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  #16  
Old 28th December 2013, 09:32 PM
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Re: No Manual Partion Selection During New Installation

there's a 'Rescue' mode available from the netinst and DVD images which will boot you to a shell with typical rescue utilities and the installed Fedora system mounted at /mnt/somethingorother (I forget the name, but it tells you). You can then poke around inside the installed system or run 'chroot /mnt/somethingorother'. chroot, literally, "changes root": it pretends some arbitrary directory is now / . This is useful for precisely this case: poking around inside an installed system. After mounting an installed OS and doing 'chroot /mount/point/of/root/directory/of/installed/os' you are now, with some handwaves, 'working inside' the installed system, and can do stuff like grub2-mkconfig or install/remove packages. It's a bit funky because the system isn't *really* running and so anything that tries to poke, say, /sys or /proc is going to have a hard time of it, but quite a few things will work.
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  #17  
Old 28th December 2013, 09:39 PM
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Re: No Manual Partion Selection During New Installation

I'd figure SUSE would be using grub2 as its bootloader, like Fedora does. If so, fixing things up ought not to be too hard. If SUSE currently 'owns' the MBR, you should be able to just add an entry to its grub2 config which will boot Fedora, using the 'configfile' directive:

https://www.gnu.org/software/grub/ma...al-config.html

(note the first entry)

configfile is a sort of chainloader-lite for grub2: instead of having the 'master' grub2 actually execute an entire chained bootloader installed to a partition header, it says to the running grub2 'read this config file from some other installed OS that uses grub2'. So it does much the same thing as chainloading, only without actually chainloading.

Broadly I think the approach would be to check a /boot/grub2/grub.cfg exists for your Fedora install, if not use 'grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg' from rescue mode/chroot to generate one, then add an entry to SUSE's grub2 config which simply uses the 'configfile' directive to load that, much like the sample entry from the upstream doc:

menuentry "Fedora" {
search --set=root --label Fedora --hint hd0,msdos1
configfile /grub2/grub.cfg
}

The important thing would be to get the 'hint' right, to point to the /boot partition of the Fedora install, and obviously double-check the relative path for the configfile directive.

All this is strictly theoretical, btw, I haven't actually *tested* it or anything crazy like that View it as a learning experience.
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  #18  
Old 28th December 2013, 11:44 PM
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Re: No Manual Partion Selection During New Installation

Re: BTRFS

Quote:
About brtfs: As I understand it, the snapshots are going to require a lot more space than otherwise. (Some say double the usual amount). And I'm not sure if that the amount of space required is subject to configuration choices.
Hmmm. I can't relate to that view. I would describe a BTRFS snapshot as a copy of the sub-volume meta-data. Initially both the snap shot and the original sub-volume point at exactly the same data. As you write modfications to the volume the modified blocks require new space. Kinda like a live incremental backup. So if you snapshot a relatively stable volume( root) it takes little additional data space. I think this capability is a major feature of btrfs.


Quote:
Another issue I am uncertain about is whether installing Fedora to btrfs partitions (/, /home and whatever others the installation wants to create) means that Fedora would take snapshots of all Fedora btrfs partitions or only the / partition, or all of the partitions on all the disks, and whether can be configured or not.
With Btrfs you are really starting at the raw disk level and defining / (root) , /home, /var as subvolumes. The installer recognizes btrfs subvolumes and installs to them. Except for / (root) where it creates a new subvolume for you. The snapshots are actions you initiate and manage. they work as above.

You can (and I have) allocate partitions to btrfs, but I'm not sure you get the same advantages from btrfs when it has to share a drive with others.

I haven't found the definitive source for BTRFS info yet, but just google "btrfs setup" and read 2 or 3 sources to establish a reasonable perspective before jumping in.

In my current setup I dedicated 2 1TB drives to btrfs. Then / (root) , /home . and /var are sub-volumes. All of the btrfs meta-data is raid-1 across both volumes and all the data is raid-0. This gives about a 40% performance bump on disk access throughput over a single disk.

