DVD Install And Custom Partitions

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Usually, a LinuxMCE 710 DVD install will create a standard partitioning schema, where the harddisk is split into 3 areas

sda1 = / (everything except the last 12GB)
sda5 = swap (2GB)
sda6 = /mnt/recovery (10GB)

This setup caused a problem because the hard drive space available was 1.8TB. And the BIOS and/or grub had problems installing relevant files. The following steps are for people who want to install LinuxMCE with a custom partition scheme.

Partition the disk

Before the real LinuxMCE installation, the hard disk needs to be partitioned and setup the way we want to. To do that, boot your computer (not an installation) with any Linux liveCD. After boot-up, press <ALT><F2> to get a command shell prompt.


sudo fdisk /dev/xxxx

where /dev/xxxx is the device you want to partition.

Now use fdisk to create the partitions. The first partition should be big enough to hold LinuxMCE. I chose 80GB, to be on the safe side. After that, create an extended partition for the rest of the available disk space. Within the extended partition, first create a logical partition for the Linux swap space of say 2GB, then a logical partition for the rescue partition of 10GB. The rest of the space, you can partition to your liking. I ended up with this

sda1 = 80GB   / 
sda5 =  2GB   Linux Swap 
sda6 = 10GB   /mnt/recovery
sda7 = 1.7xTB rest

Instead of using fdisk you can use any other tool you might have. Just make sure to have partitions 1,5 and 6. After creating the partitions, the partitions need to be formatted.

sda1 = sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1
sda5 = sudo mkswap /dev/sda5
sda6 = sudo mkfs.ext2 /dev/sda6
sda7 = sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda7

The first three are important. The partitions you are creating after the recovery partition, can be anything you like. Now the partitioning is the way we like it.

Marking The Hard Drive As A LinuxMCE Installation

LinuxMCE would repartition the hard disk now, if you would just start the DVD installer. We need fool the LinuxMCE Installer into believing we already have a LinuxMCE installation. To do so we have to create a single file. If you are using the LMCE DVD, it has created the /media/target directory to use below, but if you are using another live CD/DVD, then you need to mount /dev/sda1 somewhere on your system to create the following files inside the sda1 partition.

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/target
sudo mkdir /media/target/etc
sudo touch /media/target/etc/pluto.conf

Done. A restart of your system with the LinuxMCE DVD in the drive, and LinuxMCE installer will prompt you, if you want to keep your installation. I chose option 2, meaning just the home dir. LinuxMCE installer will now go ahead and install the new system, while preserving your partitions. Upon restarting, the AV Wizard and House Setup, all other partitions will be detected and you will be asked how do you want to use them. Choose LinuxMCE directory structure, and everything is fine.

Updates for 0810 beta

If you like the partitioning process to be a bit more graphical, you can use the live-cd from Gparted [1](free). Using this tool, set up the following partitions:

LinuxMCE partition as type ext3, minimum 20 GB, primary (LinuxMCE is the label, if you use another one, change it in the instructions below as well)
extended partition, 12 GB, extended

Within the extended partition, create

Linux Swap partition as type linux-swap, 2 GB, logical
Linux rescue partition as type ext2, 10 GB, logical

Next is marking the hard drive. Use the 0810 beta DVD to start kubuntu (without installing). From there, go to the console (you can find it via the "start" menu, it's a listed program there somewhere). First you need to go root (otherwise you won't be able to write on the partition you created). In the console, type

sudo bash

which will give you root priviliges. In the start menu, there's also a file manager somewhere. Open it, then open your LinuxMCE partition, which will cause it to be mounted. Then in the console, you type

sudo mkdir /media/LinuxMCE/etc
sudo touch /media/LinuxMCE/etc/pluto.conf

If you now check via the file manager, there should be a directory "etc" in your LinuxMCE partition. In that directory, you should find the file "pluto.conf". Now restart with the 0810 beta DVD, this time choose to install LinuxMCE. When you come to "Prepare disk space", choose to go "manual". It will scan your partitions, show you a nice picture of them. For all prepared partitions, you will need to click and edit them.

ext3: edit it to be used as "Ext3 journaling file system" and make sure the Mount point is "/".
swap: edit it to be used as "swap area". No Mount point here.
ext2: edit it to be used as "Ext2 file system" and the Mount point should be "/mnt/recovery".

While I was at it, I also indicated the ext3 and ext2 to be formatted. Hey it's not as if there's anything important on them already and it can only help, right? I don't think it's necessary though, you can skip the formatting if you do already have information on those partitions. Then click forward and just follow the dialogs.