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Thread: Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

  1. #1

    Default Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

    Yes, I've read a bunch of threads on dual- and triple booting, but I think I have to be walked through this.

    I have Windows 7 installed (+ some sort of recovery and HP partition, this is on a HP G72 laptop). I installed Mint (based on Ubuntu) alongside it, then OpenSUSE, whose boot loader didn't see Mint. Installing OpenSUSE before Mint solves that problem, but I'd rather have OpenSUSE's pretty boot loader than Mint's. So how would I get that to work?

    OpenSUSE and Mint creates their own separate swap partitions, I'd like them to share one, and also one "data" partition to share between all three OS's.

    The HD is 350 GB.
    OpenSUSE 11.4
    Mint 11rc

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

    It's unusual that a distro installer would create another swap if one already exists.
    Are you planning to re-do both Mint and SUSE or do you want to try and reconfigure?

    If so we would need to see
    fdisk -l
    from either one of the running OS's or a Live CD
    Tumbleweed_KDE
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

    I'm going to reinstall SUSE and Mint, this setup is just to see how it works with the hardware.

    Code:
    Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x696d6a5d
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1            2048      409599      203776    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda2          409600    60349053    29969727    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda3       624928768   625140399      105816    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    /dev/sda4   *    60350462   624928767   282289153    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda5       118947840   123154431     2103296   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda6       123156480   165099519    20971520   83  Linux
    /dev/sda7       165101568   396317794   115608113+  83  Linux
    /dev/sda8       396318720   615548927   109615104   83  Linux
    /dev/sda9       615550976   624928767     4688896   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda10       60350464   112939007    26294272   83  Linux
    /dev/sda11      112941056   118945791     3002368   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    
    Partition table entries are not in disk order
    I think I didn't make any changes to the suggested partitioning when installing the linuxes.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

    Which one is the data partition? Does it already contain stuff?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

    I didn't make one. But in any case I'll overwrite all but the Windows partitions when I reinstall.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

    Quote Originally Posted by funky_uncle View Post
    I didn't make one. But in any case I'll overwrite all but the Windows partitions when I reinstall.
    Then it is very simple.
    • Boot with a live system like PartedMagic and delete all your linux and swap partitions except sda5 (the first swap partition)
    • Create the following partitions and format them as ext4:
      • sda6 ( Mint / )
      • sda7 ( Mint /home )
      • sda8 ( openSUSE / )
      • sda9 (openSUSE /home)
      • sda10 (/data)
    • Install Mint. I don't know Mint but if it is like Ubuntu you must have an option "Custom partitioning" or something like that. In any case, choose the option which sounds the most complicated and is in fact the only decent one (this is true for all setups). In this installation mode, you would select the partitions you want to use one by one, choose (or assign) a mount point and (optionally) format them. Give the partitions the following mount points and format them all in ext4:
      • sda6 /
      • sda7 /home
      • sda8 /suse
      • sda9 /suse/home
      • sda10 /data

      and choose sda5 as your swap partition
    • Let Mint install Grub in MBR (we'll overwrite it later)
    • Install openSUSE and choose Create Partition Setup, followed by Custom Partitioning (for experts)
    • Same thing, select the partitions one by one but DO NOT FORMAT sda6 and sda7 ; also select sda5 as swap but do not format it (or its UUID will change). Choose the following mountpoints:
      • sda6 /mint
      • sda7 /mint/home
      • sda8 /
      • sda9 /home
      • sda10 /data
    • By default openSUSE should write a generic bootcode in the MBR (one of the rare occasion where this debatable feature would be useful to anyone!) , install Grub in sda8 and set the extended partition active. In doubt you can check by clicking on Booting in the Installation Settings
    • Where you're done reboot. You might see Windows in Boot Menu (or not). You won't see Mint. But I'm sure you'll come back and we'll tell you how to add it.


