How to take over grub controlled by a different OS?

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Re: How to take over grub controlled by a different OS?

Postby Dai_trying » 2018-09-09 08:36

johnywhy wrote:My goal is to make an OS for a resource-limited machine. Might be trickly, as my HD isn't very big, and i want to have flexibility. Your approach means i'm stuck with a fixed number of OS's, and if i have fewer OS's, then i'm wasting my limited space with unused partitions.


If you want an OS for a low spec machine there are some out there as you have found (puppy is one set) so "make an OS for a resource-limited machine" would definitely be more work than most people would consider investing.

If you are "stuck with a fixed number of OS's" I would simply choose wisely and test quickly, if OS does not fit your needs move on to the next OS. And Garry has pointed out the merits of using virtualization to test/use other OS's, but if your resources are limited this may not be a viable option. I usually keep a set of virtual machines ready for when I need to do some quick tests and do not want to re-boot into other OS.

johnywhy wrote:i can't tell if my machine is EFI, cuz windows says i'm booting with "legacy". If i go into BIOS, i don't even see EFI anyplace, i only see "Legacy USB Booting: enabled/disabled". If i disable it, then i lose keyboard control of Mint's grub menu. weird!


Your machine is very likely UEFI otherwise "legacy boot" would not be an option. You would need to have your setting decided before installing any OS at all, you cannot (or should I say should not) change this after you have started populating your HDD with OS's, I have Win10 on my laptop and 4 Linux OS's and room to expand, I do not have so much HDD space there and usually give each OS between 5 and 25 Gb depending on the OS requirenments.
My UEFI machine (Dell laptop) is definitely easier (for me) to install/remove different OS's as each retains control of it's own grub with an entry in /boot/efi/EFI/ although some UEFI implementations are not so helpful to other users and they need to do some workarounds to get their desired set-up.

johnywhy wrote:do you think the folder-based installs is risky, not possible with certain OS's, or you just don't like it?

THX


I prefer to keep a little distance betweeen OS's and would not maintain an OS which is installed to the userspace of another OS although i have used wubi installations which have installed to the windows partitions but these were for testing and removed as soon as I was done. I can't really say if there are risks but I guess any files contained within a windows system could be compromised by the OS's poor security (virus/malware) although in most cases I imagine the damage would be limited.

And like Garry also said "There is only 1 Linux distro that is Debian" and I (nearly) always have a stable and testing version installed on my machines for using/testing various things. I also use derivatives like Q4OS (also good for low resource machines) SparkyLinux and others, if full desktop is needed then Xfce/Lxde/LxQt/trinity OS's are what I would usually go for but there are others that are even lower in resource usage but you have to sacrifice ease of use and so I don't usually strip down that far.
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Re: How to take over grub controlled by a different OS?

Postby p.H » 2018-09-09 09:38

johnywhy wrote:
I would create a seperate partition for each OS you want to install

i'll consider this approach. My goal is to make an OS for a resource-limited machine. Might be trickly, as my HD isn't very big, and i want to have flexibility. Your approach means i'm stuck with a fixed number of OS's, and if i have fewer OS's, then i'm wasting my limited space with unused partitions.

Then you may consider using LVM. It allows to easily create, resize and destroy logical volumes. A condition is that any distribution you wish to install must support LVM.
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Re: How to take over grub controlled by a different OS?

Postby johnywhy » 2018-09-10 16:07

Hi Garry

GarryRicketson wrote:there is only 1 Linux distro that is Debian. they have been modified and changed so much,

Again, yes i know they are not Debian. I didn't say they are Debian. I said they are based on Debian, which is correct. They are descended from Debian.

debiman wrote:distros with "dog" in their name are usually just puppies :D
in any case, that is not debian.


DebianDog isn't a puppy. It's a stripped down version of Debian's current release.

Therefor, in terms of troubleshooting and configuring, they may have enough in common with actual Debian, that solutions can be found by looking at how actual Debian does it. i think that may be especially true re booting.

Debian.org does not support them,

Debian.org states "Debian User Forums is a web portal on which you can submit questions about Debian, and have them answered by other users." https://www.debian.org/support . Therefor, what Debian.org officially "supports" isn't relevant here. If you're not personally interested in helping, you're free not to.

nor is responsible for the packages for them

I wasn't asking for package support for other distros, nor support of any kind for other distros. This thread concerns multi-booting.

