Jump to content

The KISS Principle

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   raymac46


    Discussion Deity

  • Forum MVP
  • 3,578 posts

Posted 12 March 2017 - 07:41 PM

It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was dual booting Linux on all my Windows machines and I had a special Linux test box - an old desktop where I partitioned  the HDD into about 6 portions and chainloaded a bunch of distros. I have gotten away from that almost completely now and use the KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid  - Principle of one O/S per machine -whether Windows or Linux. There are a number of reasons for this:
  • I have the room to keep a number of different machines around.
  • I have adopted the idea that the hardware should dictate the system I use - 32 bit AntiX for old crap, 64 bit whatever for a newer more powerful system.
  • Nobody can be an expert on maintenance and troubleshooting every Linux family. Within a family everything is pretty similar anyway.
  • I used to choose a distro based on the default desktop but today you can pretty well get any desktop with any distro, or customize it if you can't.
  • At my place I have others using the computers and they want to just boot and go. No multi option GRUBs thank you.
  • With the lower cost of memory and multicore CPUs you can easily become a virtual virtuoso.
  • Virtualization software is far more stable, has more features and is easier to use than ever before.
  • Some virtual programs like VMware Player are now free - just the same cost as VirtualBox.
  • Most modern distros are very virtual friendly and come with all the additional features right out of the box.
So my current approach is to focus on one family - Debian - and if i want to try something new that's non-Debian from Distrowatch I just plug it into VirtualBox and give it a spin. I don't mess up my bootloader if I decide it's not for me. That is how I discovered MX-16 which I now have installed on a fairly decent Atom based netbook.
I have also installed PCLOS to help diagnose problems, and Arya Linux just to see how Linux from Scratch builds  distros. Virtual machines are good enough now that you can do that and expect similar results on the rails.
I suppose my life really isn't that much simpler but it seems that way.
Posted Image

Registered Linux User 445659

#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach


    CLI Phreak

  • Forum Admins
  • 23,422 posts

Posted 12 March 2017 - 08:08 PM

Well I tend to take advantage of the latter and run a lot of distros with virt-manager/Qemu. With my main server, I am able to run about 8-10 VMs with 8gb ram and 4 cores a piece with little difficulty so nowadays its mostly virtual machines. Other than that I have a few machines at home but like you mentioned, all of my computers only have one OS installed (not counting VMs of course).  I never really seen the point of dual booting if you plenty of ram.. Even back years ago, I would run at least 1 VM most of the time, along with my host OS.
Posted ImagePosted Image Posted Image
CNI Radio/G+ Profile/Configs/PGP Key/comhack π

"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#3 OFFLINE   saturnian



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,063 posts

Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:17 PM

I haven't used virtualization software here, thinking that my machines are all too RAM-challenged. (And, I don't have Windows on any of my home machines -- all Linux-only.) But, going along with the KISS theme, I use a rather simple "Maintenance-Free Custom Custom Grub2" setup -- here's one of the web pages that helped me learn to do it: https://help.ubuntu....stomGrub2Screen

It's really no big deal once you know what to do. For example, on one computer, I'm multi-booting Debian Stretch, openSUSE 42.2, and Arch. I have scripts in /etc/grub.d for openSUSE and Arch:


#!/bin/sh -e
echo "Adding openSUSE on sda5"
cat << EOF
menuentry "openSUSE 42.2 (on /dev/sda5)" --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
	set root=(hd0,5)
		linux /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda5 ro quiet splash
		initrd /boot/initrd


#!/bin/sh -e
echo "Adding Arch Linux on sda7"
cat << EOF
menuentry "Arch Linux (on /dev/sda7)" --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
	set root=(hd0,7)
		linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/sda7 rw quiet
		initrd /boot/initramfs-linux.img

With those scripts added and made executable, I then made the /etc/grub.d/30_os-prober file non-executable, then ran update-grub. My boot screen has the following entries:

Debian GNU/Linux
Advanced options for Debian GNU/Linux
openSUSE 42.2 (on /dev/sda5)
Arch Linux (on /dev/sda7)

Works nicely, and doesn't require any action on my part if there's a kernel update for openSUSE or Arch.

#4 OFFLINE   mhbell


    Posting Prodigy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,160 posts

Posted 17 March 2017 - 09:31 PM

I may look at a VM someday, but with this computer that I just built a few weeks ago I really don't need a vm especially for test distro's. I want to see how they react in a real user situation. Especially the hardware and the graphics. I use UEFI / EFI Booting with grub. It is no big deal to Change the grub loader from one distro to another. I put grub in the efi partition and with GPT partitioning I don't have to worry about Extended partitions. I can have as many primary partitions and locate them anywhere on the SSD Disks I can delete partitions anywhere on the disk and it won't mess up any of the other distro's like what happens with MBR and extended partitions. Fast and very simple. My ESP or EFI partition is sda2 and it is 512 MB fat 32. so "sudo grub update" then "sudo grub-install /dev/sda2" that way I can use any distro's grub to boot any of the other distro's on any of the SSD Disks. I love GPT partitioning and most distro's now are uefi aware.

Edited by mhbell, 17 March 2017 - 09:33 PM.

Registered Linux User #239772
Mint 18.1 Cinnimon, MX-16, Siduction LXQT, Debian Stretch, and Other Linux Distro's

#5 OFFLINE   saturnian



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,063 posts

Posted 18 March 2017 - 08:10 AM

Good info, mhbell. I've done only one installation using GPT partitioning, but haven't tried dual- or multi-booting with that yet.

#6 OFFLINE   raymac46


    Discussion Deity

  • Forum MVP
  • 3,578 posts

Posted 18 March 2017 - 08:38 AM

Horses for courses I guess. I do most of my Linux VMs in Windows 10 where I certainly am not interested in dual booting. I just want the machine to start up without a lot of manipulation so my wife can use it. I don't do a lot of VMs on my Linux box although I could.
Mel is right - you cannot really get a feel for how a given distro will work with the hardware - especially video and wifi. But to get a look and feel of a desktop you don't really need that feature. I find that the combination of booting a live distro and installing in VBox will give me enough info about how it works.
I still use the old school MBR - my Linux box would do UEFI but I haven't seen the need to reformat everything. My Windows machine is too old for that - maybe next time. It does have some major advantages.
One thing VBox does is to allow you to assess how polished a distro is - how it handles the Guest Additions which give you a full screen and other goodies like seamless mouse travel between guest and host. For example:
Mageia 5.1, Siduction 17, MX-16, Manjaro all have Guest Additions baked right in and start up full screen.
Debian requires some geeking it up but after you do your thing it's fine. That is old school but it works.
Arya Linux is simply awful and I don't see any way to install Guest Additions.
Posted Image

Registered Linux User 445659

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users