As I look at my usage right now :

Code:
# btrfs filesystem df /
Data, RAID0: total=44.00GiB, used=35.99GiB
Data, single: total=8.00MiB, used=0.00
System, RAID1: total=8.00MiB, used=16.00KiB
System, single: total=4.00MiB, used=0.00
Metadata, RAID1: total=1.00GiB, used=346.47MiB
Metadata, single: total=8.00MiB, used=0.00
]#
The F20 install and my current /home data occupy ~36GB ( /home is ~29GB) stripped across the 2 drives.
The btrfs meta-data takes ~346MB, that's a full copy on each drive for redundancy.

I don't see any real space utilization issues with btrfs.

P.S. I didn't mention swap and /boot. swap is not btrfs compatible so if you want disk swap space you need to have a 3rd disk. Although grub2 is said to be btrfs capable, I haven't spent any time on it and I still create an ext4 /boot. I also like to allocate a BIOS boot partition. Sooo I use gdisk to initialize a disk with GPT partitions and creat a BIOS boot, swap, and /boot (ext4) on that drive. The Fedora installer recognizes all of this ( including writing the boot code to the BIOS boot partition) when you select it during the manual setup.
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Last edited by Kobuck; 28th December 2013 at 11:53 PM. Reason: I didn't mention swap and /boot
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  #19  
Old 29th December 2013, 01:46 AM
dhinds Offline
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Re: No Manual Partion Selection During New Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamW View Post
there's a 'Rescue' mode available from the netinst and DVD images which will boot you to a shell with typical rescue utilities and the installed Fedora system mounted at /mnt/somethingorother (I forget the name, but it tells you). You can then poke around inside the installed system or run 'chroot /mnt/somethingorother'. chroot, literally, "changes root": it pretends some arbitrary directory is now / . This is useful for precisely this case: poking around inside an installed system. After mounting an installed OS and doing 'chroot /mount/point/of/root/directory/of/installed/os' you are now, with some handwaves, 'working inside' the installed system, and can do stuff like grub2-mkconfig or install/remove packages. It's a bit funky because the system isn't *really* running and so anything that tries to poke, say, /sys or /proc is going to have a hard time of it, but quite a few things will work.
So there's 2 ways to go, for starters: Rescue the installation that was done yesterday by installing the Fedora Bootloader to the sda partition, and

Adding a line to the current bootloader (oSUSE) for Fedora, which sounds lke the better solution because it's less complicated, I think. Fedora is already installed and I want to start using it. OTOH, it was not installed the way I wanted and if it functions as well as I'm hoping, I can reinstall it at a later date, using the Fedora 20 Installation Guide I found by using duckduckgo. (I could NOT find it on the Fedora Project Documentation pages - only the fact that one does exist).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamW View Post
I'd figure SUSE would be using grub2 as its bootloader, like Fedora does.
It does now. It didn't when I first installed 5 years ago, which complicated my accessing the other distros already installed. I mention that as an explanation: I have experienced some unpleasant surprises which have made me somewhat cautious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamW View Post
If so, fixing things up ought not to be too hard. If SUSE currently 'owns' the MBR, you should be able to just add an entry to its grub2 config which will boot Fedora, using the 'configfile' directive:

https://www.gnu.org/software/grub/ma...al-config.html

(note the first entry)

configfile is a sort of chainloader-lite for grub2: instead of having the 'master' grub2 actually execute an entire chained bootloader installed to a partition header, it says to the running grub2 'read this config file from some other installed OS that uses grub2'. So it does much the same thing as chainloading, only without actually chainloading.

Broadly I think the approach would be to check a /boot/grub2/grub.cfg exists for your Fedora install,
I don't think there is one. I was unable to get the installation to put it on the disk that is booting those systems already installed and preferred to not install one and fix it later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamW View Post
if not use 'grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg' from rescue mode/chroot to generate one, then add an entry to SUSE's grub2 config which simply uses the 'configfile' directive to load that, much like the sample entry from the upstream doc:

menuentry "Fedora" {
search --set=root --label Fedora --hint hd0,msdos1
configfile /grub2/grub.cfg
}

The important thing would be to get the 'hint' right, to point to the /boot partition of the Fedora install, and obviously double-check the relative path for the configfile directive.

