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Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week

WattsvilleBlues posted:

Thinking of dual booting a Linux distro alongside Windows 11. I didn't think it was feasible since I have BitLocker enabled with Windows, but Copilot tells me I can disable BitLocker, give Linux its own partition and install, then re-enable BitLocker when I log into Windows.

Firstly, is anyone doing this and if so, any problems? Secondly, I am a complete Linux noob so I need baby's first Linux distro - I have played about with distros in the past but not outside a VM. Zorin OS is quite nice in a virtual machine. Recommendations?

Yes you can do it, and yes there are problems.

The only reason to turn off Bitlocker during install is that the linux installer can't resize an encrypted partition. You should be able to shrink the main windows partition from inside windows, using disk manager, without disabling Bitlocker. Then just point the linux installer at this new empty space, and you won't have to wait for hours while your drive is un- and then re-encrypted.


The further and larger problem is that you can't easily chain GRUB -> Windows bootloader with Bitlocker, if you're using TPM keys. