Tag Archive | dual booting

My install of Tumbleweed for May

I have been doing monthly installs, mostly to test for any install problems.  For the May install, I used the 20150508 snapshot, with the 64-bit DVD installer image written to a USB.

The indications are that Tumbleweed will soon be switching from KDE 4 to Plasma 5.  So I was waiting for that switch before doing this month’s install.  But they say that a watched pot never boils.  And likewise, it seems that a watched software project never matures.  So I decided to stop watching and just install what was there.

The target machine

My recent installs have been to an external drive that I connected to my laptop.  For this install, I instead chose to install directly to the internal hard drive of that laptop.  And maybe it’s just as well, for I ran into a problem that would not have shown up if installing to an external drive.  The installer messed up on the boot setup.

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IPv6 addressing and dual-boot with Windows

Since getting IPv6 access, I’ve spent a little time looking into IPv6 addresses.  So I thought I would share some of that on this blog.

An IPv6 address is 128 bits in length.  So there won’t be a shortage anytime soon.

An address can be thought of as having three parts.  There’s a prefix, typically assigned by the ISP.  Then there’s a portion that can be used on a campus WAN, to distinguish different local subnets.  And then there’s the local part which identifies individual computers on the LAN.  The local part is often the last 64 bits of the IPv6 address.

In my case, my ISP has assigned a 60 bit prefix.  My router has assigned the next 4 bits, which presumably would allow up to 16 subnets.  And the last 64 bits are for the LAN portion, and are to be assigned to individual computers on the LAN. Read More…

The Windows 8.1 update and linux

The news from the Windows front has been that there is a new update to Windows 8.1, which is supposed to cure all of the failings of Windows 8/Windows 8.1.  From the reports that I have seen, many folk are disappointed.  Apparently, the update doesn’t provide what they had been hoping for.

Apart from the disappointment, it does seem that this is a required update.  Future updates to Windows 8.1 are expected to build on this update.

Initial failure

So I went ahead and installed the update.  Or, at least, I attempted to install the update.  It’s a large update, with something like a 750M download.  There were several other updates in this weeks collection, so I told Windows to install them all.

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More UEFI weirdness; the HP Pavilion G4

[Updated 7/09/2013.  Check details toward the end of the post.]

I have been helping another user with his UEFI system.  The help thread at opensuse forums is:

In this case, the user has successfully installed opensuse 12.3.  But, whenever he boots, the system wants to boot Windows rather than opensuse.  It is not a total disaster.  He is able to bring up the BIOS boot selector and choose opensuse there.  However, it would be far easier if the grub2-efi boot menu came up and he could simply select Windows or opensuse.

The owner of this HP computer is an admitted linux newbie, so it is taking time to work through the details.  I am pretty sure that I understand what is going on, but a fix is not yet in place.  If appropriate, I’ll update this post when more is known. Read More…

UEFI on Toshiba – it’s like the old wild west

I’ve been following a thread, and offering help, at opensuse forums.  It concerns installing opensuse on a new Toshiba Ultrabook Z930 that came with Windows 8 pre-installed.  The particular discussion thread is

and the most interesting part of the discussion is on what happened today, starting at about message #74 within that thread.

There are supposed to be two ways of booting a system.  Booting directly from the hard drive uses the boot loader file “\EFI\Boot\bootx64.efi” in the EFI partition of the disk.  (I deliberately use Windows notation for paths here).  Alternatively, one can boot using a define NVRAM entry, where “NVRAM” stands for “non-volatile RAM” (or memory).  The use of NVRAM is the preferred way of booting.

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Notes on UEFI, Windows and linux

This isn’t really a tutorial, but I’ll categorize it that way.

UEFI firmware, as a replacement to the traditional BIOS, is relatively new on the scene.  And people have been having problems finding ways to adapt to it.  The biggest problems have been with running both Windows 8 and linux on the same UEFI box.

My own experience is with a Dell Inspiron 660.  I have seen reports on the net of a variety of problems, some of which might depend on the BIOS/UEFI firmware version (that is, they might depend on the particular computer).

A quick overview

I’ll start with a quick overview of how UEFI works.

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The UEFI scene, and linux

Someone recently posted this link at opensuse forums:

It is a tale of woes and partial successes.  If you google for “UEFI linux” (without the quotes), you will run into quite a few tales of woe.

My own experience is one of success.  In all honesty, I did run into some of the same problems.  I reported on those in an earlier post.  Today, I want to describe what I have working.

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UEFI is a can of worms

I have been experimenting with a UEFI box, as mentioned previously.  When I look around the web for discussions of linux on UEFI systems, I often see recommendations to stick to legacy MBR booting.  I am beginning to see why.  However, I do not personally recommend going back to MBR.  Rather, we need to work out the difficulties and work out how to solve them.

My own UEFI system is a Dell Inspiron 660 desktop computer.  It is using version A05 of the Dell BIOS.  Some of the problems that I discuss might be specific to this BIOS, and some might be more general.  I have only tested on the one box, so I cannot be sure how a different version of UEFI firmware would work. Read More…

The trouble with grub2

In my last post, I mentioned my disagreement with the way that grub2 is installed in Fedora 18.  If you read through the bugzilla report on that issue (linked in my last post), there’s a pretty good discussion of why the Fedora people did it that way, and why the grub2 developers think it should be done that way.

I’ll start by describing the way it works in a hypothetical situation which is similar to that on the test computer where I installed Fedora 18.

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Using Windows boot manager and updating

A while ago, I posted a guide to setting up the Windows boot manager to boot linux.  That works by copying the linux boot sector to a file, and configuring windows booting to use that file as a boot sector image.

A problem arises if grub is reinstalled, as it will be on an update to a newer linux version.  For, in that case, the file that Windows boot manager is using will contain stale information.  This post is about how to deal with that situation.

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