Multi-Multi Booting from the Ground Up



wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
2,022
On cleaning up Swap




SCREENSHOT 1 - JEFF’S SSD

OK a couple of days ago we got you to take a full snapshot of your Tara Cinnamon. If you have not been in there much since, then that may suffice. If you have, or have performed eg updates, added software, then you need to take an additional, incremental, shot, this is done simply by pressing Create and it will consist only of new material. It will only take a few moments and may only consume a few megabytes.

Once that is complete, the incremental snapshot can be used to restore from, because incrementals are hardlinked to any earlier incrementals, and the oldest incremental is hooked to the original full snapshot.

What we are going to do is to restore LM 19 on top of itself, that is, to the same spot. A reboot following the restoration will see Linux Mint return to the top spot on the leaderboard – your Grub Menu. We can then start fixing the Swap issues, starting with KDE Neon.

Step 1, then, will be to determine where you want to perform the Timeshift ops from. It’s already installed with Mint, and if you want to put it on the other two (3 counting Xubuntu), then it’s

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install timeshift

If you perform the restore from other than LM, on a new Timeshift, then you will first have to tweak the settings to point to your existing Timeshift partition on your hard drive, Jeffrey. Also turn off any schedules checked and use On Demand. Once you’ve finished with Settings, any snapshots you have will appear.

Again, if you perform the restore from other than Mint, you will see all GUI action, and when the restore is completing, you will see it parsing the log file, and updating the bootloader configuration.

2nd Step is to select LM full snapshot (or incremental if one is more recent) and press Restore.

Timeshift will show you the defaults it has determined as having been in place when the snapshot was taken. In your case, these include your ESP (EFI System Partition) on /dev/sdb1 and your root OS on /dev/sdb2.

3rd Step - If all is correct, follow the prompts and you’ll see the action. At the end of the operation, reboot.

With Step 1 - If you choose to perform the operation from within Linux Mint itself, a point will come where Timeshift’s GUI hands over to a black shell with lots of white text scrolling by and pausing a little here and there, especially when it reconfigures the bootloader sequence. When complete, it will automatically reboot.

When you are fresh and up to it, I’d like you to follow the steps above and report back on completion.

A part of my rationale for doing this with Mint first is that currently KDE Neon is in control of your system. If we want to fix stuff up with it, we are better off doing that from a vantage point where it is not in control, and you do not have to rely on it to boot your computer.

Cheers

Wizard
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
2,022
I would not worry about it with KDE Neon yet, because we are about to monkey with it, and if it goes pear-shaped, it will be easier to fresh install the right way, than rebuild on a faulty install setup.

Your Grub Menu, now, has changed



... and does not look a whole lot like mine ... I just wanted to show off :D:rolleyes:;)

What yours will have is:

Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon
Advanced options for Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon
Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (18.04) (on /dev/sda2)
Advanced options for Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS (18.04) (on /dev/sda2)
(Something like) KDE Neon Plasma (on /dev/sdb5)
Advanced options for (Something like) KDE Neon Plasma (on /dev/sdb5)
System setup

That last entry, incidentally, can be used to enter your Setup if you have need of it, and have forgotten at startup to press your mapped function keys, eg F2, F12, Del &c.

We established earlier that all three of your Distros have an e2fsprogs package which is

[email protected]:~$ apt-cache policy e2fsprogs
e2fsprogs:
Installed: 1.44.1-1
... version 1.44.1-1

This is good :)

e2fsprogs is a suite of utilities that amongst other uses (eg from Terminal) forms an integral part of the GNOME Partition Editor aka GParted.

You can read about it here at Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E2fsprogs and we are going to be using some of those listed as we fix our Swap.

When you perform a GParted operation and choose Apply, you can click "Details" and expand the tree and expand the tree and see what is happening. In the below screenshot, I have custom expanded it to show that two (2) of the utilities, e2fsck, and resize2fs ... are v1.44.1-1



SCREENSHOT 2 - GPARTED EXPANDED TO SHOW VERSION OF E2FSPROGS AND ITS UTILITIES

I will go into this in more detail in an upcoming Topic on Tips and Tricks for Multi-multi-booting, but suffice it to say that if you do not have an e2fsprogs higher than v1.43.x, you may not be able to perform certain operations. Labeling partitions, which I think is essential for the multibooter, hits a snag with old versions, it can report "Cannot find a valid superblock" and fall over, whereas a newer version on a different Distro handles it with ease. Labeling uses the utility e2label.

Bottom line for now with GParted
is that each and every one of your 3 Distros is fine for using its GParted.

When I come back, we can boot into KDE Neon itself and use its GParted to manipulate the Swap there. We will not be doing anything with /dev/sdb5 itself, because that is our root / partition for the current Distro, and GParted will not allow us to do that.

Cheers

Wizard
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
2,022
Would it be better to wipe Neon and start fresh?
Nope, it's the Swap that is causing the problem, you have 2 Swaps of 16GB each on the same physical drive, the SSD, and then another one on the HDD if I am not mistaken, where Ubuntu MATE lives?

Whether you have 3 or 33 Linux on your System, there need only be one (1) Swap, shared by all of them. Once we fix that, all should be good.

