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  #1  
Old 29th September 2009, 01:31 PM
glennzo Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Installing Arch

Hey all. I'm looking to install Arch Linux on a computer that has several partitions. I want to install it to one of the existing partitions but due to my lack of experience with cfdisk I'm having some trouble figuring out how to do it. Cfdisk seems to want to create a new partition and then create separate folders inside the new partition. How do I just use an existing partition and have cfdisk create the new folders under that one? I'm sure it's probably hard to explain in a web forum just how this is done.

Thinking while I writing this post....

Maybe I'll just delete the last partition, something like /dev/sdb10, and then use that space to let cfdisk do what it wants instead of trying to insert Arch into, say, /dev/sdb5 ...
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  #2  
Old 29th September 2009, 02:14 PM
l0vvrider Offline
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If I understood you well, as far as I remember Arch's installer, it is possible to *skip* partitioning and select mount points according to current partitioning scheme. In your case, you would just select /dev/sdb10 as / partition for Arch. No need for cfdisk at all.

Edit:

Maybe it is best to post output of fdisk -l here and tell us what exactly you want to do or if you find gparted easier use it instead cfdisk.

Last edited by l0vvrider; 29th September 2009 at 02:17 PM.
  #3  
Old 29th September 2009, 02:31 PM
glennzo Offline
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Thanks for the reply. What you say makes sense to me but what about the folders that are needed by Arch under the root partition, /boot /var and such?

Output of fdisk for the disk in question ....

Code:
Disk /dev/sdb: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000001

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1               1        2611    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sdb2            2612        5222    20972857+  83  Linux
/dev/sdb3            5223        7833    20972857+  83  Linux
/dev/sdb4            7834       19457    93369780    5  Extended
/dev/sdb5            7834       10444    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sdb6           10445       13055    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sdb7           13056       15666    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sdb8           15667       18277    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sdb9           18278       19457     9478318+  83  Linux
Guess it would be /dev/sdb9 if I install to the last partition ...
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  #4  
Old 29th September 2009, 02:34 PM
l0vvrider Offline
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linuxfirefox
It is enough to select just / partition, other mount points are optional. If only / partition is selected, all other folders will be placed on that partition, including /home, /boot, /var etc. Only if you have need to mount them on separate partition, you will have to do repartitioning.

Last edited by l0vvrider; 29th September 2009 at 02:36 PM.
  #5  
Old 29th September 2009, 02:40 PM
scottro Offline
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linuxopera
Yup, just skip to the part about selecting mount points and use the chosen partition for root.
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  #6  
Old 29th September 2009, 02:57 PM
billy123 Offline
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You could install Arch from within an existing Linux install to have access to familiar utilities. Although, I have never tried this method.
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/...Existing_Linux
  #7  
Old 29th September 2009, 03:05 PM
glennzo Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
OK guys. I'll give this method a shot. Will be doing this later this afternoon and will report back when done. Thanks very much.
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  #8  
Old 29th September 2009, 03:10 PM
aleph Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Quote:
Originally Posted by billy123 View Post
You could install Arch from within an existing Linux install to have access to familiar utilities. Although, I have never tried this method.
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/...Existing_Linux
That's what I was going to say too. The idea is, in my opinion, quite elegant
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  #9  
Old 30th September 2009, 12:43 AM
glennzo Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
I getting beaten up here. Arch installed just fine on it's own partition. I made some configuration changes per the Arch Wiki and thought I was golden, until I rebooted. Kernel panic. I did manage to get it to boot once or twice, probably accidentally. I think the problem is that the computer has 2 IDE (PATA ??) disks and one SATA disk. All the OS's are installed on the first IDE disk which is /dev/sdb. Fedora 12, Fedora 11 and Windows XP are fine with this. Arch doesn't appear to be too happy about it.

I don't know if the method that Arch uses to boot is the culprit. Here's a sample of the Arch grub entries.
Code:
title  	Arch Linux
root   	(hd1,4)
kernel 	/boot/vmlinuz26 root=/dev/disk/by-uuid/7e2c4afb-f52a-4abf-8831-35b0641facb4 ro
initrd 	/boot/kernel26.img
Grub is installed on /dev/sdb. Fedora 12's grub is running the show. I think that (hd1,4) in the Arch stanza is correct. That's pointing to the first IDE disk. The UUID is correct also.
Code:
[glenn@fedora12 ~]$ blkid /dev/sdb5
/dev/sdb5: UUID="7e2c4afb-f52a-4abf-8831-35b0641facb4" SEC_TYPE="ext2" TYPE="ext3"
I'd bet that if I unplug the SATA disk and made a change to Arch's boot stanza the system would boot. See, the SATA disk is coming up as /dev/sda. That's what is making the first IDE come up as /dev/sdb. I think that the SATA disk's presence is the root of the problem. Why can I not for the life of me boot Arch? Any thoughts ?

