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Monday, March 01, 2010

Dual boot Moblin and Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04

Indecision: How to dual boot your netbook to run Ubuntu Netbook Remix AND Moblin

Ok...You may have realised I like to tinker with software. I liked Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) when I tried it on my Netbook. I also liked Moblin when I installed it as was fast and looked good.

Every time I got stuck with Moblin I had to reinstall Ubuntu or Kubuntu which was easy enough and taught me how to install quicker and quicker from a USB stick but it was time consuming. So I thought about dual booting my netbook with both.

Overcoming Barriers
The first barrier was that when you install Moblin it has a bootloader which does not easily sit with other distributions  as it installs the bootloader in the SDA partition.

So a little googling and a trial or too (loud tuts from home as I had rendered the netbook dead again!)  and I found some good guidance here on Gary’s Web Sofa which helped me a great deal.

I have to say now that this guide which is excellent like many does assume you do this when you are not:

1 Tired
2 Weary
3 Drinking Beer
4 Stupid (stupid enough to make a big error-more later)

I had moblin installed already and did not want to reinstall it so I edited the boot menu list as described and then fired up a live pen drive. I have to say now that I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as I had downloaded Ubuntu desktop and not Netbook Remix and so had to do this all over again!-(Hence the stupid comment)

Creating space

So before installing UNR I created a partition using GParted and then when I installed UNR it created a new partition sda3 which is where I put the bootloader for UNR.

Now when the Netbook starts I press esc and then can choose between moblin and ubuntu in the grub for moblin. If I want moblin I have to do nothing. If I want UNR I press esc and then select the menu I have titled Ubuntu Netbook remix. Note this then jumps to the Grub2 in sda3 and I can boot directly into UNR.

I also noted that if I did not create a separate partition first then the installation failed to create a sda3. When installing side by side it did not create an new partition so you had no where else to put a new bootloader

A little complicated at first until you realise that the chain loader is jump start your pc to another partition and therefore another Grub menu. Once you realise that….all becomes clearer.

Another thing to note is that you will have 2 file systems on your pc (one ext3 and one ext 4) Moblin will throw up an ext4 error message which you can dismiss and cannot read any files on the UNR partition and vice versa for UNR but with no error message.

Given I have a 160gb to play with this is not a problem but I can imagine it could be a tight squeeze on a smaller system with  a SSD drive of say 16gb.


In summary this is a suitable tool for the indecisive like me who want a little of both moblin and ubuntu...and it just works

1 comment:

Rin said...

Hello, can you tell me if you can listen to MP3 format on moblin? Which moblin desktop did you get, there are opensuse, meego, fedora, ubuntu... i think.

thank you