You can all ways delete/remove any partitions you do not need, and use the space to increase the sizes of the partitions you do use.

For me, that's too time-consuming and too much effort to be practical as frequently as i need (multiple times daily). Also, i feel (maybe incorrectly) that resizing partitions carries a bit more risk of data-loss, or just wear-and-tear on the drive, than just making a new folder. So it's not something i'd want to do every day.

I have never heard of "folder installs".

Aka "frugal" installations. i'm no expert, but there are a couple variations i know of. The OS might boot off an ISO file, or may boot of initrd.gz, vmlinuz, and filesystem.squashfs files placed in a folder. Some setups offer run-in-RAM option, where the entire OS is decompressed and loaded into RAM at boot. The OS may have no persistence (like a live CD), or it may achieve persistence with a "save-file".

I don't think Debian can run from some folder on a Windows system.

These references might help.

"adding a compressed clone of your Debian installation, which is loaded into memory at boot, and then run frugally. This can offer security, and speed advantages."
https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums ... tallation/

"copy the /live folder from the CD/ISO to that HDD, install grub4dos and point menu.lst to boot that /live folder's initrd, vmlinuz and filesystem.squashfs. Allocate that partition a label of 'persistence' and you can boot that same set up but with all changes being preserved into the same partition"
https://github.com/souperdoupe/crunkbon ... -only-mode

"A frugal install goes onto an existing partition and can co-exist with other frugal installs, with installed Linux or installed Windows. Advantages of frugal installations:
- Space is saved: installation to hard drive typically is 4 times the size of the ISO, whereas with frugal it is the size of the ISO.
- Frugal from hard drive is faster than from a LiveMedium.
- Great for testing."
https://mxlinux.org/wiki/system/frugal-installation

"A Frugal install is where you boot an image off the hard drive, usually via grub or lilo, and load the compressed image. It essentially consists of loading the linux kernel using a boot loader which in turns loads the initial ramdisk (initrd). The initrd then loads the root file system."
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/wiki/frugal_install.html

lilo might be a better option.

Why?

I do not know anything about windows 10, nor have any interest

That's fine, i'm not seeking Windows support. This thread concerns multiple booting Linux.

Grub, etc, is a ROYAL pain, and headache, and yes after all said and done, it is limited to 4 or 5, bootable partitions, I forget exactly on that. There are ways to have more, but it really gets complicated, and messy.

i know what you mean :D

look at using a VM system

Thx for that. Yes, i have used VM's, and they do offer some advantages. But some things behave differently than in a disk installation. Can be a bit RAM-heavy too, since it means running two OS's at the same time. RAM is limited on the machine i'm working with.

cheers!
Last edited by johnywhy on 2018-09-11 04:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How to take over grub controlled by a different OS?

Postby johnywhy » 2018-09-10 16:43

Dai_trying wrote:If you want an OS for a low spec machine there are some out there as you have found (puppy is one set) so "make an OS for a resource-limited machine" would definitely be more work than most people would consider investing.

Yes, some people tell me "pick one OS and stick with it." How boring! :P My current interest is Devuan, a Debian-derivative that runs without systemd. Some folks in puppy community are offering some slimmed-down iso's and build-scripts.

If you are "stuck with a fixed number of OS's" I would simply choose wisely

Image
(caption could also read, "can i try on your hat?")

I have Win10 on my laptop and 4 Linux OS's and room to expand, I do not have so much HDD space there and usually give each OS between 5 and 25 Gb depending on the OS requirenments. My UEFI machine (Dell laptop) is definitely easier (for me) to install/remove different OS's as each retains control of it's own grub with an entry in /boot/efi/EFI/

i'm now resizing partitions. Planning on 1 Win part, and about 4 parts for other OS's. No doubt i will also have some folder-based frugal installs.

although some UEFI implementations are not so helpful to other users and they need to do some workarounds to get their desired set-up.

that's what i'm worried about. Still haven't decided. i'm not worried about boot viruses/root kits. I'm not likely to enlarge the HD on this box, so i don't need large-HD support. But i think UEFI gives access to a bit more RAM, which seems the only advantage in my scenario.

