Install 11.3 along side 11.1

I already have an existing installation of 11.1. I have downloaded an ISO DVD for 11.3. Is it as simple as putting in the DVD and it will install in separate partitions from 11.1? Or do I need to do the partitioning beforehand? Will the 11.3 installation recognize the 11.1 installation, etc.

I don’t want to do the upgrade because I have run into problems with this before.


Show us your partitions with this done as su -

fdisk -l

It’s better to set up the partitions first.

I have this done almost the same. That is I have one Swap partition, two partitions where I can install systems and one partition for /home. The result is imho what you try to achive. Install a newer system on one partition not touching the other ones. You can then boot the one or the other as yoou like. While runnning the one, you can allways mount the other somewhere and that is convenient when you want to look at e.g. a configuration file in */etc *of the other system. I plan yo hop bewteen th two for future upgrades. One of the advantages is that you can stop an install at any point and still have the old system.

One warning. I do not know if you use KDE, but from 11.1 to 11.3 you also change from KDE 3.5 to KDE 4. As soon as a user logs in using KDE 4 for the first time, a new .kde4 directory is created (alongside .kde) in your home directory. It will copy som of the configuration from the old .kde config files, but changes made later in KDE3.5 willl not be copied (and no backward changes from the KDE 4 configuration to KDE3.5). My recommendation: maybe use new username for your first tests. And do not hop to much back and forward while allready dong day to day work.

The creation of such an extra partition can be very easy or a hassle. That depends on your present situation and you knowledge about partitioning and file systems and the tools.
When you want more advice thn please post the output of

fdisk -l

I had the partitions made earlier and using the Advanced (or another term like that) usage of the partitioner during the install I told the install to use the “emtpy” partition for / and making it ext4. I also told to use the swap /home partitions as such without partitioning. I also told not to do anything with the existing / partition. This works as expected.

The GRUB install offered a menu with the normal entries for the new system and a chainlink to the old system. I accepted.
When you later change the default boot to that one of the old system, you can even run that as you allways did (it will only show two bootscreens after each other).
When completely switched over you can set the default to the new system and remove the entry of the old system.

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 262 2104483+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda2 * 263 2873 20972857+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda3 2874 30401 221118660 83 Linux

Use Parted Magic to:
Shrink some space off sda3 to create a extended partition
This’ll give you some idea if you ain’t sure:

Personally I would make a new logical: **/ and /home ** inside that extended space - both ext4 (though in PMagic they will just be ext4, no mount point yet.
Use the same username as you do in 11.1
Put the boot flag on the extended and take it off sda2
Picasa Web Albums - carl fletcher - 11.3 Slideshow

***** Don’t shrink sda3 too much, consider how much space it has free and take about half that.

On 2011-01-12 05:36, caf4926 wrote:

> extended space - both ext4 (though in PMagic they will just be ext4, no
> mount point yet.

Not both ext4! He is still using 11.1, it will not have access to /home. If
11.1 is going to be ditched, then of course, use ext4.

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.2 x86_64 “Emerald” at Telcontar)

That is a good point
Of course 11.3 will have access to 11.1, which is sufficient to copy over your files
Technically there is no need to have 11.1 accessing 11.3

/home should still be ext3 not ext4 unless the OP imterpsfan2 formats /home for ext4.

Could I come in here with a supplementary question please. I have just messed up an attempt at a similar configuration but with 11.2 and 11.3. I read somewhere (man pages or info grub) that the preferred method with two linux systems is to have either system selectable from grub menu and not use chain loading.

As a result when installing the second system (11.3 in my case,) I put grub into mbr rather than root for new installation. In my ignorance I hoped this would put both options onto grub menu. In fact I now cannot boot to new OS (11.3) but if I select original system (11.2) in first grub screen I get another grub screen in which only 11.2 is offered so it is still chain loading but not working properly as I cannnot get to new installation. I am seeking help in another thread but would appreciate comments on chain loading issue.


What’s the other Topic? Did you post the output of both installs grub menu.lst in tjat Topic? /boot/grub/menu.lst 11.2 /boot/grub/menu.lst 11.3?

On 2011-01-13 01:36, Budgie2 wrote:

> I read somewhere (man pages or info grub) that the preferred method with
> two linux systems is to have either system selectable from grub menu and

Everybody has his preferred method. I have mine. >:-)

> not use chain loading.

