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Re: Time to upgrade FC8->FC10

Sorry for the late reply here.

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 09:59:45PM -0500, Gene Heskett wrote:
> On Thursday 12 February 2009, Paul W. Frields wrote:
> >On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 04:06:38PM -0500, Gene Heskett wrote:
> >> I have never figured out why you people hate fdisk so much.  Back when you
> >> called it disk druid or some such it was a PIMA, and while the face is now
> >> a lot prettier, it is just as terminally broken in its heart as ever.
> >
> >I believe Anaconda uses parted these days.
> >
> >> And all you have to do is get past the 199meg limit for /boot that the F8
> >> installer insisted on.  Use fdisk to set it up bigger, and the installer
> >> would not recognize it.
> >
> >I just got out my Fedora 8 installation DVD and popped it into a
> >virtual machine to test how the installation worked.  Here's what I
> >think happened to you:
> >
> >When you select "Create a custom layout," the installer pre-populates
> >a starting partition layout for you -- a slightly less than 200 MB
> >/boot partition, and the rest of the drive allocated for a single LVM
> >physical partition, containing a single LVM volume group, with a swap
> >partition and a root (/) partition, which most people would then set
> >up for all the other partitions as needed.
> >
> >If you don't delete that LVM partition, which in the layout starts
> >right after the pre-set /boot partition, you can't set the /boot
> >partition any higher -- because there's nowhere left to increase
> >into.
> >
> >If you delete the LVM volume group and then the physical partition,
> >and then delete the /boot partition and truly start from scratch, you
> >can size that /boot partition as high as you like.  I just ran the
> >installation this way with a 400 MB /boot partition and it worked like
> >a charm.
> I did all that Paul, deleted the LVM, then everything else in descending order 
> until the displayed map was empty.  I could create a 500MB first partition 
> just fine, but when I added the next primary, a 2GB swap starting at the end 
> of the /boot assignment, the bar map then said /boot was 199Megs.  I did that 
> about 4 times before I gave up and accepted that I was stuck with a /boot 
> partition that I knew was not gonna be big enough.

I just ran this exact routine on my Fedora 8 installation DVD.  I
created a 500 MB first partition for /boot (/dev/sda1).  Then I added
a 2048 MB (2 GB) swap right after that (/dev/sda2).  The /boot
partition stayed right where it was, 500 MB.  So I can't reproduce the
behavior here.  And I think we can at least agree now that there is no
/boot limit in the installer, yes?

> Silly Q?  Can I, right now, do a swapoff -a, call fdisk and get the params for 
> that swap, edit them to move its starting cylinder inward, write that, and 
> then go back and give that to the /boot partition?

I would only recommend doing this from a rescue environment, not from
the running system itself.  (You can use the rescue environment from
an installation DVD, for example.)  You'd need, at least to:

* backup the contents of /boot

* change the partition sizes

* mkswap the new swap partition to ensure it's usable

* mke2fs the /boot partition and ensure it's labeled correctly based
  on the system's /etc/fstab

* restore the /boot partition

* rewrite the grub boot loader with grub-install

There are some tricky parts here, specifically the last step, if
you're not well familiar with GRUB.  Specifically, ensuring that the
boot loader is written to the right place for your BIOS, while
retaining a proper drive map.

In all honesty, if I had a big 400 GB hard disk waiting to the side,
and I were you, I'd ask myself whether I wanted the learning
experience of the process just described, or the expediency of an easy
solution.  Both are perfectly valid options and only you can choose.
If the former, *back up everything* and proceed with the certain
knowledge that you will make mistakes, and the learning process comes
from the discovery and the recovery.  If the latter, *back up
everything* and re-install with the partition structure you prefer.

There is supposedly a way to trigger an Anaconda dump from within the
installer, so that if you run into a problem you can produce a very
detailed output that can be used for debugging.  I haven't had luck
yet, but it's supposed to be using a USR2 signal.  I'll advise if my
luck changes. :-)

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
  http://redhat.com/   -  -  -  -   http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
  irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug

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