I have suffered from boot configuration a lot. If windows is installed above ubuntu, ubuntu doesn't boot. if ubuntu is installed above windows then windows goes away.

Of course, reinstalling grub fixes these things, but I suppose having a dedicated grub partition is going to help me a lot.

So I have fresh windows installed. I am about to install ubuntu 11.04. But before I install Ubuntu, I want to create a dedicated boot partition first.

I thought creating a separate partition of about 200 mb and mounting it as /boot was called dedicated partition but it seems it is not.

How to create a dedicated boot partition during ubuntu installation?


Another option is to make a dedicated Grub2 partition (as opposed to dedicated /boot partition you mount at boot), see herman's tutorial.

Advantage: you can remove/install OSes at will.

Disadvantage: you need to edit the grub.cfg file manually. To avoid having to do that after every kernel update I recommend using the link to kernel images, not the kernel image itself, for example use something like

linux   /vmlinuz root=UUID=3e4xxxxx-027b-407c-ba1a-xxxxxxxx ro   quiet splash


linux   /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-28-generic root=UUID=3e4xxxxx-027b-407c-ba1a-xxxxxxxx ro   quiet splash 

For more info on using symbolic links instead of full paths for kernel images look here.

Disadvantage2 (thanks psusi): when installing a new OS make sure you do not install its Grub image to MBR. Install it without Grub and then manually edit the grub.cfg file to include the new OS.

  • The guide you pointed, says to type sudo grub-install --root-directory=/media/grub2 /dev/sda as a command. But from where to input this command, is it ok if i do from the ubuntu's live cd.
    – Starx
    Jul 25 '11 at 8:09
  • It doesn't matter, but you have to make sure /media/grub2 or whatever is your dedicated Grub2 partition (Grub2 will install the config and module files there) and /dev/sda is the disk you want to boot from (Grub2 boot image will be installed into the first sector there).
    – arrange
    Jul 25 '11 at 8:21
  • On the mean time, I installed ubuntu, and haven't defined any partition to be mounted as /boot, so the /boot is inside the file system also. Will the above guide still be valid or I have to ask another question.
    – Starx
    Jul 25 '11 at 9:16
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    Yes, the whole point of this is that the Grub doesn't use the files in /boot of your Ubuntu installation, but its own (very small) extra partition (as explained in the link).
    – arrange
    Jul 25 '11 at 9:21
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    @Starx if you don't tell the mint installer to NOT install grub, then yes, it will take over, just as it would without the dedicated grub partition.
    – psusi
    Jul 25 '11 at 23:39

Only if we need the master boot record of a harddrive for something else we may install Grub to a partition. Otherwise it is not a good idea to do so.

During boot-up a boot manager such as Grub is expected on the boot device. That usually is the MBR of the hard drive (which is different to a partition), e.g. /sda (not /sda1).

During installation Grub2 will recognize other operating systems on all drives attached and adds them to the boot menu choice (this can also later be done with sudo update-grub). The Windows boot manager does not do so - that is why we are unable to boot into Ubuntu when having installed Windows later.

There are several guides on how to partition your drives for dual booting, e.g. linked to in answers to this question (or more).

For recommendations on a separate /boot partition see this question.

  • 1
    I am trying to create multi boot not just dual boot. And the main reason is, still to be able to boot my pc, even after removing certain OSs.
    – Starx
    Jul 25 '11 at 7:07
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    the grub 2 installed with ubuntu will be relative to the ubuntu only. If i format the ubuntu partition, i will no longer be able to boot other Operating system I have. So, I thought having a dedicated boot partition will help
    – Starx
    Jul 25 '11 at 7:10
  • Grub will look at it's configuration files during boot up irrespective of if it's installed on a MBR or in a partition. Only if you (manually) took care to not overwrite these files (that you could manually put anywhere) on reinstalling Ubuntu (or when removing partitions) you will be able to continue multi-booting without the need of reinstalling Grub. However consider that Grub2 will enable multi-boot to any OS it detects by it's default installation. A Windows installation still will overwrite Grub on the MBR.
    – Takkat
    Jul 25 '11 at 7:23

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