to hold the kernel
images, the ramdisk image, system map, etc.  It ends up looking
something like:


The /boot/ubuntu<release> directories hold the images for that release.
You have to edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst file to include the paths for the
images for this to work.

So to answer your question, yes, a single /boot for all OSes.  I let the
for the latest Ubuntu release install it's version of Grub into the MBR,
look closely at the boot menu when I reboot.  I have had to modify the boot
line once, as I recall, but it was pretty easy.

>> . . . but with
>> subdirectories for each release, such as /home/ubuntu510 for
>> Breezy and /home/ubuntu606 for Dapper user home directories.
>> This takes a little extra effort, but not much.
> Do you cook this up during install or do it afterwards ? Quite clever
> ! I was previously thinking of 2 /home's (just as you do for / and
> /var), but your branching approach seems cleaner and also much better
> backup-wise.

I do it after each install.  This requires editing the /etc/passwd file to
have the correct paths to home directories, and also modifying the
defaults for useradd, but again, that's not too difficult.  You just have
to remember to do everything.

>> The alternate / and /var are used for the "next" release. So
>> now that Dapper is available, I have / and /var partitions
>> waiting for it to be installed, but it won't disturb my
>> Breezy system, so I don't have to be in a hurry to make
>> everything work today.  Also, if any of the stuff that I
>> use doesn't work with Dapper, I can boot into Breezy when
>> I need to.  Once I've made the move to Dapper and I'm no
>> longer using the Breezy install, I'll reformat the current
>> / and /var so they'll be ready for Ubuntu 6.10.
> Perfect, you've almost read my mind . . .    :))
> Are the kernels for both Ubuntu's kept together ?
> And I suppose GRUB's files for both Ubuntu's live here also . . .

See the explanation a couple of paragraphs above...

I hope this is clear and helpful.  If you have any further questions
please ask.

Andy Anderson 
Salisbury, MD, USA

"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."  
                                                     - Anonymous

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