Tips for Manual Partitioning with Calamares installer

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This is meant to describe how things actually work today in OM Lx installations.

In Manual Partitioning especially when combined with multi-booting there are to many variables and to many possible scenarios to cover every aspect.

These suggestions are based on input from users and testers.

  1. At this time partitioning LVM and Raid setups with Calamares (the installer) are NOT supported.

  2. As of release of OM Lx 4.1 LUKS partitioning in not well supported. We see people using and people sa;ying that it does not work. This support should be fixed for release of OM Lx 4.2.

  3. Note: This applies to all partitioning, all installation on hardware: If you have a UEFI/EFI computer and your BIOS offers a choice when you boot installation media between for example:

    USB some Flash Drive

    UEFI USB some Flash Drive

    or

    some DVD optical_device

    UEFI some DVD optical_device

    You have to choose the UEFI option and boot that. But know also that not all computers will do this. Some with more spartan BIOS will offer only the one option and almost always it is the correct one. So for instance if on a notebook you don’t see the above choice no worries.

  4. If you have multiple storage drives enabled they all need to have the same partition table type. They either need to all be gpt or all mbr for everything to work properly.

  5. On UEFI computers in multi-boot situation with multiple storage drives if you already have an existing /boot/efi partition you have to use that. The partitioner will not create another /boot/efi with proper flags and installation will result in error with no bootloader installed. Do not format you just set the mount point to ‘/boot/efi’ on the existing partition. One can have many different boot loaders for different operating systems in the same /boot/efi partition. If there is any need to switch boot loaders that is done in UEFI/BIOS settings.

Always be aware if you are using Manual Partitioning we assume that you know what you are doing and that you have some ability to problem solve and correct errors yourself. If you do have problems you can’t resolve try to keep in mind when you post any information that you don’t know what information the person trying to help you solve your issue needs. So don’t fall in to the lazy “I’ll just post the part I think they need”. Be detailed. If you are posting terminal output post all of it. If there is a lot of output place that in a .txt file and post the .txt file in bug report or forum thread. You should post screen shots of what you were trying to do and any error message. You may be asked to post installation log and other information like hardware, ect. How To do that is described in more detail here.

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If you find any errors or anything that could be written better please let me know in the feed back thread.

If you have difficulty understanding any of this and need help. That is also for the feed back thread.

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This is mainly general information for anyone that wants to understand why OM does not support manual partitioning with multiple EFI system partitions. (I will ask developers to review this to be sure I have things stated correctly.)

ESP=EFI System Partition
EFI=Extensible Firmware Interface (LInk is to Intel specifications for EFI)
UEFI=Unified Extensible Firmware Interface

OpenMandriva installer (Calamares) currently does not allow trying to create a new ESP when there is an existing ESP. This is intentional on the part of OM developers to my knowledge to avoid known issues with trying to do this. There is disagreement in the Linux community as to whether it is OK to have more than one ESP. But at present in OM Lx this is not supported intentionally. Part of why this is necessary is multi-booting with Windows. Microsoft explains here that they only support one ESP partition and thus to use multiple Windows systems you use the one to dual or multi-boot other Windows systems. So if we are going to support dual booting with Windows we have to do this for this reason alone.

Also while Linux in general offers users a lot or freedom to customize things the fact that you can do something does not equal that thing being a good idea.

Finally there is no reason for more than one ESP for multi-booting. The typical file for one operating system is 4.0k. How many 4.0k files can fit in a 300 MB /boot/efi partition?

# ls -lh /boot/efi/EFI
total 4.0K
drwx------ 2 root root 4.0K Feb 22 21:22 openmandriva

There is an explanation of this from Linux perspective in the second post by ComputerGuru here.