I also use derivatives like Q4OS (also good for low resource machines) SparkyLinux and others, if full desktop is needed then Xfce/Lxde/LxQt/trinity OS's are what I would usually go for.

i'm xfce all the way. My goal is a user-friendly OS i can share with friends for low-resource boxes. Imo, xfce is the most powerful, intuitive lightweight desktop. Don't need eye-candy.

p.H wrote:
johnywhy wrote:you may consider using LVM. It allows to easily create, resize and destroy logical volumes. A condition is that any distribution you wish to install must support LVM.

many thanks for that, p.H. I'm now reading up on LVM's, and planning to experiment :D
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Re: How to take over grub controlled by a different OS?

Postby debiman » 2018-09-12 04:46

looking up debiandog, i found this:
https://debiandog.github.io/doglinux/

johnywhy wrote:DebianDog isn't a puppy. It's a stripped down version of Debian's current release.
this is debatable.
quoting from above link:
DebianDog is very small Debian Live CD shaped to look and act like Puppy Linux. Debian structure and Debian behaviour are untouched and Debian documentation is 100% valid for DebianDog.


Therefor, in terms of troubleshooting and configuring, they may have enough in common with actual Debian, that solutions can be found by looking at how actual Debian does it.

this is correct.
in my opinion, you are also allowed to ask these questions here on the forum, as long as you use the correct sub-forum for derivate distros (off-topic), and specify that you are using something else than debian proper.
there's nothing wrong with that, ok? no animosity or sth, just do it properly from now on. please.

Debian.org states "Debian User Forums is a web portal on which you can submit questions about Debian, and have them answered by other users." https://www.debian.org/support . Therefor, what Debian.org officially "supports" isn't relevant here.

why not? it says so very clearly: "questions about Debian", not "questions about Debian derivates"
in any case, the forum has this policy i now mentioned several times, so it really doesn't matter so much what the wiki says.

now you might be wondering why this nitpicking?
two reasons:
1) there's tons of debain derivates. imagine they all were allowed to post questions here, it would explode the forums.
2) there's indeed differences in the structures of the distros themselves, and the term "debian derivate" is very vague, and "100% compatible" is usually simply untrue - this means, we cannot give good advice, or have to play even more guessing games than we already do. if you remember, this has already happened for one of your topics.
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Re: How to take over grub controlled by a different OS?

Postby johnywhy » 2018-09-13 18:32

Dog's architecture is Debian. It doesn't use puppy's architecture. As you quoted, "Debian structure and Debian behaviour are untouched and Debian documentation is 100% valid for DebianDog." That's clear. Not debatable.

Furthermore, Dog isn't some distant relative, forked years ago. It's based on the current release of Debian.

this has already happened for one of your topics.

That's completely incorrect. In both cases I stated I was using a derivative. It's not my fault if people can't read.

Thx for telling me about the Derivatives section, I'll use it!
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Re: How to take over grub controlled by a different OS?

Postby debiman » 2018-09-14 03:53

johnywhy wrote:Dog's architecture is Debian. It doesn't use puppy's architecture. As you quoted, "Debian structure and Debian behaviour are untouched and Debian documentation is 100% valid for DebianDog." That's clear. Not debatable.
i'm not debating what debiandog is, i'm debating what the debian forums are for.
look, we can discuss it til the sun rises in the west, fact is i'm not the only one who sees it like that, and you WILL run into similar comments.

Furthermore, Dog isn't some distant relative, forked years ago. It's based on the current release of Debian.
so are almost all debian derivates.
in fact, i've never heard of one that was "forked years ago", and hasn't touched original debian repos since.

this has already happened for one of your topics.

That's completely incorrect. In both cases I stated I was using a derivative. It's not my fault if people can't read.
if you use a distro with a different init system, and you ask a question pertaining to that init system, that is something you need to mention prominently in your first post, not later on as a "btw".


Thx for telling me about the Derivatives section, I'll use it!

thanks.
i'll take that as "Message received".
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Re: How to take over grub controlled by a different OS?

Postby None1975 » 2018-09-14 13:12

johnywhy wrote:. It's based on the current release of Debian.

It also has its own custom 'Dog' repositories for Stretch.
So It's not Debian in any way.
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