All this is strictly theoretical, btw, I haven't actually *tested* it or anything crazy like that View it as a learning experience.
That I can do. (I know which partitions Fedora was installed to). However, the url you supplied discusses installing a boot partition and none exists at present. As I understand it, grub2 was installed to the MBR.

" a PC specific type of boot sector on partitioned media."

In fact, I have created boot partitions of .5 to 1 Gb in the past and they weren't used. (I have installed Debian derivatives like LMDE, Solus, Point, Snow, Zeven/Neptune, Sparky and recently, Debian itself. I also have openSUSE installed on a couple of computers but) i just checked my partitions with gparted and there is no boot partition. There is an 94 mb partition of a type unknown to gparted just inside the extended partition (sda8). There's nothing else I can see that could be one. And wikipedia says: "The MBR consists of 512 or more bytes located in the first sector of the drive", which jives with what I said above.

IAC, I will look for an existing config file.

Using Nautilus, this is what I found (there is nothing under mnt in openSUSE):

Computer > boot >grub2 (but also grub and grub2-efi.rpmsave) > grub.cfg (and also device.map files). All of them are binary files and Nautilus considers them to be of an unknown type.

Since the bootloader belongs to openSUSE and this is a Fedora forum, we may not be able to achieve our goal in spite of the valuable help I have received here. (I just checked the query posted to the openSUSE forum and nothing has been added. This means the problem may have to be solved in a different way. I am going to get Fedora installed and booting, one way or another).

Ideally, I think Kobuck is probably right. I should dedicate an entire disk to a Fedora btrfs install and I don't have one free at the moment. I do have a 3 Tb Seagate USB 3 Expansion Drive however and can transfer what I have on the 750 Gb sdb drive to it (the one I installed Fedora to with / and /home on ext4 partitions) and use that. Also, this particular computer has a large case and quite a few free bays and connectors available. (It's far from new but it's first generation i7 is still plenty fast).

I would like an opinion regarding the installation of multiple desktop environments, in terms of any possible performance penalty. The Net Install lets me chose more than one DE and there's a 7+ Gb iso I could burn to a double layer DVD or a BluRay.

Last edited by dhinds; 29th December 2013 at 01:54 AM. Reason: Correction
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  #20  
Old 29th December 2013, 03:01 AM
dhinds Offline
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Re: No Manual Partion Selection During New Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobuck View Post
Re: BTRFS

Hmmm. I can't relate to that view. I would describe a BTRFS snapshot as a copy of the sub-volume meta-data. Initially both the snap shot and the original sub-volume point at exactly the same data. As you write modfications to the volume the modified blocks require new space. Kinda like a live incremental backup. So if you snapshot a relatively stable volume( root) it takes little additional data space. I think this capability is a major feature of btrfs.

With Btrfs you are really starting at the raw disk level and defining / (root) , /home, /var as subvolumes. The installer recognizes btrfs subvolumes and installs to them. Except for / (root) where it creates a new subvolume for you. The snapshots are actions you initiate and manage. they work as above.

You can (and I have) allocate partitions to btrfs, but I'm not sure you get the same advantages from btrfs when it has to share a drive with others.

I haven't found the definitive source for BTRFS info yet, but just google "btrfs setup" and read 2 or 3 sources to establish a reasonable perspective before jumping in.

In my current setup I dedicated 2 1TB drives to btrfs. Then / (root) , /home . and /var are sub-volumes. All of the btrfs meta-data is raid-1 across both volumes and all the data is raid-0. This gives about a 40% performance bump on disk access throughput over a single disk.

