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Month: March 2018

my FrankenDebian

From: William Morder <doctor_contendo@...>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 19:23:10 -0700
I started to write about this under the post about upgrading and transitioning 
from Debian Jessie to Devuan Jessie. That would only confuse matters, 
however, so I am posting it here as a somewhat interesting diversion; or 
perhaps as an account of the morbid psychology of wannabe computer hackers on 
a quest for things that they know they probably can never attain and 
certainly ought never desire. Anyway ... here is an account of my dabbling in 
the black arts. 

On the Debian pages they warn against creating a FrankenDebian:
https://wiki.debian.org/DontBreakDebian/

Too late! I already popped that cherry a long time ago. And in the course of 
my experiments, I tried installing a dual-boot system on a 64 GB flash drive. 
At that time, my desktop computer had just got fried by a massive power surge 
that knocked out the electricity in about one-third of the city here. It took 
me months to get a new motherboard and other parts that I needed. In the 
meanwhile, I was given an old Sony Vaio laptop by a friend, so that I could 
continue working in the real world on various writing and other projects, for 
which I have deadlines. 

So I concocted this evil plan, in order to keep at least one of my operating 
systems actually operating, while on other partitions I experimented with 
various operating systems (although my heart was set on something GNU/Linux). 

The only reason I ever made a separate boot partition is that I was doing some 
experimentation with installing a dual-boot system on a 64 GB flash drive, 
from which I ran my laptop. I was trying to create a system that I could use 
to boot up any computer from that flash drive. 

I am glad to report that everything worked pretty well (running 1. Debian 
Jessie and 2. various other systems). So instead of the partitions you see 
listed above, I had it set up like so: 
1st drive
sda1 = / 30  (various operating systems, 
                     sometimes my old Kubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04; 
                     later other OSs, mostly Debian-like) 
sda2 = swap (4 GB)
sda3 = /home - #2 to go with sda1 (216 GB)
(This was a 250 GB hard drive) 

2nd drive
But everything booted from this drive: 
sdb1 = / - Debian Jessie with TDE (30 GB) 
                   This eventually became my main system, 
                   which I then transferred to my desktop computer 
                   (via flash drive), once I got it working again.
sdb2 = /boot (2 GB)
sdb3 = swap (4 GB)
sdb4 = /home (to go with sdb1) 28 GB
(This was a 64 GB flash drive.) 

When one OS was booted, the corresponding partitions on the other OS were left 
unused, and vice-versa; although I could always open konqueror or other file 
managers as root, and transfer stuff back and forth when needed. 

Or it was something like that, give or take a few GB, with a separate boot 
partition, so that everything booted from the same partition; with the added 
bonus that the laptop could not be booted unless I inserted the flash drive. 
The two different OSs shared the boot partition and swap, but I found that 
when I tried sharing a home directory, everything got messed up. 

However, I cannot use it to boot other computers (yet), but I am still working 
on this problem. That's why I started making a separate boot partition, so 
that I could solve all these various problems, learn a new operating system 
(as I had been using various 'buntus), and keep working, all while using a 
laptop and a couple flash drives. 

If anybody has anything to offer - for instance, how to make any computer boot 
from that flash drive? - I would be most grateful, as the experiment has been 
mostly successful otherwise. 

Bill


On Friday 16 March 2018 14:27:08 Dr. Nikolaus Klepp wrote:
> Am Freitag, 16. März 2018 schrieb William Morder:
> > > If your home folder lives on the same partition as /, then you'll have
> > > some work to do :-)
> >
> > Yeah ... I copied my home folder to another hard drive (a precaution for
> > whenever I am about to experiment, or do something stupid); so that it
> > would be possible to make my home folder something like sdb3, etc. ... if
> > that is what you mean.
>
> exactly. that's a good way not to loose your data :-)
>
> > Most of my important files are kept elsewhere, on other hard BIG drives;
> > the root partion and home folder are installed on a 100 GB hard drive.
> > And I only use the home folder for temporary files, which will eventually
> > get moved to one of those other places. Otherwise, the only real purpose
> > of my home folder is to keep all my settings intact.
> >
> > If I follow what you're saying, then I could partition that 100 GB hard
> > drive something like:
> > sda1 = /
> > sda2 = /boot
> > sda3 = swap
> >
> > But that seems like a waste of space, as even a generous root partition
> > has never been bigger than about 30 GB, and a boot partition is maybe 2
> > or 3, and maybe 4-6 GB for swap -- which leaves at least 60 GB for what?
> >
> > Or maybe something else would be better? Then I could use a partition on
> > sdb as my home folder?
>
> Space is cheap. Anyhow, you most likely will never use swap. And /boot does
> not need to be on a seperate partition, just keep it on /. You can always
> resize/create/erase partitions with gparted (puppylinux comes in handy for
> this), so it essentilly does not matter with what size you start, you can
> always change that later. 20GB for / is OK, make the rest /home. But before
>  installing a new OS, please copy /home/your-user to
> /home/copy-of-your-user - and check twice that you use the right partition
> :-)
>
> > Thanks for your advice,
> >
> > Bill
> >
> > > > My current system is Debian Jessie, and runs pretty much like I want,
> > > > except for some minor bugs. My biggest complaint is systemd, and I
> > > > really want to go back to using sysvinit.
> > > >
> > > > Also: I wonder if it is possible to switch to Devuan without doing a
> > > > complete reinstallation? i.e., after changing over to sysvinit, can I
> > > > enable Devuan repositories (and disable Debian), then do something
> > > > like sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
> > > > or whatever?
> > > >
> > > > Bill
> > >
> > > You can move from debian jessie to devuan jessie without problems, just
> > > follow the guide
> > > https://devuan.org/os/debian-fork/stable-jessie-announce-052517 section
> > > "Upgrade". When you do the upgrade, please do it on a console, not on a
> > > X11 terminal.
> > >
> > > Nik
> >
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