    Of course, there are many ways to do it. I just tried to make it as simple and efficient as possible.
    * I suggested this order because you mentionned that you wanted openSUSE's Grub as your default bootloader.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

    please_try_again, your method of each distro having their own home partition seems messy to me, but it does make things easier on distro upgrades. I would install each distro into their own OS, not having a separate home partition. Then create symlinks for Documents, Downloads, Music, etc to the data partition. This allows each distro to have their own settings folders, but prevents an additional two partitions that eat up disk space.
    Just my opinion.
    Vaio F11: i7-720QM 8GB RAM Nvidia GT 330m
    Win 7 Pro 64 bit | openSuse 11.4 64 bit | Arch Linux 64 bit

  8. #8

    Default Re: Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

    Quote Originally Posted by bsilvereagle View Post
    please_try_again, your method of each distro having their own home partition seems messy to me, but it does make things easier on distro upgrades.
    Then it can not be that 'messy'.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsilvereagle View Post
    I would install each distro into their own OS, not having a separate home partition.
    Yes, you can do that do. It basically doesn't change the method. You would just create two fewer partitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsilvereagle View Post
    Then create symlinks for Documents, Downloads, Music, etc to the data partition.
    Yes.

    This allows each distro to have their own settings folders, but prevents an additional two partitions that eat up disk space.
    Agreed.

    I'm actually more worried about that:

    Quote Originally Posted by funky_uncle View Post

    Code:
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1            2048      409599      203776    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda2          409600    60349053    29969727    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
    /dev/sda3       624928768   625140399      105816    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
    /dev/sda4   *    60350462   624928767   282289153    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    
    Partition table entries are not in disk order
    I don't know why people (or setups) insist of creating the extended partition in the middle. In theory, it should not matter. But in fact, it does (although I'm not sure why). If you want to call something 'messy', that would apply to this partitioning rather than to separate /home partitions.

    @funky_uncle
    Actually, before installing any Linux, I would recommand defragmenting your FAT32 partition in Windows, then moving it up against the second partition with a partitoning tool (like partition magic under Windows or PartedMagic), finally creating all partitions you need for both Linux, including swap, data and either one or two for each distro, whether you decide to go with separate /home or not (neither big deal nor big difference). We've seen cases where openSUSE's Grub would not boot from a logical partition if the partition table entries are not in disk order (which is the case here) or/and if the extended partition is in the middle. You would have to install openSUSE's Grub in MBR in order to boot, which is uncomplicated, but maybe not the best option while multibooting with Windows.

    Please be aware and keep in mind that it is advisable to backup your data before moving a partition.

    * there are other ways to fix this partition table entries order I did not mention because it would probably sound more complicated.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

    Then it can not be that 'messy'.
    So taking up extra disc space is not messy just to keep things easy for an install in the future, which may need settings in the /home partition to be removed anyway.
    You would just create two fewer partitions.
    So two fewer partitions, thus simplicity is not messy?
    I don't know why people (or setups) insist of creating the extended partition in the middle. In theory, it should not matter. But in fact, it does (although I'm not sure why). If you want to call something 'messy', that would apply to this partitioning rather than to separate /home partitions.
    Nice catch, I didn't even bother to look at the heads, I just trusted the table.
    How did the partition end up in the middle? If HP did a recovery, where is the 100MB "System Reserved" Boot partition?
    Vaio F11: i7-720QM 8GB RAM Nvidia GT 330m
    Win 7 Pro 64 bit | openSuse 11.4 64 bit | Arch Linux 64 bit

  10. #10

    Default Re: Triple booting Windows 7, OpenSUSE and Mint (Ubuntu)

    Quote Originally Posted by bsilvereagle View Post
    So two fewer partitions, thus simplicity is not messy?
    I wouldn't call two fewer partitions 'simplicity', but I might not be a good judge.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsilvereagle View Post
    How did the partition end up in the middle?
    I don't know. I guess one of the Linux automatic partitioning setups must have done that. There are a couple other posts describing a more or less similar situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsilvereagle View Post
    If HP did a recovery, where is the 100MB "System Reserved" Boot partition?
    I'm neither a Windows specialist nor a Windows user (for many years) ... but sda1 and sda3 both look pretty small.

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