Charl Wentzel wentzel.charl at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 11:25:25 BST 2009

On Wed, 2009-09-16 at 10:42 +0200, vincent wrote:
> Hi All,
> Hoping somebody can help here.
> I would like to create separate partitions on my hard disk in order to have 
> two versions of ubuntu running, 8.04 & 9.04.
> My thinking is, if I create two partitions of 10GB's each & place 8.04 & 9.04 
> in each of them & create partitions for usr, etc & var in addition to my 
> existing /root, /home & swap partitions, then both distros will be able to 
> read info in these partitions - I can't connect 9.04 to a 3G USB stick but 
> 8.04 works just fine, so I need to let 9.04 have access to these files for 
> the dependencies.
> My question is, do I need to create partitions for all three or is this not a 
> workable solution?

This is the point at which I would strongly suggest you look at using
LVM.  It allows you to create any number of partitions plus it allows
you to resize partitions at any time.  So you won't be stuck with
anything permanent.  You can create 20 partitions now, delete have of
them later and resize them to take up all available space and vice

LVM is also easy to use.  In fact the Ubuntu installer takes you
throught the process.  All you need to do is understand the three core

Physical Volume:
Physical partitions on your hard drive.  It's usually not necessary to
have more than one.

Volume Group:
A group of physical volumes (partitions) that are available to be
divided among the Logical Volumes.

Logical Volume:
The is the "virtual" partitions that you create in side the Volume
Group.  You can add/delete/resize virtual volumes at any time.  To your
system they will appear as actual partitions.

The operation is simple.  When you combine a bunch of physical volumes
(actual partions) into a Volume Group, it gets chopped up into small
chunks (e.g. 4MB).  When you create a Logical Volume, enough of these
small chunks are assigned to the Logical Volume to make up the size you
need.  When you delete a logical volume or reduce it in size, you free
up chunks that can be assigned later.  When you add a logical volume or
increases it size, you use up some of the available chunks.

You are free to make these changes anytime.  Except for the logical
volume that contains your root directory, you can resize it while the
system is running, by unmounting it, resizing it and remounting it.

So I know it doesn't exactly answer your question, but it might make the
whole process easier.  If you Google LVM you'll find plenty of
documentation on it.  


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