[solved]i386 and amd 64 on same drive different partitions

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

[solved]i386 and amd 64 on same drive different partitions

Postby ticojohn » 2017-11-20 18:48

I am currently running Jessie i386 from an SSD and have Stretch i386 on an HDD. Processor is and Intel i5. grub2 is installed with Jessie as the primary boot option.

After inadvertently logging out of Skype I discovered that Skype no longer works and I need to have a 64 bit system to install and use Skype. I have a huge amount of free space on the HDD so I am wondering if creating a new partition on the HDD and installing amd64 to that partition will cause problems. Will grub2, as installed for the 32 bit system, be able to recognize and select the amd64 install? Are there any gotchas that I need to know about when installing Stretch amd64 to the new partition? Maybe dumb questions but thought I should check before jumping in.

My plan would be to
1. Partition the HDD using gparted
2. Format the new partition as ext4
3. Install Stretch amd64 to the new partition. *** Not sure about grub install at this point but want to keep Jessie as primary boot option.
4. If grub is not installed then boot into Jessie and update grub.

I searched and did not find anything specific to having dual boot of 32 bit and 64 bit Linux.
Any suggestions and/or feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

Update: Thought I might add that I am NOT booting EFI. All systems are legacy boot.
Last edited by ticojohn on 2017-11-22 14:44, edited 1 time in total.
I'm not irrational, I'm just quantum probabilistic.
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Re: i386 and amd 64 on same drive different partitions

Postby cronoik » 2017-11-20 21:53

ticojohn wrote:Will grub2, as installed for the 32 bit system, be able to recognize and select the amd64 install?

Yes that is possible.
ticojohn wrote: Are there any gotchas that I need to know about when installing Stretch amd64 to the new partition?

The only thing you have to think about is if you want to install the grub of stretch or keep the jessie grub.
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Re: i386 and amd 64 on same drive different partitions

Postby ticojohn » 2017-11-21 17:49

Okay. Partitioned the drive and installed Stretch amd64 as planned. However, an unexpected issue has arisen. The UUI for the ssd and the HDD have been modified and the values in fstab do not agree with what I see with the blkid command. Yikes. Causes all kinds of issues at startup, such as a real long start up time and message (start job running for dev-disk-by).

I can understand the issue with /dev/sdb (Stretch) but don't understand why my Jessie drive /dev/sda was affected.

So, I guess I have a couple of options.
1. Since I have never (to my knowledge) needed to use swap, I could at least temporarily comment out the line for the swap partition in fstab for all three versions of Debian.
2. I could use the UUID for the swap partition on the HDD, /dev/sdb5 as shown in blkid, for all three versions of Debian.

I think I will start with option 1 and see if that obviates the startup problem. If that seems to fix the issue then I will try option 2.

Comments and feedback welcome and appreciated.
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Re: i386 and amd 64 on same drive different partitions

Postby ticojohn » 2017-11-21 18:41

Oh boy! Looks like the fstab files and /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume files are in disagreement for all three installations. Yikes.
Will need to modify fstab and the resume files then run update-iniramfs. Spooky. I suppose if something goes wrong the system is trashed.

UPDATE: Plenty of gotchas! Be aware that, at least in my case, the installation to the new partition changed the UUID of the swap partition on both the HDD and the SSD. This resulted in /etc/fstab and /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.g/resume on all three partitions to be incorrect which resulted in problems during boot. Used the blockid command to get the new UUID's. Edited fstab and resume files on each installation then did update-initramfs -u on each installation to correct the problems. Quite a learning experience.
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