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Thread: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

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    Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Hi guys. I just built this machine.

    Everything lights up fine and I'm into the BIOS which is exciting. Before I do anything else though, I want to learn a bit so that I set things up well for the future.

    The machine is intended to serve primarily as an HTPC and in the future as a workhorse for business/coding, with the potential for gaming down the line (left an expansion slot open). As such I'd like to partition the SSD and be able to dual-boot into W10 Pro and kodibuntu (or other suitable HTPC OS). Problem is I don't know much about ubuntu/linux at all (know very little about coding also!). Best info I can find is a seven-year old guide to dual-booting W7 with ubuntu (on lifehacker.com) which could end up being useful but I wanted to ask the community if anyone had any tips or links or relevant experience before I do anything else.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    I would watch out for 'lifehacker', the information is rarely as useful as it seems on the surface.

    In most cases what people do these days is actually use the UEFI to select which drive is the boot drive and just install onto two separate hard drives/SSDs... obviously you cant do that with a partitioned drive to my knowledge but its certainly the nicest way of doing it IMO.

    If you are dual booting linux and windows, you need to decide which one you want to manage the boot selection. IIRC, if you install windows first there is an option on the Kodibuntu set up that automatically sets all this up for you.

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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    As an alternative, consider running Ubuntu as the base system, then running Windows in a virtual machine. You then have the option of running both operating systems simultaneously.
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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    As an alternative, consider running Ubuntu as the base system, then running Windows in a virtual machine. You then have the option of running both operating systems simultaneously.
    Or vice versa, which given the potential gaming requirement in the future might be a better use of resources. We've tried both linux on windows and windows on linux and we find at the moment the former works better overall.

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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    In most cases what people do these days is actually use the UEFI to select which drive is the boot drive and just install onto two separate hard drives/SSDs... obviously you cant do that with a partitioned drive to my knowledge but its certainly the nicest way of doing it IMO.
    Actually, the boot menu (usually either F12 or F8 after POST) does work for partitions on some recent boards. Saw this on a Gigabyte B150 M. Even with just one drive it let you pick a specific partition to boot from. Since by default Windows 10 insists on loading all the way up and then lets you pick another OS just before log-in, hitting the boot menu isn't actually any slower.

    Anyway, in all cases the trick is to install the Linux bootsector only to the partition where Linux has been installed to. In the case of using the BIOS's boot menu it should pick that up.
    Otherwise if you want Windows to load it, you have to use dd to copy the bootsector and then place it where Windows' bootloader can see it. The dd commandn will look something like this
    sudo dd if=/dev/sda3 of=./Desktop/linux.bin bs=512 count=1

    The filename 'linux.bin' can be whatever you want. The /dev/sda3 part needs to be changed to reflect the drive/partition you want.
    You run this just after installing your Linux. Then you need to copy your linux.bin file to somewhere where Windows can see. The best place is probably the 'Boot' folder the hidden 500MB partition Windows 7+ creates 'System Reserved'.

    Finally you need to tell Windows about this. You can use Microsoft's built-in BcdEdit program, or yyou can use VisualBCD from
    https://www.boyans.net/
    or EasyBCD from
    http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/

    Anyway, if your mobo supports booting from actual partition (or if you are using separate physical drives), using the BIOS is easier. The only thing you loose is the ability to script which OS to start at the next boot.

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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Or vice versa, which given the potential gaming requirement in the future might be a better use of resources. We've tried both linux on windows and windows on linux and we find at the moment the former works better overall.
    Windows can be tricky in. VM, usually with drivers for USB etc. I'm currently running VirtualBox on a Mac with both windows and Linux running in the virtual machine. Linux is much better behaved in the virtual environment than Windows, however that is not too much of a problem (for me) as I only run a couple of legacy applications, and it connects quite happily to an external file store.
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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Windows can be tricky in. VM, usually with drivers for USB etc. I'm currently running VirtualBox on a Mac with both windows and Linux running in the virtual machine. Linux is much better behaved in the virtual environment than Windows, however that is not too much of a problem (for me) as I only run a couple of legacy applications, and it connects quite happily to an external file store.

    I don't think that's down to Windows in a VM as I'm also running Windows in OSX but I'm using parallels, it handles it very well for everything I throw at it. I'm about to change to vmWare fusion as I'm sick of Parallels requiring a new (paid) version every time OSX has an upgrade.

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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Not particularly opposed to the idea of a VM but don't they cost money and reduce performance significantly?

    In the meantime I'm running into a weird problem. Given up on kodibuntu for ubuntu but think the same roadblock is presenting in different ways. When I boot into ubuntu, without having installed, it tells me it can't find any versions of other any other operating systems, despite the fact that I'm posting from W10; when I try to install it on a partition, it's not happy (can't exactly remember the error message).

