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Author: Olaf Meeuwissen
To: terryc
Subject: Re: [DNG] Which beowulf iso to get a manual partitioner

terryc writes:

> As per subject, I'm looking for hint on which beowulf iso to boot off
> to e able to manually fix a paritin take an install grub.
> I have recently
> run both the beowulf 3.0 and 3.1 desktop iso to carry out installations
> of a new system.

I've recently used obth the server and desktop 3.1 installer ISOs.

> Both of these isos do not provide a manual partitioner and the 'auto
> partitioner' randomly fails to mark any disk as a boot disk. You end up
> with a dummy grub install, which is an error and there no way, that I
> can find to break out and do this manually.

There *is* a manual partitioning option in the installer. And if memory
serves me right you don't even have to use export mode.

It worked fine for me. If it doesn't for you, you can always switch to
a VT or start a shell from the installer menu and run fdisk or similar.
>From memory, sfdisk and cfdisk are available too.

Failing all of that, use a live ISO and partition from that.

> Nor could I do it under the expert(?) installation after rebooting to
> the install.
> The partitioner just wants to partition it all, when all I want to do
> is mark one disk as the master boot record and no be forced to do a
> complete re-install.

In this case, boot the installer's rescue mode, follow the steps and it
will eventually prompt you what partition you want to mount as / or
proceed without mounting a root partition. In the latter case you'll be
dumped in a shell similar to the one you can execute from the installer.

> My 2c is this auto-partition creates a real dogs breakfast of
> partitions. The auto-created partition table that was created
> prior(ascii) had
> free space
> ext4
> swap
> free space.
> This time it was just
> free space
> ext4
> swap (1gb*)
> freespace

The usually small bit of free space at the end of the disk is probably
caused by "rounding" issues during partition size calculations. The
free space at the beginning is, IIRC, 1MB and appears to be reserved for
GRUB stuff or EFI support, IIUC.

I gave up on squeezing the last few KB out of my 1TB disks and live with
the "wasted" free space at the end of my disk :-)

> I do not know if this weird partitioning scheme was part of the reason
> for the update grub screwing up.

Based on my limited experience, probably not, but you may want to check
for bug reports for the installer with similar symptoms in the Debian
and Devuan BTSs.

Hope this helps,
Olaf Meeuwissen, LPIC-2            FSF Associate Member since 2004-01-27
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