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What is GRUB, can I choose not to install it

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 16:40
by TreoTra93
Hello, I really wanted to install Gentoo Linux, but I don't have time to really get to understanding all about it quite yet. Then I found Sabayon Linux, it's based on Gentoo, and looks great and I really want to install it. But I don't want to remove my other OSes.
I'm Dual Booting Windows 7 Beta, not the RC and Windows Vista.
I know a little about partitioning and other important stuff for the install of Sabayon. But, I don't understand the Grub thing. I've found a lot of stuff about it, but some of them say different things so I am a little confused. One thing I am almost sure about is at least that the Grub deletes the MBR or something, the original bootloader I think. Okay I really don't understand it. Is there any way to install Sabayon Linux without installing Grub? And, could anybody please really explain what it is, but not every detail, just essential information.
Any help is appreciated. Thanks

Oh, and what is the swap disk? I don't really need an answer, if anybody knows a great answer to this, it would be perfect. It doesn't really seem to be something extremely complicated, so I can probably find out what it is by myself, but if possible, please help. :)

Re: What is GRUB, can I choose not to install it

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 17:33
by DHalens
You really have a long way to do to use all the power of gentoo.
Grub is a bootloader that let you choose which operating system boot. Like when windows bootloader asks you to boot either your vista or 7.
The problem is windows won't list any other operating system than windows (unless it's a new feature in win 7...) while grub will let you boot any. If I remember correctly, you can choose to not install grub in the sabayon installer. I've heard of grub for windows but it's up to you to try using it.

Swap is secondary space for processes, like ram but in your hard disk (dunno which name has in windows). You can have swap inside a partition but having it in a separate partition allows you to use it for various operating systems (aka, save disk space).

Get some free space in your hard disk (real free space, not what vista sometimes calls unused spacec in disk...) and go for sabayon. Will take you a little time to get comfortable but once you know how to use it, is a piece of cake.
Oh, and if you know about partitioning, set by yourself the partitions, that'll allow you to have other partitions in the folder you want for example, and will give you less problems than lvm in case you mess something.

I guess that's the most simple way I can explain things, hope you can understand it all.

Re: What is GRUB, can I choose not to install it

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 19:33
by TreoTra93
Haha, that was real quick answer, thank you, so much. I think I understand it.
Okay, but if I choose to remove Sabayon Linux, for any reason, do I get my old mbr, or is it possible to reinstall the mbr with bigger issues? Or can I keep the Grub bootloader after removing Sabayon?
No I don't know, I have Vista, Win7 and I had Ubuntu, but it was with Wubi and kind of had to show up, that was the whole idea of the wubi installer. I removed Ubuntu because I wanted to have something more, powerful and something I could learn more from. And that was Gentoo Linux, just by reading some pages in the Gentoo Handbook, I have learned a lot.
Do you know if the Grub bootloader would show mac os x, if I wanted to build a hackintosh? Maybe it doesn't really have a lot to do with this, but anybody knows, perfect.

Okay, Swap, nice, but I just have to make an extra partition of maybe 3GB, is that enough, and then, select it for swap disk?
Can I choose partitions I have made with programs I feel more comfortable with, to install Sabayon Linux?

Haha, okay, well, thank you so much, you've been a huge help.

Re: What is GRUB, can I choose not to install it

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 20:23
by kodiakmax
DHalens wrote:The problem is windows won't list any other operating system than windows
That's not true. you can use the windows boot loader to boot linux. I personally have not as GRUB is powerfull and super easy to use, but it is possible. If you are interested just run a google search. Here are a couple of links to get you started. ... pport.aspx ... loader-xp/

Though, I would recommend just using GRUB as you would have better support for it and you can continue to use it even if you remove linux later if you wanted to. Also, if later you decided you wanted to have the windows boot loader back all you would have to do is put in your windows disk at boot and tell it to fix your mbr.

Re: What is GRUB, can I choose not to install it

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 20:32
by Stupot
If you choose to uninstall SabayonLinux, you can keep grub, assuming you have given grub it's own partition as opposed to sticking it in with Sabayon. If you remove grub, it's easy to fix the windows mbr by putting in a windows disk and repairing the mbr.