I don’t see why not :-?

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.2 x86_64 “Emerald” at Telcontar)

In my example above, Grub starts booting from the Extended partition and chainloads to the “old” system on it’s Primary partition.

And as allways “reading somewhere” is interesting and usefull, but one should allways try to understand why it is as suggested. When one does not understand what the reason behind the advice is, it could simply be that one knows more then the one who wrote the advice. In other words, like Carlos, “I dont’t see why not”.

Hi and thanks for the comment. Of course having all options on one menu is quicker and simpler and that is why I prefer it. I became used to this with IBM Boot Manager and I guess old habits die hard.

I can of course live with chain loading but only if it works and I have screwed my system slightly through ignorance, so at present it does not.
I shall persevere.
Regards and thanks again,

The other topic is at Installation of 11.3 on IBMx3400 Crash and Partitioning Question..

Since my last postings I have read all the threads again and also the support database SDB:All about GRUB. I was unable to fix my installation of 11.3 alongside 11.2 and rather than waste time I have removed it and restored GRUB on MBR (I believe).
GRUB menu.lst is now as follows:-

linux-whal:/boot/grub # cat menu.lst

Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Thu Jan 13 18:23:29 GMT 2011


Configure custom boot parameters for updated kernels in /etc/sysconfig/bootloader

default 0
timeout 8
##YaST - generic_mbr
gfxmenu (hd0,2)/boot/message
##YaST - activate

###Don’t change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title openSUSE 11.2
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz- root=/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SServeRA_1st_X3400_RAID_3E5548A2-part3 repair=1 resume=/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SServeRA_1st_X3400_RAID_3E5548A2-part2 splash=silent quiet showopts vga=0x317
initrd /boot/initrd-

###Don’t change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
title Failsafe – openSUSE 11.2
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz- root=/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SServeRA_1st_X3400_RAID_3E5548A2-part3 showopts apm=off noresume edd=off powersaved=off nohz=off highres=off processor.max_cstate=1 x11failsafe vga=0x317
initrd /boot/initrd-

I have noted the point in the thread above about the changes to KDE and need to investigate whether there will be any issues between 11.2 and 11.3. At present my /home partition is formatted ext4 so file system will not be a problem.

It is no longer such a pressing issue as I am going to work with 11.2 as this works on all machines. However now I have cleaned out my failed attempts I would very much appreciate further guidance on installing 11.3 alongside 11.2 and how to set up the alternative root directory on new partition and have /home as common to both. The openSUSE installer really does not want to play ball so I cannot use defaults and as soon as I try and edit the partitioning/booting config I apparently mess up.


I got this to work by resizing the /dev/sda3 partition and creating space for 11.3. Now I have another crazy idea. I want to start from scratch and get Windows on the hard drive first, then 11.1 and 11.3. How would I delete all of the existing partitions so that I can get Windows XP on first? I read that you should run the Linux Live CD and then go into Recovery and then fdisk at the command line. Type “p” to get the partition tables and delete partitions, etc.

Why do I want to do this? I want Windows on this machine and I heard it is best to have it installed first.

I would boot a Linux Live CD then go to terminal and become root (su - on openSUSE Live CD). Then use

fdisk -l

To display the hard drives. To clear all partitions and start off with a new partition table just do:

fdisk */dev/myharddrive*

Where /dev/myharddrive is your hard drive device. E.g. /dev/sda. Then just press o then [ENTER] then w then [ENTER]. This will delete all partitions and create a new MS-DOS partition table.

Someone likes pain. IIRC, Gparted LiveCD and PartedMagic allow you to copy and/or move partitions of the same size or copy/move to larger unallocated partition.

After backing up your partitions, I suggest:

  1. booting Gparted or PartitionMagic,
  2. do not format /home partition,
  3. copy your Windows to an empty logical partition,
  4. delete the primary partition,
  5. move the Windows partition to the primary partition,
  6. delete the Windows partition on the logical
  7. repeat for 11.2 partition
  8. install 11.3 on unallocated logical partition


Gparted General Information:

I now have a triple boot with Windows XP, openSUSE 11.1, and openSUSE 11.3. Thanks everyone.

Congratulations! :shake:
I bet you learned a lot from it.