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#1 2020-05-22 16:49:18

Sharky
Member
Registered: 2014-08-16
Posts: 43

“No root file system is defined”, /boot & /xubuntu1910 partitions

There are loads of posts about the main “No root file system is defined" problem, which say to address this by specifying ext4 as partition type "/" as mount point. HOWEVER, I've not seen anything which addresses how to do this for setups with a separate root partition. On my 250gb SSD, which is dev/sdd/ I have:

gparted

sdd1: existing efi boot partition

sdd2: existing xubuntu 19.10 /home install I want to overwrite with xubuntu 20.04

sdd3: windows 10 I want to leave alone

BUT in the install options, I can't see how to specify that I want the boot partition to be sdd1 & the /home partition to be sdd2. Firstly it doesn't recognise the existing mount point status of sdd1, and secondly it doesn't look like I have the option of setting sdd2 as the install location but having sdd1 as the "/" mount.

installer

Probably the answer to this is really easy but I'm just being cautious as I don't want to make a best guess and ruin anything e.g. having to reinstall windows as well.

Please could someone advise how to address this issue, i.e. how to install xubuntu 20.10 in the same setup as currently (i.e. separate boot partition); also,

Also is it worth me having a separate boot partition? At some point I must have read about benefits to having it, although right now it's responsible for an issue (albeit a minor one).

Thanks!!

Edit: I looked again and realised I chose "Erase disk and install Xubuntu" because the wording of the first option ("Erase Ubuntu 19.10 and reinstall") implies it'll reinstall (x)ubuntu 19.10. However maybe it means it'll install 20.04?

otheroption

Edit2: Playing around with "Erase disk and install ubuntu" advanced option, is it simply that I:

    'change' the sdd1 efi partition to fat32 (which it already is) and "/" as mount point (which it already is)
    'change' the sdd2 ext4 partition to ext4 (which it already is) and "/home" as mount point (which it already is)?

specificoptions

Huge thanks for any advice!

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#2 2020-05-22 18:57:02

eriefisher
Member
From: ON, Canada
Registered: 2008-10-25
Posts: 138

Re: “No root file system is defined”, /boot & /xubuntu1910 partitions

You need a /root partition
/boot-fat,esp.boot
/root
/home-mounted in /root
You defined a /home but it has nowhere to mount and there is no place for the root file system.

Edit: Since your running efi let the installer put the boot loader in the /boot-esp,boot partition. It will see the windows bootloader and add it to the menu.

Last edited by eriefisher (2020-05-22 19:00:25)

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#3 2020-05-22 19:13:54

Sharky
Member
Registered: 2014-08-16
Posts: 43

Re: “No root file system is defined”, /boot & /xubuntu1910 partitions

Thanks for the quick reply erie. Just so I'm 100% clear, it sounds like you're proposing what my final option was-
Set sdd1 efi partition to fat32 and as mount point "/"
Set sdd2 ext4 partition to ext4 and as mount point "/home"
?
Cheers!

(edit: this is the final image, with "/" mounted at sdd1)

Last edited by Sharky (2020-05-22 19:27:52)

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#4 2020-05-22 22:14:13

eriefisher
Member
From: ON, Canada
Registered: 2008-10-25
Posts: 138

Re: “No root file system is defined”, /boot & /xubuntu1910 partitions

No your sdd1 is already your esp,boot partition. leave it alone!
At a minimum you need just a /root and you can let home reside in /root or you can create a separate partition for /home and mount it in /root. This is where all the OS files will be installed to.
Myself I don't dual boot, Linux only and my partitions are:
/efi,boot-fat32
/root-ext4-/home is in /root
/data-This gets mounted /media/user/data
I keep very little in /home and all my data is on /data an I link Document, Pictures, Videos etc that is normally in /home. For instance in my home folder my Documents folder is just a link to /data/Documents. This way i can back up easily and If I ever need to reinstall I don't have to worry what's in /home. It's mostly config files.

Last edited by eriefisher (2020-05-22 22:17:53)

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#5 2020-05-23 15:44:42

eriefisher
Member
From: ON, Canada
Registered: 2008-10-25
Posts: 138

Re: “No root file system is defined”, /boot & /xubuntu1910 partitions

I forgot to mention /swap
You should have /swap partition at least equal to the size of your ram especially if you want top suspend.

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#6 2020-05-24 14:35:43

Sharky
Member
Registered: 2014-08-16
Posts: 43

Re: “No root file system is defined”, /boot & /xubuntu1910 partitions

Thanks again for the replies, sorry for the delay in getting back to you - after an 8 hour house painting marathon ending 3am saturday, I fired up the machine to find myself back in broken hardware hell, so this is all academic for a while sadly.

Until then, another clarifier about your advice, if that's ok, but also if you're minded to be chatty about the semantics of partition setups I was musing about whether I could set mine up differently also.


