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installation on a second disk concurrent with using Fedora on the first

asked 2014-10-24 10:48:10 -0600

lsatenstein gravatar image

updated 2014-10-24 22:59:34 -0600

mether gravatar image

I have Fedora 20 on my disk A. I would like to mount the second disk B as a target for another Fedora version. Without rebooting to user a flash drive to do the installation, am I able to launch a program or script that would be for the fresh installation onto a second disk?

Thus, I would not have to stop using Fedora20, while the application is performing its installation of Fedora 21 in the background.

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I agree it sure would be nice to be able to run Anaconda as a standalone app and install to second disk. I can't believe no one has ever added that mode to the installer in all these years. You and I can't be the only ones who want to do this.

raconteur gravatar imageraconteur ( 2015-11-24 16:02:30 -0600 )edit

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answered 2014-10-24 22:32:03 -0600

updated 2015-12-02 09:05:52 -0600

Update: See the other answer by @raconteur below for a correction. You can do what you're asking about doing, but there are no standard processes by which it is accomplished, so you'd need to either research and establish the process yourself or discover and select from relevant processes perhaps offered online somewhere. My answer below is technically incorrect. An operating system can install another operating system onto a disk it possesses.

No, you can't do that. The current operating system cannot install another operating system onto a disk it possesses. You're going to need to install a disk in your system and, without mounting it in your current operating system, boot from a USB or other installation media and install the new operating system to the new disk, being careful not to overwrite data on the current operating system's disk.

Make sense? You're trying to do what's called dual-booting, which is running two operating systems independently on the same system. With this configuration, you can only run one operating system at a time. If you want to run one operating system within another, you have to install a hypervisor and other virtualization apparatus to allow two operating systems to share the hardware simultaneously.

If you can tell me your preference, I will be glad to point you to some documentation.

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You _can_ do it. There's just no tool (that I know of) that wraps up everything you need to do to support you in the effort (notably, Anaconda doesn't support doing this, as far as I know). See my answer. Maybe you misunderstood what the original poster wanted to do? I read the OP as a desire to install F21 on a second disk and keep F20 on the current disk. Then perhaps reboot and test F21 without having to blow away his F20 disk (maybe until a later date). And he'd like to do the install without having to halt work on the box while the install is going on.

raconteur gravatar imageraconteur ( 2015-11-24 16:00:27 -0600 )edit

I did not misunderstand, but assumed the inquirer was not interested in a custom solution. I tried to make clear that what he wants to do is not supported by any standard process, as you note.

Nonetheless, you are technically correct. The best kind of correct.

bitwiseoperator gravatar imagebitwiseoperator ( 2015-12-02 09:02:27 -0600 )edit
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answered 2015-11-24 15:54:58 -0600

raconteur gravatar image

Of course, you _can_ do it. You can partition the second disk manually yourself (see parted(8)). You can install grub manually to the second disk. You can manually build filesystems with mkfs.ext4 or mkfs.btrfs or whatever you want. Then you can manually mount the filesystem(s) and install all the RPMs. I'm purposefully being somewhat vague here since there's quite a few ways to skin that cat.

There's no tool that I know of that ties it all up with a nice pretty ribbon in Fedora - in particular, not Anaconda as far as I know. Other distributions may have a tool tailored to support this - I'd like to know of any. You can do it with FreeBSD's installer.

I have manually done this in the past, but I never wrote it all up into a generally supported tool or set of scripts. I wish I had - I've wanted to do this a number of times since then.

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answered 2016-01-07 14:50:59 -0600

sksharma gravatar image

updated 2016-01-07 14:51:48 -0600

I do NOT know if this will work, I certainly have NOT done it.

last time I used Virtualbox I saw the option to allow the guest to use a real physical partition instead of a file.

that could work for you - download the image you need & let VB use a whole disk - maybe anaconda will work on that partition/disk.

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Asked: 2014-10-24 10:48:10 -0600

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Last updated: Jan 07 '16