Sabayon 5.0 + Windows 7 DualBoot

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Sabayon 5.0 + Windows 7 DualBoot

Postby Target_Acquired » Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:54

Hello all! It's nice to be a new member here. :D

I have a question. (Lol my first post)
Is it possible to dual-boot Sabayon Linux 5.0 with Windows 7?
If so, can some one help me out? Or point me in the right direction at least?

I've searched around and haven't exactly found a guide.
Oh, and I did look at this thread> http://forum.sabayonlinux.org/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=19167
But it didn't make sense to me.

Would the install work like Ubuntu?
Where all that is needed to be done is:
after a fresh Windows 7 install I would shrink the partition. (Using a Third-Party tool or one that Windows already comes packed with)
Then, boot from the Sabayon DVD and select 'Install'
When prompted, I would select the 'manual' option at the screen where the partition selection comes up, and select the newly made partition.
From there it would install onto that selected partition and the next time I would boot the computer, GRUB would allow me to choose between Sabayon and Windows. Right?

Or is there other steps necessary to take?
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Re: Sabayon 5.0 + Windows 7 DualBoot

Postby pepe999 » Sat Dec 05, 2009 15:04

You are right. However, I would like to suggest you to make / and /home on separated partitions. When something goes wrong, you can reinstall the system and leave /home without formatting so you can keep your settings on /home partition...
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Re: Sabayon 5.0 + Windows 7 DualBoot

Postby Target_Acquired » Sat Dec 05, 2009 18:50

Hmm I see.
So I would Shrink the windows partition and split the partition that was created into two.
I'm a little lost though.
Can you elaborate a little more on the / and /home suggestion you told me?
Why would I need to make two partitions and which one would I install Sabayon on?

Also, In my computer I have 8GB of DDR2 RAM, would there be a need for swap? Or is that ok?

Sorry for so many questions. :oops:
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Re: Sabayon 5.0 + Windows 7 DualBoot

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Sat Dec 05, 2009 19:45

If you want to be able to suspend to disk then create a swap partition slightly bigger than your RAM size. But if you are not interested in suspending to disk (e.g. you are not running SL on a laptop) then a swap partition of 512 Mb would be fine (which is what I used to have before suspending to disk worked properly in Linux). With 8 Gb of RAM your PC is not going to be doing much swapping to disk! My laptop has 2 Gb RAM and I now have a swap partition slightly bigger than 2 Gb, which is virtually never touched (even when using multimedia). In your case with 8 Gb RAM there is even less chance of swap being used.

On my laptop I have four partitions for SL:
/boot
/
/home
swap
plus two partitions for Windows XP:
- a hidden factory partition to enable me to restore Windows XP using the recovery DVD
- the Windows C: drive

You'll find quite a few people on the forum here don't bother with a /home partition but, personally, I prefer to have a separate /home partition and it has proved useful on a number of occasions (e.g. so that I can re-install SL onto the root and boot partitions without touching all my files in /home), especially as I have SL installed on a laptop and therefore would not have access to external HDDs with my personal files on them while I'm away from home. You can read the arguments both ways in the thread: The agony and ecstasy of a separate /home partition

I have /boot on a separate partition but it's not essential. I just like it that way in case anything screws up the root partition (which did happen to me once). The boot partition only has to be tiny: mine is just under 100 Mb in size and most of that is unused.
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Re: Sabayon 5.0 + Windows 7 DualBoot

Postby Target_Acquired » Sat Dec 05, 2009 22:35

Oh I see! So a /home partition is just there so you don't lose your files.
It makes sense.
So, I'm not going to use SWAP due to the 8GB of Physical RAM, I'll just make two partitions.
One for / and one for /home.

On /, I would install Sabayon, but the /home would be like a recovery.
I would just copy my files to it. Right?

Should I make one for /boot too?
What would be the use of it?

BTW, I'm going to be doing this on a Desktop computer ... so IDK if the suspend to disk will be a problem.
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Re: Sabayon 5.0 + Windows 7 DualBoot

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Sat Dec 05, 2009 23:03

Actually I recommend that you do have a swap partition, but just make it 512 Mb.

Keep things simple to start with. I suggest you have the following three Linux partitions:

/
/home
swap

The /home partition is not a recovery partition, it is where the users' personal files and various configuration files for applications are stored (on a per-user basis in separate sub-directories). Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you have created two user accounts on your PC: Bill (username bill) and Ben (username ben). Then the /home partition would have the two top level directories /home/bill and /home/ben. And let's say that Bill has decided to install the MPlayer multimedia player. His settings for MPlayer would then be in the directory /home/bill/.mplayer (the dot at the beginning of a directory name or a file name means that it is a hidden directory or file (although viewable if you select it to be)). And let's say that Bill decides to download some videos and store them on his HDD. He decides to create a directory /home/bill/Videos to put them in. Perhaps Ben decides to install OpenOffice. So he would have a directory /home/ben/.ooo3 with the settings stored in it for OpenOffice. And let's say that Ben decides he wants to keep his Writer documents in a directory he created called /home/ben/Writer_docs and his spreadsheets in a directory he created called /home/ben/Spreadsheets or whatever he wants to call them.

The directories on the root partition, such as /bin, /etc, /usr, /tmp etc. are for system-wide applications and configuration files. Actually, some people put these system directories on their own separate partitions too, but forget I said that: it's just not necessary.

