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#1 2016-12-15 10:54:54

Malinas
Member
Registered: 2016-12-07
Posts: 6  

Default size of the /boot partition

Hi everyone,

As I'm playing around with the beta2 installer, I'm once again reminded of some weaknesses of the installer. My typical setup is to have a /boot partition and an encrypted root partition. So the guided installation does that for me, but:

  • The /boot partition size is only 256MB. This could be a problem with kernels and associated files taking more and more space. Right now on another machine I have two kernels installed there, already taking up 64MB. If I ever have to resize the partition, it's going to be a pain (since the other partition is encrypted and can't be shrunk).

  • It is impossible to undo the setting up of the 2nd partition (usually /dev/sda2) as an encrypted partition. There's something amiss in the installer, it cannot properly let go of the encrypted partition. This means that in case I want to change the size of the /boot partition, I need to reboot (hopefully it's at the beginning of the installation process, so not much time wasted).

So, my question is not about how to solve the problem (I know how to do it in manual mode), but rather about other's experiences on the subject. Has anyone had problems in the past with the default size of the /boot partition? Does it need to be changed?

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#2 2016-12-15 11:17:47

FOSSuser
Member
From: Surrey/Hants border UK
Registered: 2016-12-11
Posts: 167  

Re: Default size of the /boot partition

From a personal perspective, I don't encrypt, nor do I use a /boot partition, but I only use one kernel, so I was just wondering if you would really need more space, after all, 2 kernels are only taking up 25% of the available space.

Last edited by FOSSuser (2016-12-15 11:18:52)

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#3 2016-12-15 13:26:15

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,748  

Re: Default size of the /boot partition

Malinas wrote:
  • It is impossible to undo the setting up of the 2nd partition (usually /dev/sda2) as an encrypted partition. There's something amiss in the installer, it cannot properly let go of the encrypted partition. This means that in case I want to change the size of the /boot partition, I need to reboot (hopefully it's at the beginning of the installation process, so not much time wasted).

It's not clear to me what you're doing in the above. I don't use guided partitioning, but I thought it was not possible to change the settings that the partitioner uses. That's what manual partiioning is for. You should be able to make  /boot and / partitions without encryption. I know I did it with the beta1, but I haven't tried it with the beta2.

250mb for /boot should be more than enough unless you're planning to do something unusual.

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#4 2016-12-15 16:47:18

Malinas
Member
Registered: 2016-12-07
Posts: 6  

Re: Default size of the /boot partition

fsmithred wrote:

It's not clear to me what you're doing in the above. I don't use guided partitioning, but I thought it was not possible to change the settings that the partitioner uses.

250mb for /boot should be more than enough unless you're planning to do something unusual.

I had that funny problem with an Ubuntu once, the kernels had been accumulating in the /boot partition, until it got full during an update and I had to clean up the mess. If Debian (and now Devuan) remove old kernels, everything's fine.

About the encryption, it's just a limitation of the installer. Let's say you start by asking a guided installation of an encrypted root partition. You enter a passphrase, accept the changes. Then you change your mind, you want to redo the layout from scratch: it's impossible. The installer does not let you close the container. The partition is "blocked".This is also the case when you manually create and open an encrypted container. Once it's open, the only way you can change the partition is by rebooting and redoing the installation.

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#5 2016-12-15 20:28:04

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,748  

Re: Default size of the /boot partition

debian/devuan get rid of the old kernel on upgrade.

To close lvm parttion manually goes something like this:

alt-F2  #to get to a console with a command prompt
umount <mountpoint>
vgchange -a n <volume_group_name>
cryptsetup luksClose label

where label is the name in /dev/mapper/<label>.

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#6 2016-12-16 13:48:54

Malinas
Member
Registered: 2016-12-07
Posts: 6  

Re: Default size of the /boot partition

fsmithred wrote:
alt-F2  #to get to a console with a command prompt
umount <mountpoint>
vgchange -a n <volume_group_name>
cryptsetup luksClose label

The umount and vgchange are not strictly necessary as the volume group can be deleted from the installer (after deleting the logical volumes). And the partition being used as physical group can be set as unused.

Now for the cryptsetup luksClose command, it closes the encrypted volume but the installer does not seem aware of that, and keeps trying to use it as if it were open. Even if you go back to the main menu, and come back to the partitioning menu, you'll have an error message because the installer seems to assume that the encrypted volume should already be open.

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