Re the clarifier:

"your sdd1 is already your esp,boot partition." - I concur,
"leave it alone!" - However the install GUI wants me to set a location for "/". If I 'set' SDD1 as fat32 and mount point "/", per the final image, it says it won't be formatting that drive. You think this is the wrong thing to do? It looks like this will use the existing partition & formatting, feasibly overwriting it with a newer version, but hopefully rebuilding the existing structure e.g. win10 install location? Notwithstanding the last part might bork and need to be healed with BootRepair, it looks like this is the way to have my boot partition "/" be SDD1?
(feels like you're confirming this with "Since your running efi let the installer put the boot loader in the /boot-esp,boot partition. It will see the windows bootloader and add it to the menu" but I'm aware my parsing of your intel isn't 100% correct so I'm being cautious!)

And then "/root-ext4-/home is in /root" - I'm pretty sure this is my current setup. I feel like I've had /root be a separate partition before and not felt the benefit and since gone back to the former. I *presume* that setting SDD2 as /home will also use that partition for /root but in fairness I'm inferring this, it wasn't explicitly written anywhere. Per your comment,
"You defined a /home but it has nowhere to mount" - presumably this is addressed by installing/confirming SDD1 as /boot AKA "/"?
"and there is no place for the root file system." - if I'm wrongly inferring the background install of /root to SDD2 then presumably I can set this explicitly in the installer GUI, essentially per picture 2, but setting the mount point in the dialog box to "/root" and then doing that again and setting it to "/home", thus asking the installer to put both /root and /home in SDD2?

Re setup semantics:

This is probably moot since I just read that my main reason for doing it won't work. I also don't have much on /home with the notable exception of a 15gb Dropbox. I'd love to share this with the win10 install but, per the link, sticking Dropbox in a NTFS /Docs partition won't allow them to share it. Win10 could read & write to it like a normal partition, but without the Dropbox magic. It would have to be an ext4 partition (which obviates the point of it being distinct from /home IMO), and I've not had success getting ext4fsd working in the past. The next issue then is whether the Dropbox program in Linux freaks out when it boots up and finds the files have changed locally without its knowledge? I've asked on their forum.

Setup semantics B:

Swap partition vs swap file: various online opinions suggest the situation has either changed in the last few years, or hasn't changed at all. For someone who never uses suspend, is "/swap partition at least equal to the size of your ram" still true? This recommends 6gb for no-suspend 32gb, and later leads me to conclude that a swap file is an easier & more flexible solution for my setup, with swappiness set to 10 or 1, plus various other tweaks for optimising SSD life & performance when using a swap file. But I'm always interested in knowledgeable folks' opinion on this since things change regularly in this space.

Cheers again for your time, and happy bank holiday / Memorial day weekend!

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#7 2020-05-24 17:28:32

eriefisher
Member
From: ON, Canada
Registered: 2008-10-25
Posts: 138

Re: “No root file system is defined”, /boot & /xubuntu1910 partitions

This is my partition setup:

parted -l
Model: ATA WDC WD5000LPCX-2 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 500GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags: 

Number  Start   End     Size    File system     Name  Flags
 1      1049kB  538MB   537MB   fat32           ESP   boot, esp
 2      538MB   63.5GB  62.9GB  ext4
 3      63.5GB  67.6GB  4194MB  linux-swap(v1)  SWAP  swap
 4      67.6GB  500GB   432GB   ext4            DATA

My no. 1 is /boot. You have that as well. you won't need to touch it
My no.2 is the /root filesystem, My /home is mounted inside of it. /home/username. This can also be a separate partition or separate drive but mounted /home.
My no.3 is /swap. Do as you wish but there should be something. If you happen to run out of ram it will swap. Runaway programs for example or a bad crash.
My. no.4 is a data partition where I keep all my "stuff" This is the only thing I back up. If the OS craps out I just reinstall and mount the partition. Back to where I started.

However the install GUI wants me to set a location for "/". If I 'set' SDD1 as fat32 and mount point "/", per the final image, it says it won't be formatting that drive.

You can set the location for / to sdd2. Once again leave sdd1 alone. It will be mounted /boot(not really but don't worry about it). The sdd1 in your case have the files needed by the bios and grub too see and boot the OS. I assume you already have the Windows files there. If this gets corrupted neither OS will boot. The installer will handle what files need to be "placed" there. You can just make sure you have / . You can put your /home there or you can pull it out and write it somewhere else, doesn't matter but it will be mounted in /home. I will leave the /swap decision up to you however you deal with it.

I have never owned a ssd and I like to keep things simple. No zram, cryptfs, raid or LVM, Basic partitioning with /home inside /root and all my data away from the OS. I don't care about the OS I can boot just about anything and gain access to my files(except windows). My data gets backed up off drive/off site as well. Acessible anywhere in the world from any computer. This way if I get a hard drive failure I can still get data access.

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