As I look at my usage right now :

Code:
# btrfs filesystem df /
Data, RAID0: total=44.00GiB, used=35.99GiB
Data, single: total=8.00MiB, used=0.00
System, RAID1: total=8.00MiB, used=16.00KiB
System, single: total=4.00MiB, used=0.00
Metadata, RAID1: total=1.00GiB, used=346.47MiB
Metadata, single: total=8.00MiB, used=0.00
]#
The F20 install and my current /home data occupy ~36GB ( /home is ~29GB) stripped across the 2 drives.
The btrfs meta-data takes ~346MB, that's a full copy on each drive for redundancy.

I don't see any real space utilization issues with btrfs.

P.S. I didn't mention swap and /boot. swap is not btrfs compatible so if you want disk swap space you need to have a 3rd disk. Although grub2 is said to be btrfs capable, I haven't spent any time on it and I still create an ext4 /boot. I also like to allocate a BIOS boot partition. Sooo I use gdisk to initialize a disk with GPT partitions and creat a BIOS boot, swap, and /boot (ext4) on that drive. The Fedora installer recognizes all of this ( including writing the boot code to the BIOS boot partition) when you select it during the manual setup.
There will be no space utilization issues if I dedicate an entire disk to a btrfs installation of Fedora. On thing i didn't mention is that my data partitions have been ntfs partitions. The need for that has changed however, since only the laptop came with windows 7 pro 64 bit installed and none of the desktop computers have windows at all.

The following will help me reinstall with more control over the outcome:

http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/...t-prepare.html
9.14. Creating a Custom Partition Layout
If you chose to partition your disks manually in Section 9.11, “Storage and partitioning”, you will directed to the Manual Partitioning screen.
I also burned the Fedora net install iso to a usb stick with SUSE Image Writer which I will use on another desktop computer that has neither an optical drive nor eSATA (which the external BluRay drive requires).

I just tried it and it booted without any problem and began the installation. But I need to check the disks there, move things around and backup what's needed, so it will have to be tomorrow.

My past experience with RAID 0 wasn't all good. Two disks were involved and although it was very fast I lost data when the two disks became unlinked. Having RAID 0 on one disk and backing that up to another would solve that problem, but I still prefer to keep my data on a separate partition and will have to figure out how to do that using btrfs or zfs (which some claim is even more secure and uses a similar paradigm - Daniel Robbins, the Gentoo founder, for one - http://www.funtoo.org/ZFS_Install_Guide). Debian is going with ZFS, I believe.

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/btrfs-snapshots.html

While the above discusses the advantages of btrfs.

And http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Btrfs states:

"In 2009, Btrfs was expected to offer a feature set comparable to ZFS, developed by Sun Microsystems.[40] After Oracle's acquisition of Sun in 2009, Mason and Oracle decided to continue on with Btrfs development."

And quite a bit more.

I have found Fedora forums to be unusually helpful and well informed.

Last edited by dhinds; 29th December 2013 at 03:16 AM. Reason: Relevant additions.
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  #21  
Old 29th December 2013, 10:56 PM
dhinds Offline
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Re: No Manual Partion Selection During New Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobuck View Post
Re: BTRFS
Hmmm. I can't relate to that view. I would describe a BTRFS snapshot as a copy of the sub-volume meta-data. Initially both the snap shot and the original sub-volume point at exactly the same data. As you write modfications to the volume the modified blocks require new space. Kinda like a live incremental backup. So if you snapshot a relatively stable volume( root) it takes little additional data space. I think this capability is a major feature of btrfs.

With Btrfs you are really starting at the raw disk level and defining / (root) , /home, /var as subvolumes. The installer recognizes btrfs subvolumes and installs to them. Except for / (root) where it creates a new subvolume for you. The snapshots are actions you initiate and manage. they work as above.

You can (and I have) allocate partitions to btrfs, but I'm not sure you get the same advantages from btrfs when it has to share a drive with others.

I haven't found the definitive source for BTRFS info yet, but just google "btrfs setup" and read 2 or 3 sources to establish a reasonable perspective before jumping in.

In my current setup I dedicated 2 1TB drives to btrfs. Then / (root) , /home . and /var are sub-volumes. All of the btrfs meta-data is raid-1 across both volumes and all the data is raid-0. This gives about a 40% performance bump on disk access throughput over a single disk.