    Now my usb 3.1 stick, which previously read out as being 64gb capacity, is showing up in explorer as having only 2mb, most of it used, and disk management shows a 13mb unallocated space, 2mb allocated, and 57gb unallocated after that. The files on there are efi boot and grub etc but no amount of formatting will change it and I don't have the option to extend or anything.

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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    Not particularly opposed to the idea of a VM but don't they cost money and reduce performance significantly?
    Don't have to in either case.

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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    I don't think that's down to Windows in a VM as I'm also running Windows in OSX but I'm using parallels, it handles it very well for everything I throw at it. I'm about to change to vmWare fusion as I'm sick of Parallels requiring a new (paid) version every time OSX has an upgrade.
    It may well be the VM application. I'm using VirtualBox which may be optimised for a *nix host. The limitations aren't particularly problematic for me though as I can load software by creating a mountable ISO file, or just through the network.
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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Ugh I'm running into all sorts of problems. W10 disk management and gparted on ubuntu don't seem to be speaking the same language and it's got me into trouble. Should I post screenshots here or is there somewhere better? Anyone got any other forum recommendations?

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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    I'm not really up to date with Windows boot loader, but the recommended method was to install Windows first, then install whatever flavour of *nix second.

    The reason for that was that the grub bootloader was far more aware of other operating systems and pretty much sorted itself out.

    Effectively the computer booted into GRUB, effectively a mini operating system with just one purpose - to launch whichever main operating system the user chose. This was fairly simple with a Master Boot Record type of boot. It is slightly more complicated with UEFI and GPT boot systems, but GRUB2 has evolved to rake of that too.

    NTFS has evolved since it was first introduced with Windows NT, but GPARTED has tended to keep up with that. *nix systems will read and write to NTFS file systems, with the appropriate drivers (readily available from various repositories) however the converse is not true, Windows will not read ext3/4 file systems directly.

    So you really need to install Windows first, leaving a large chink of your hard drive as unformatted and unallocated. Once you have got Windows running, then install your *nix distribution, using the unallocated portion of your hard drive. You then have two independent installations (on the same physical media) with a common boot loader that takes care of the booting process.

    Once you are comfortable with that set up, you can start to explore further to set up common file stores, default boot options etc.
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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Having installed Ubuntu recently on a Win 10 laptop, you can just install Win 10 and then use the installer for Ubuntu which will repartition the hard drive for you.

    Probably will need to make sure UEFI is running in legacy mode.
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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Was looking to have 3 partitions - one for windows OS, one for xubuntu and one for shared data, but gparted only let me shrink my windows partition, leaving me with only ~60gb for shared data where xubuntu only needs ~10? Hoping for a much bigger one but suspect I will have to start the whole protest (post W10 install) again.

    After a lifetime of only windows usage I feel like I'm down the rabbit hole when it comes to the range of stuff you can (and have to within linux) do with the command line. Linux is weird

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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    Was looking to have 3 partitions - one for windows OS, one for xubuntu and one for shared data, but gparted only let me shrink my windows partition, leaving me with only ~60gb for shared data where xubuntu only needs ~10? Hoping for a much bigger one but suspect I will have to start the whole protest (post W10 install) again.

    After a lifetime of only windows usage I feel like I'm down the rabbit hole when it comes to the range of stuff you can (and have to within linux) do with the command line. Linux is weird
    No, it's just different. Once installed with a GUI, there is very little you have to do with a command line. Obviously command line offers much subtle commands, but for everyday use, it isn't usually necessary.

    One tip is to remember that everything is regarded as a file, whether it's a directory, file or physical device. Learning how Linux identifies devices and where it stores stuff is useful, but for general use it isn't really important.

    Devices like hard drives are usually identified as SDA, SDB (Special Device A, B etc) with partitions identified by number, eg SDA1, SDA2, bit as a user you don't write to a disk, you write to a file which happens to be on a disk.

    The root file system is designated as /. User directories will be found at /home/user_name but basically, the operating system and the GUI takes care of that for you. Where you do need to dig a bit deeper is when you are performing admin tasks, like adding new disk drives, or setting up logical volumes or RAID systems, but I don't think you'll be worrying too much about that (although some distributions do set up logical volumes by default, but again, that is transparent as a normal user)
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    Re: Learning to clean install dualboot W10 & kodibuntu

    Yeah I meant that I'm just used to gui and have done basically no command line stuff. Making progress on both understanding how this all works as well as getting the system set up but I'm struggling to work out how to resize the ubuntu partition and kodi remains weird.

    Thanks for all your help!

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