Q.
And, can you show how to make my Grub menu look like that!?!?
A.
I will go into this in more detail in an upcoming Topic on Tips and Tricks for Multi-multi-booting
Gotta go for a bit.

Wiz
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
2,022
Just an edit on the above.

If this is still accurate, in terms of configuration, not space consumed, with your HDD



... then there are only 2 Swaps, and we will get rid of one.

I could use your output, from Ubuntu Mate's environment of

Code:
cat /etc/fstab
Wiz
 

Jeffrey Lapinski

Active Member
Credits
64
cat /etc/fstab
Code:
[email protected]:~$ cat /etc/fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
# / was on /dev/sda2 during installation
UUID=36c483d6-1f9b-4211-8ff5-932ba96a4315 /               ext4    errors=remount-ro 0       1
# /boot/efi was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=1701-0DA1  /boot/efi       vfat    umask=0077      0       1
/swapfile                                 none            swap    sw              0       0
[email protected]:~$
 

Jeffrey Lapinski

Active Member
Credits
64
also, is it possible to reduce the MATE partition size? I had increased it before I realized that the problem was the swap size and the Nvidia driver?
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
2,022
Yep ... nuke it all? Sorry to sound negative, but the plethora of small fat32 partitions appears to be an attempt to set up a /boot/efi, that is, an ESP ... but they are not.

Does the Budgie one actually work?

also, is it possible to reduce the MATE partition size?
Yes, once the SSD is clear to go, you can use a GParted from it to manipulate the size of the Ubuntu MATE on the HDD.

Truly, if you don't think the swaps are necessary we can just get rid of both of them.
I think that is a good idea, in fact, this would be a good opportunity to clean up the SSD if you don't mind putting KDE Neon aside temporarily, that will make things get done faster.

Wiz
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Credits
2,022
Have by your side an install stick for LM 19 Cinnamon. If things go pear-shaped, we can use its Timeshift to restore from the snapshot you have taken, and which last I saw would be in /dev/sda3 on the HDD.

In Linux Mint on the SSD, launch GParted and navigate to the page for /dev/sdb. (We could also perform this operation from Ubuntu, but we want to be able to update our Grub Menu, and that is done through Mint which is currently in charge).

It should be the case that none of the partitions on the SSD has that lock padlock or key beside them, that is, they should be unmounted. If any are not, right-click the partition entry and choose "unmount", or in the case of Swap "swapoff" - these ops will action immediately.

Starting with /dev/sdb3 which should be Swap, right-click and choose delete, but do not yet choose the green tick/checkmark to apply.

Continue down the list, to and including /dev/sdb6 which was also Swap, right-click and delete each time.

You will notice a pane at the bottom of GParted's window which is accumulating a list of tasks pending, grow.

When you get to the point where all occupied partitions other than those of Linux Mint have been set up to delete, then, Apply the changes, you may get a non-fatal warning, proceed.

After a short time, all operations are completed and you are left with /dev/sdb1 and /dev/sdb2. Your unallocated space has grown into one contiguous lot.

Exit GParted but do not reboot.

STEP THE NEXT

Open a Terminal Ctrl-Alt-t.

On the subject of Control keys, an upward-pointing caret ^ can be used for Control, so ^C is the same as Ctrl-C - this protocol will be used in Nano, command line text editor.

Type and enter the following

Code:
sudo nano /etc/fstab
Enter your password and proceed.

The file in front of you will look a little similar to ones where I have asked for "cat /etc/fstab", but rather than just having its content typed to the screen, here we are going to edit its content.

Navigation is by your arrow keys, left, right, up, down - although we will employ a slightly more user-friendly approach with larger files coming up.

Check at the bottom of the file for a line or lines referring to Swap or a swapfile. I am thinking it would reference /dev/sdb3.

If there is a line prefaced with a hash # that is a comment, and is simply explanatory. If there is a line without a hash, that is a command or a reference or directions for Linux to find things.

So if there is a line of that sort referencing Swap, go to the start of the line and insert a # or a # and space (programmers like the space).

Now, following the instructions at the bottom of the Nano "shell", we are going to ^X to start the exit and save.

You will be prompted to save or discard changes, choose Shift-Y for Yes. The name of the file to save will be displayed, press enter and you are returned to the Terminal shell.


STEP THE LAST

For quite a number of Distros in different Families, that is sufficient to effect the changes. We won't take any chances.

In Terminal

Code:
sudo update-grub
Enter your password and proceed. Once Grub is updated ...

Reboot.

Let us know how you go, and then we will proceed further, or fix any glitches.

Cheers

Wizard
 

Jeffrey Lapinski

Active Member
Credits
64
Yep ... nuke it all? Sorry to sound negative, but the plethora of small fat32 partitions appears to be an attempt to set up a /boot/efi, that is, an ESP ... but they are not.

Does the Budgie one actually work?
Actually they all work! Ok, nuked. You'll have to tell me later why that set up isn't correct (Manjaro forces me to set an ESP when installing). That is for another day, back to my main project!
 


Members online


Latest posts

Top