<snip>

P.S. I didn't mention swap and /boot. swap is not btrfs compatible so if you want disk swap space you need to have a 3rd disk. Although grub2 is said to be btrfs capable, I haven't spent any time on it and I still create an ext4 /boot. I also like to allocate a BIOS boot partition. Sooo I use gdisk to initialize a disk with GPT partitions and creat a BIOS boot, swap, and /boot (ext4) on that drive. The Fedora installer recognizes all of this ( including writing the boot code to the BIOS boot partition) when you select it during the manual setup.
With 16 Gb of RAM on 2 of 3 computers I can get by without a swap partition except (I assume) if I want to hibernate (which I can't do anyway on this particular computer due to the beta bios supplied by Gigabyte - an irresponsible act, considering the age of the MB - 2010. And with an 1366 socket I can't locate one by Asus, MSI or Intel w/ USB 3 and Sata 6 for sale to replace it with).

I assume that Fedora could use a swap partition on the other hard drive (on which a couple of other OS's are installed, including oSUSE on two btrfs partitions - and LMDE was on btrfs partitions also)

I decided to go ahead and dedicate one of the two drives installed to btrfs and install Fedora on it. I have the Install Manual for v. 20 and the Quick Install Manual for v. 19.

But will Fedora be able to share the drive with other distros? Using the scenario you describe, can other additional btrfs partitions be created for that? Does btrfs allow the creation of an extended partition? Is the number of primary partitions limited to 4 (or 3 and an extended on) as is normally the case?

Also, I definitely want my data on a separate partition for safety and separate back ups to external sources. I have been using ntfs but am no longer using windoze on all but the laptop (what has Lojack and that requires windows. I also have the Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection which will probably not run on Wine and I'm not sure whether I can replace that with FLOSS substitutes immediately).

So using a btrfs partition for my data would be no problem.

Lastly, I just burned a double layer DVD with the Fedora Multi-DE 8.1 Gb image and am hoping some one can tell me whether installing more than one desktop (i.e Gnome and Mate and maybe E17, if it's there) is likely to affect performance?

Those are the issues I want to resolve before going ahead and realize a fresh installation to an entire btrfs disk. (Assuming that dedicating an entire disk to btrfs will in fact provide an advantage).

As for using GPT, I'll have to look into it. (I haven't been doing that).

After installing Fedora I intend to more 2 more OS's onto the same drive and use the other drive for RAID 1. (That's the idea. I had RAID O with an Intel controller on two drives in a laptop and lost data when one become un-linked. With that RAID 1 backup, the element of risk would be far lower.).

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by dhinds; 30th December 2013 at 02:35 AM. Reason: correction
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  #22  
Old 30th December 2013, 04:36 PM
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Re: No Manual Partion Selection During New Installation

One of the objectives of BTRFS is to simplify the admin's job of managing disk space. Its really intended for large disk farm type installations, but it does offer attractive feature to the small scale environment as well. It co-exists with the traditional approaches to managing disk space ( partitions , LVM .... ) but it delivers a different model of disk storage. You have some decisions to make on how much disk you give over to BTRFS.

I would suggest the following considerations:

1) BTRFS is still experimental, don't risk what you can't lose.
2) BTRFS will function within a single partition ( lets you see BTRFS operating characteristics )
3) I believe the most beneficial features of BTRFS require multiple disk heads (Raid1 metadata redundancy, Raid0 data striping ) you can achieve this by devoting partitions on separate disks to the BTRFS filesystem
4) the most effective utilization of BTRFS is achieved when you feed it complete disks ( just point it at a raw device )

Once you create the BTRFS filesystem you manage the filespace via subvolumes ( its similar to the directory structure thought process )


Quote:
But will Fedora be able to share the drive with other distros? Using the scenario you describe, can other additional btrfs partitions be created for that? Does btrfs allow the creation of an extended partition? Is the number of primary partitions limited to 4 (or 3 and an extended on) as is normally the case?
Its a filesystem, sharing with other distros depends on their support level for BTRFS

