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How to install Fedora alongside Linux Mint

asked 2016-04-13 18:28:09 -0500

smurfendrek123 gravatar image

Hello,

After manually installing linux mint, I now have a /boot/efi partition and a volume group that contains the logical partitions: swap, root and home. How do i install fedora alongside this without it overwriting the /boot/efi partition. (last time i tried installing fedora it overwrote the /boot/efi partition so that i could only boot into fedora and not into mint).

Thank you

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I am pretty sure last time Fedora didn't overwrite /boot/efi but maybe overwrote Grub bootloader (without recognizing your existing Mint). Fedora has to add content to /boot/efi (otherwise you won't be able to boot). The question is, if you want have Grub installed from Fedora (and recognize your existing Mint), or if you decide not to install a boot manager during installation and later advise your existing grub to recognize your newly installed Fedora and add it to the grub menu.

Normally Grub should automatically recognize and add any previously installed Linux to its menu during install

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2016-04-13 22:00:45 -0500 )edit

Yes florian, that might have been what happened, but i'd like to have fedora install grub and recognize my existing mint, how do i go about doing this?

Last time i installed fedora, i saw options for fedora and mint after i booted, but only was able to boot into fedora. When i tried to boot into mint, it said linux not found or something like that. How can i make sure this doesn't happen?

smurfendrek123 gravatar imagesmurfendrek123 ( 2016-04-14 03:36:52 -0500 )edit

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answered 2016-04-15 01:39:16 -0500

cmurf gravatar image

updated 2016-04-15 01:42:57 -0500

If /boot/efi it means this is a UEFI system with an EFI system partition, and every distro will install its own bootloader into it's own directory on the EFI system partition. So it's unlikely any overwriting has happened.

What does happen is Fedora installs its own GRUB, sets a boot entry in NVRAM to tell the firmware to execute Fedora's GRUB by default. And Fedora's GRUB grub.cfg lacks boot entries for Mint because $reasons that have more to do with multiboot simply being a bad user experience from beginning to end.

Whether you install Fedora using automatic/guided partitioning, or use custom partitioning, you can preserve the existing EFI system partition and it won't be reformatted. You can do one of three things to boot Mint after you've installed Fedora.

  1. Use efibootmgr or efibootmgr -v to see a list of boot entries. Find the one for Mint, and then set efibootmgr -n XXXX to set the next boot only to Mint. Now Mint's GRUB should come up on the next boot. The next boot after that it'll go back to Fedora.

  2. Use the firmware's boot manager to choose between Fedora and Mint GRUBs. Every firmware is different so you have to figure out what F-key to use to get the firmware's boot menu. Most have such a boot manager but not all enable it by default.

  3. In the Fedora /etc/grub.d/ directory you can use either 40_custom or 41_custom to add a new boot entry that uses the configfile command to point to Mint's grub.cfg which will be in part something like

    menuentry 'Go to Mint Menu' {

    set root='hd0,gpt1'

    configfile /EFI/mint/grub.cfg

}

Then grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/EFI/fedora/grub.cfg which will write out the addition to the grub.cfg on the ESP.

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Well, i can see them in grub, but when i try to boot into mint after installing fedora, it says linux not found?

smurfendrek123 gravatar imagesmurfendrek123 ( 2016-04-15 05:49:45 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2016-04-13 18:28:09 -0500

Seen: 2,185 times

Last updated: Apr 15 '16