As far as partitioning goes, I would recommend making space for your Sabayon install inside of your Windows. I know that windows Vista needed to use it's own partition software to resize a vista install or else it would screw up. I would assume that windows 7 is very much the same way. Once you make the free space, I would use the Sabayon partition software that's a part of the installer. It's really easy to use.

A 3GB swap sounds good. Typically the recommended is that your swap is twice the size of your RAM. However, if you have plenty of RAM, you never even use your swap partitions, so the recommendation doesn't always make sense (at least not to me).

Re: What is GRUB, can I choose not to install it

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 20:43
by kodiakmax
the old recommendation of 2X RAM doesn't really apply these days unless you have less than 1GB. What you would need the swap for these days is hibernation. If you plan on using hibernation then the SWAP must be at least equal to the amount of RAM installed or you risk corruption. If you don't plan on hibernating then you could easily not use SWAP at all.
Read this for info on linux memory and swap info. ... f9f5e4dfcf

and here is some info on partions and sizes ... ing#p76620

Re: What is GRUB, can I choose not to install it

Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 17:23
by TreoTra93
Okay. but can I boot any OS with GRUB? Is it difficult to put in a new OS to boot? I've got 3GB RAM so I'll put 3,5GB swap then. Just to be sure.

So to keep GRUB, I just have to make another partition to install it to? Can I choose were to install it in the process of installing Sabayon Linux? If so, how much space do you think GRUB takes?

I used Easeaus for Win 7, it works perfect. Do you think it makes any difference if I use Easeaus?
Okay, thanks for the help everyone.

Re: What is GRUB, can I choose not to install it

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 0:06
by kodiakmax
You could choose to install grub wherever you wanted it. If you wanted to keep grub you could keep it in the MBR if you felt like it. If you want it in it's own partion you should put it in a /boot partition. I beleive reccomended size is like 74MB or something. But it's really going to depend on how many kernels you want to be able to boot from. During the install you will be asked where you want to install grub, yes.

I don't know what Easeaus is, so I did a google search on it. It looks like data recovery software? They also make a partioning tool? if your talking about partitioning. you can use it. It doesn't matter how you partition, so long as it's partitioned. Though if you plan on resizing windows I would recommend resizing from within windows using windows own disk manager utility then partition. people seem to have more luck with it. If you use third party resizing tools for windows some people have had data corruption.

all you could ever want to know about grub here -- GRUB man

Re: What is GRUB, can I choose not to install it

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 15:53
by TreoTra93
Okay, thank you very much. I installed it on another computer my friend has. It works almost perfectly, most of the problems come from the actual computer, it just, reboot every now and then, so I can't really fix that. I got a problem with Compiz Fusion, so when I fix it I might install it on my computer. Anyway, that problem isn't for this topic.
Thanks everybody!
Oh, I saw and tested GRUB, and I liked it, so I'm going to install on my computer. But, I want it on a separate partition then, but when I installed GRUB, I didn't really see if I could choose to install it on a separate partition?

Re: What is GRUB, can I choose not to install it

Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 16:53
by Fitzcarraldo
You can either install the GRUB boot loader in the MBR or in the /boot directory. The directory /boot can be a separate partition or it can be in the root partition, it's up to you. Personally I prefer a separate (100 Mb) /boot partition, but most people these days just have /boot as a directory in the root partition.

You can use GParted or KDE Partition Manager, which you'll find on the LiveDVD, to create the partitions on your HDD before performing the SL installation. Alternatively you can select the 'Manually partition with Disk Manager' option when running the SL installer, and create the partitions then.

If you want to specify that the GRUB boot loader resides in /boot rather than the MBR then tick the 'Configure advanced boot loader options' option when running the SL installer.

You can see the above-mentioned installer pages and options in the SL guided tour in the SL Wiki:

Visual Tour: Installing Sabayon Linux KDE4

Visual Tour: Installing Sabayon Linux Gnome