Thanks to Fedora community; Installation & Disk Partitioning ISSUE

Greg Woods woods at ucar.edu
Sat Nov 5 15:42:56 UTC 2011


On Sat, 2011-11-05 at 08:25 -0700, Joe Zeff wrote:

> For a partition to be bootable, it has to have the appropriate files on 
> it to boot your computer.  Can you give me one reason why you'd want to 
> have those files in /home, even if it is on its own partition, as it is 
> on my computers?

Yes, I can. I have a system with Windows dual boot, and I want to be
able to hibernate Linux, boot into Windows, and then resume Linux from
hibernation. With recent versions of Fedora, this is not possible from
the standard grub configuration, because hibernating does something to
the master boot loader block that causes it to boot immediately into the
same Linux kernel that was hibernated, rather than presenting the usual
boot menu. I do not have the option of booting Windows instead. This is
done to prevent someone from accidentally booting the wrong kernel, thus
clobbering their hibernation info. That is rather like shutting down the
computer by pulling the plug out of the wall, which can obviously have
bad consequences. 

Unfortunately, this safeguard does get in the way of my desire to
hibernate Linux and boot into Windows. So I get around this by booting
from /home. The master boot block contains pointers to the /home boot
configuration that has nothing in it but chainloaders. Then grub inside
Fedora is installed only on the Fedora root partition. This only
requires that the contents of /boot/grub be copied
to /home/boot/grub,  /home/boot/grub/grub.conf be edited appropriately,
and that grub be installed on the master boot sector with root pointed
at the /home partition.

Doing it this way, when I fire up the machine, I am given a choice of
Fedora or Windows. If I select Windows, then Windows will boot and run
normally. If I select Fedora, then the boot block from the Fedora
partition is loaded, the hibernated kernel immediately boots, and all is
as I want it to be. That can also work with multiple Linux systems
booting, as long as they do not share any swap partitions.

So this is at least one reason why someone might want to boot
from /home. It does, of course, require that you be comfortable playing
around with boot loaders, and be comfortable reinstalling the master
boot block from a rescue CD or DVD (in case you screw up, which of
course I have done and had to recover this way).

--Greg





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