Grub location

Vrai

Active Member
Does anyone have an opinion or any advice regarding the location of Grub on the hard drive?

I ask this because I recently used the Boot-Repair-Disk from over at Sourceforge ( https://sourceforge.net/p/boot-repair-cd/home/Home/ ) to re-install my Grub and the Boot-Repair-Disk warned that Grub was not at the beginning of my partition.

I have a 1TB platter drive divided into 4 partitions - approximately as follows;
sda1 496 - GB boot - Linux Mint
sda2 - 8.6 GB Linux swap - lazy slacker not doing much :rolleyes:
sda3 467 GB - Play - 2nd Linux install (dual boot)
sda4 28 GB - "Test"

sda has my Mint install which is my 'daily driver'. sdb currently has Blue Collar Linux on it but is used for installing and testing various distros. sdc is for 'just in case' or perhaps for installing a third small distro - currently unused.

Everything is working well and like I want it to. Grub is currently installed on sda.
Is there any benefit or logical reason to move the Grub to the beginning of the sda partition?
Should I make a separate /boot partition and put Grub there?
If everything is working fine should I just leave well enough alone?
Or should I tweak it 'till I break it? ( lookin' at you @Socket of Davis ;) )

Edited to fix partition numbering scheme :/
 
Last edited:


Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Personally.....'if it aint broke dont fix it".....:cool:
 

rado84

Active Member
Depends on the distro. For Debian-based ones I prefer to install grub inside the file system. For instance, my Mint is installed on sdb1 and I chose for grub to be installed on sdb1. The reason for that is quite simple - I use Clonezilla to create backups and if something gets broken, I can easily restore everything to a working state without having to update grub after that.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
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I must say it has been an interesting 8 - 9 days since you "joined the gang", Vrai :)

The variety of Members we get, Noobs to experts, I find quite gratifying, and look forward to "coming to the office" each day.

(Wizard appears in a puff of smoke)

I note the 4 partitions on the /dev/sda - are you on BIOS-MBR or UEFI-GPT?

With the 80 Linux I run on 4 different rigs -

Lowest end is a Compaq Presario with 512MB RAM and 60GB HDD

Middle is Toshiba Satellite with 8GB RAM and 1TB HDD

and highest are two identical Dell Inspirons (one for me, one for my wife), each with 16GB RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 2TB SATA HDD.

I have found no benefit, nor dis-benefit, from having a /boot partition, nor for placing the bootloader (always Grub for me) on eg /dev/sda as opposed to /dev/sdax where /dev/sdax is the root partition for a LInux.

On my UEFI Dell, I have Windows plus 8 Linux all sharing the same EFI System Partition, on the SSD. It is /dev/sdb, and Grub is on /dev/sdb.

On the Toshiba Satellite, there is just the one /dev/sda. It houses over 50 partitions, of which all but about 5 are Linux root partitons. Again, all have Grub installed just to /dev/sda and run off the same ESP (EFI System Partition).

I note the input from @rado84 above, and if you use Steven Shiau's (most excellent) Clonezilla, then that is a relevant consideration.

All of my "backup/recovery" solution focuses on Timeshift, and that works fine for me.

So the choice/s are really yours.

Cheers all

Wizard
 

rado84

Active Member
I note the input from @rado84 above, and if you use Steven Shiau's (most excellent) Clonezilla, then that is a relevant consideration.

All of my "backup/recovery" solution focuses on Timeshift, and that works fine for me.

So the choice/s are really yours.

Cheers all

Wizard
I don't like Timeshift because it backs things up very selectively, whereas I'm more of a "bulk backup" person. As for Clonezilla, I know only one Clonezilla - don't know who its creator is:
https://clonezilla.org/downloads.php
 

Vrai

Active Member
I note the 4 partitions on the /dev/sda - are you on BIOS-MBR or UEFI-GPT?
BIOS-MBR No UEFI on this mobo AFAIK. There is a 2nd hard drive with Windows 8.1 on it but Grub is on sda. Windows boot loader stays put and no one speaks to it because it gets all crabby and doesn't play nice.

I have found no benefit, nor dis-benefit, from having a /boot partition, nor for placing the bootloader (always Grub for me) on eg /dev/sda as opposed to /dev/sdax where /dev/sdax is the root partition for a LInux.
Thanks for the info. I have only made a separate /boot partition once or twice when doing some experimental installs. Usually I let the installer put Grub wherever it wants to. So long as it works I got no problem with where it is! :)


I note the input from @rado84 above, and if you use Steven Shiau's (most excellent) Clonezilla, then that is a relevant consideration.

All of my "backup/recovery" solution focuses on Timeshift, and that works fine for me.

So the choice/s are really yours.
I have made a disk image with Clonezilla recently and I am looking into Timeshift. The disk clone is for a 'worst case' scenario. I am interested in Timeshift for a less drastic 'rollback' if I get to tweaking a bit to enthusiastically. :rolleyes:

I am thinking of upgrading from Linux Mint 18.3 to 19.1. I may try the 'upgrade' route just to see how it works and for the user experience. Over the years I have always done a 'fresh' install because the Mint blog indicated that would give the most satisfactory results. Just trying to get all my ducks in a row before the urge to tweak overwhelms me.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter

rado84

Active Member
I am thinking of upgrading from Linux Mint 18.3 to 19.1.
I wouldn't recommend that just yet. Mint 19 still has many problems only one of which is too slow startup time - 40+ seconds for the userspace from SSD (18.3 does that in 16 seconds). I'll upgrade to Mint 19 whenever they release 19.3 because the .3 version is the most cleaned of bugs version. All the little problems and bugs Mint 19 has are not present in 18.3. The latest isn't always better. It's a pity not many people understand that and later they start crying about this and that because it's not working as they expected.
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
@rado84 ......


One has only to read of the various little problems which are being experienced with 19, to know that now is not the time.....otherwise you become one of the little problems.....
 

Vrai

Active Member
Thanks for the input @rado84 and @Condobloke !

I did a 'clean' install of Linux Mint 19 on my Acer laptop some months ago as the Linux Mint 18.3 I had installed on it was driving me bonkers with little niggling quirks.

I must have been lucky and got a good .iso because 19 has been working fine on this machine. Boots up and shuts down very fast. No crashes. Everything works. Oh, there are probably a few little minor annoyances but overall it has been rock solid.

Like I said - I must'a' got lucky.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
I can easily restore everything to a working state without having to update grub after that.
We are verging on going off-topic here, might need a separate Thread on Clonezilla, I'll think about it.

Rado are you performing a partition clone or a disk clone? Last I used a partition clone and restore, Clonezilla updates the bootloader (grub) right down to new UUID if need be.

Wizard
 

rado84

Active Member
@Vrai , give it some time and you'll start discovering the many minor annoyances. And for Mint 18.3 I like the 4.13.0-45 kernel - with this version 18.3 works like a well oiled machine. There are probably newer versions of the kernel which work equally better but I don't have the habit to fix things that work, so I'm gonna use it until it stops working.
 

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