Now, if you're new to Linux and/or tinker a lot, you may 'break' your installation. In which case you may want to 'wipe the slate clean' and re-install Linux. You can do this easily by using the LiveDVD and selecting it to leave /home as it is and go ahead and install Linux to the root partition. Then the users' configuration files (e.g. /home/bill/.mplayer/*) and personal files (e.g. /home/ben/Spreadsheets/*) will be left intact. So when those users re-install the applications all their settings and files are just as they were before. That's the beauty of having a separate /home partition. If the /home directory was on the same partition as the root directory (/) then it would be wiped out too when you use the LiveDVD to reinstall Linux to the root partition.

How much HDD space do you have to play with? If you can, I would suggest at least 25 Gb for the root partition (more if you have room, so that you have plenty of space to install applications, multiple desktop environments and all the good stuff you can get with Linux). The size you make /home depends mostly on how much personal stuff (videos, music, pictures, documents and so on) you want to be able to have on there.

By the way, although I make disk images of all my partitions onto an external USB HDD from time to time for backup purposes, and also make periodic backups of my /home directory to an external USB HDD regularly, I also copy a few critical configuration files from the root directory to a directory in my home directory /home/fitzcarraldo, just so I have them to hand if I change (or lose) a config file and want to revert at a later time. To give just one example, I have a desktop icon which I can click to launch a little Bash script to copy the Samba (Windows network sharing) config file /etc/samba/smb.conf to a directory /home/fitzcarraldo/Linux/Sabayon_Linux/Important_system_files/. I'm telling you this because, in that respect, I am using /home in a limited fashion for recovery, although that's just my personal strategy and I'm not doing it comprehensively, just for a few key files (such as the aforementioned smb.conf, plus others such as xorg.conf, make.conf etc. that I am more likely to change from time to time).
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Re: Sabayon 5.0 + Windows 7 DualBoot

Postby Marius » Sat Dec 05, 2009 23:32

Our system administrator considers swap partition with modern huge RAM to be largely totally obsolete, especially all these 'rules of thumb' like doubling the size of RAM, etc. She runs Linux without, and she said she didn't experience problems. I have a minimal swap partition just in case some component of the operating system expects its presence.

I have a word of caution regarding the dual boot installation: instructions in countless online HOWTOs about dual booting Linux with Windows almost always ignore the fact that practically all laptops sold today come with a hidden Rescue/Restore partition and no Rescue/Restore CDs. The Master Boot Record (MBR) contains instruction that accesses the hidden partition by pressing a certain function key at pre-boot when BIOS gets initialized.

In my experience, shrinking the Windows partition unfortunately seems to ruin this vital pre-boot access to the Rescue/Restore partition. And certainly the default grub install will do that (according to numerous reports, the new grub may also prevent you from booting Windows).

Some manufacturers, like Lenovo, suppply an executable to re-enable pre-boot access to the Rescue/Restore partition. Most, I am afraid, don't.

Because of these considerations, I now always opt for installing grub to the Linux partition, and then use either Windows own bootloader (XP), or an excellent free EasyBCD installer (Vista, 7):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EasyBCD
Last edited by Marius on Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sabayon 5.0 + Windows 7 DualBoot

Postby Target_Acquired » Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:52

@Fitzcarraldo:
Thank you for typing that whole descriptive note for me.
I understand the meaning of / and /home and SWAP now.

Before I install Sabayon, I will first make a / partition.
Following that, I will make a /home partition.
And after that, I will make a SWAP partition that amounts to 512MB's.

I will have a 1TB HDD and am deciding to split it like so:
Windows 7 - 600GB (I will be using this more)
Sabayon Linux - 400GB (I will still be using this ... just not as much)
------- / = 300GB
------- /home = 99.5GB
------- SWAP = 512MB
(Will this suffice?)

Now. (another series of questions ... heh)
When the screen in the Sabayon installation in which I am prompted to select the partition I would like to install on,
What would I select?
Would I select all three?
Or just /?
But then, how would /home be used as /'s /home ... and how would I apply SWAP to the whole bundle?
And, will switching between OS's from time to time harm my computer after a while?

Technically, Can you explain how I would install Sabayon on these three, newly created partitions?

I feel like an asshole having just bombarding you with question after question.
Please understand That I am a novice when it comes to things like this.
I am sincerely thankful for the time you are spending on me, helping out a n00b.

:oops: :oops: :oops:
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Re: Sabayon 5.0 + Windows 7 DualBoot

Postby Marius » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:52

Target_Acquired wrote:I will have a 1TB HDD and am deciding to split it like so:
Windows 7 - 600GB (I will be using this more)
Sabayon Linux - 400GB (I will still be using this ... just not as much)
------- / = 300GB
------- /home = 99.5GB
------- SWAP = 512MB
(Will this suffice?)


You absolutely do not need so much memory for the operating system (!!). Even if you decided to install every single application from the Entropy repositories, you would need 10 times less.

If anything, increase the size of your home directory or, better yet, create another partition that can be accessed from either Windows or Linux. Call it data, or scratch, and mount it at /. In the past that data partition had to be FAT32 but today when NTFS has read/write support in Linux it can be NTFS, which is much safer from file system corruption than FAT. It can also be ext3, since a Windows driver is readily available (I hope that soon there will be an ext4 driver as well). On my dual boot Sabayon+Vista each OS can mount/read/write the other OS partitions and I use this both ways.

More information here:
http://www.askvg.com/how-to-access-linu ... ot-system/

With Sabayon Linux you will need to use Ext2Fsd (if you want to be able to write from Windows to a Linux partition) since Ext2 IFS driver doesn't support the inode size present on newer Ext3 file system like Sabayon 5.o.
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