Just for kicks here's all three disks.
Code:
[glenn@fedora12 ~]$ sudo /sbin/fdisk -l
Password: 

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x06afd788

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1       60801   488384001    7  HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdb: 80.0 GB, 80026361856 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x014b717e

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *           1        2608    20948728+   7  HPFS/NTFS <- Windows XP
/dev/sdb2            2609        5219    20972857+  83  Linux <- Fedora 12
/dev/sdb3            5220        7830    20972857+  83  Linux <- Fedora 11
/dev/sdb4            7831        9729    15253717+   5  Extended
/dev/sdb5            7831        9598    14201428+  83  Linux <- Arch
/dev/sdb6            9599        9729     1052226   82  Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdc: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes <- Nothing installed on this disk yet.
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 19457 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000001

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1               1        2611    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sdc2            2612        5222    20972857+  83  Linux
/dev/sdc3            5223        7833    20972857+  83  Linux
/dev/sdc4            7834       19457    93369780    5  Extended
/dev/sdc5            7834       10444    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sdc6           10445       13055    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sdc7           13056       15666    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sdc8           15667       18277    20972826   83  Linux
/dev/sdc9           18278       19457     9478318+  83  Linux
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  #10  
Old 30th September 2009, 02:06 AM
scottro Offline
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linuxopera
I'd try removing the UID and changing it to /dev/sdwhatever--and editing Arch's fstab the same way. I remember UUID's breaking things in F12 a few weeks ago.

Also, the Arch Linux forums are excellent, you can try there as well. See if people are having trouble with UUID's.
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  #11  
Old 30th September 2009, 11:21 AM
glennzo Offline
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Hi Scott. Tried that. Nothing worked, so I was looking at the Arch Wiki and searched for kernel panic. This page, http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Kernel_panic, explained how to reinstall the kernel. I did that and now have Arch booted. Of course, it may not boot next time. Have to wait and see. Hopefully I can edit my Fedora 12 grub menu to handle this now. Thanks for the reply

Edit: Just as I thought. Rebooted and it wouldn't boot. Couldn't find the disk. Rebooted 3 or 4 times and it finally worked. Now that I've installed Gnome and Xorg I have a nice graphical desktop to work from. Probably won't boot again though. This is interesting. There's something that I'm not picking up on somewhere.
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Last edited by glennzo; 30th September 2009 at 12:23 PM.
  #12  
Old 2nd October 2009, 01:12 AM
forkbomb Offline
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linuxgentoofirefox
Hmm... perhaps the different distros may use different IDE/PATA host controllers in the kernel tree... or something. The different OSs may label disk nodes differently for reasons I don't particularly understand (order of initialization?), but as long as each distro's fstab is adjusted for its own node naming scheme, they should all be happy as a clam. (e.g. distros with the older PATA/IDE controllers in their default kernel build will refer to those devices as /dev/hdxy as you probably know)

In complicated multiboot situations I've been known to mount partitions by labels (the default behavior for some distros). I don't remember the syntax off the top of my head. I'm pretty sure it is possible to add labels to existing ext* filesystems without destroying the filesystem, but as always, take backups.
  #13  
Old 2nd October 2009, 01:23 AM
glennzo Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Part of me is thinking that the SATA / IDE mix is to blame. Another part of me wonders why I can boot one version of the kernel, the "fallback" one, while the other one won't boot. They're virtually identical in terms of what's in /boot/grub/menu.lst.
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  #14  
Old 2nd October 2009, 01:55 AM
scottro Offline
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It probably has to do with the init image. I think the fallback has more things put into it.

Y'know when you install the kernel and it does that mkintcpio or whatever it's called, I believe the fallback kernel has more hooks. (See their docs for fuller explanations, my mind is a bit hazy on it at tihs moment.).
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  #15  
Old 2nd October 2009, 09:40 AM
glennzo Offline
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linuxfedorafirefox
Thought I might be able to do the mkinitcpio with the kernel that doesn't boot, but neither of them boot unless they feel like it. I'm wondering if it's because I installed to a single partition and don't actually have a boot partition. Been doing a little reading don't you know... This is almost more trouble than it's worth, although once the OS is up and running it's fast.
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Last edited by glennzo; 2nd October 2009 at 09:43 AM.
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