Extended partition? no partitions, just create a new subvolume
Partition # limit? no partitions ( think directory structure )
Backup? take a subvolume snap shot ( no downtime required ) and copy to other storage at your liesure
Reliability? the ice seems solid
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  #23  
Old 1st January 2014, 12:33 AM
dhinds Offline
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Re: No Manual Partion Selection During New Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobuck View Post
One of the objectives of BTRFS is to simplify the admin's job of managing disk space. Its really intended for large disk farm type installations, but it does offer attractive feature to the small scale environment as well. It co-exists with the traditional approaches to managing disk space ( partitions , LVM .... ) but it delivers a different model of disk storage. You have some decisions to make on how much disk you give over to BTRFS.
I intended to start by dedicating one 750 Gb disk after eliminating the partitions of different types (btrfs, ntfs, ext4 and nilfs2), including the Fedora installation I made without installing a bootloader, since I was unable to determine how to add a Fedora entry to the existing default bootloader (openSUSE 13.1 - which I upgrader from 12.3 using zypper dup and is on 2 btrfs partitions on the other disk).

But that intention changed for now after discovering that Grub2 is dynamic and that it added the Fedora installation to the openSUSE boot menu all by itself, so I can begin using it immediately, although it is installed on two ext4 partitions. Also, there is another ext4 partition I have identified yet - it may be part of the openSUSE installation, so I'm going to slow down and proceed step by step (as well as dedicate time to fulfilling a few other outstanding commitments).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobuck View Post
I would suggest the following considerations:

1) BTRFS is still experimental, don't risk what you can't lose.
2) BTRFS will function within a single partition ( lets you see BTRFS operating characteristics )
3) I believe the most beneficial features of BTRFS require multiple disk heads (Raid1 metadata redundancy, Raid0 data striping ) you can achieve this by devoting partitions on separate disks to the BTRFS filesystem
4) the most effective utilization of BTRFS is achieved when you feed it complete disks ( just point it at a raw device )

Once you create the BTRFS filesystem you manage the filespace via subvolumes ( its similar to the directory structure thought process )

Its a filesystem, sharing with other distros depends on their support level for BTRFS
openSUSE has it, up to a point (the snapshots include only the root partition, I believe). Debian less so (although LMDE had it). And those are the two other I have been suing.

Arch and Gentoo support it, as does Slackware and their derivatives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobuck View Post
Extended partition? no partitions, just create a new subvolume
Partition # limit? no partitions ( think directory structure )
Backup? take a subvolume snap shot ( no downtime required ) and copy to other storage at your liesure
Reliability? the ice seems solid
It's moving ahead and I'll take the time to look into it further. Technology is moving in that direction, but until now I have relied on BIOS, extended partitions, defragmentation and backups.

My experience with RAID O was positive until I lost my data when the 2 drives became uncoupled. (Something was written to one of them by a non-RAID literate system, I think).
Having the stripes written to the same disk and backup to another disk in RAID 1 would do a lot to eliminate the risks and this computer tower and MB can support plenty of additional drives, so I'll take the project forward as able.

Another detail I wanted to work out is the possibility of installing more than one Desktop Environment but want to determine whether that would entail a performance penalty. (It shouldn't if only one is active at a give time).

I downloaded the Fedora 20 8.5 Gb multi-platform iso and that boots into whatever live session you want to try out. Also, the net install provides for installing more than one DE if the user checks more than one (which I didn't do). I have found both the Gnome Shell and Mate desktops to be very useful, but in different ways.

That's it for now. Fedora was installed and boots from the openSUSE Grub bootloader. I need to backup openSUSE's Thunderbird profile and move it to Fedora (which is a lot more complicated than with Evolution, but I prefer Thunderbird in other ways).

Last edited by dhinds; 3rd January 2014 at 05:52 PM. Reason: spelling
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Partion after installation Ujjwol Installation, Upgrades and Live Media 6 4th February 2008 03:28 AM


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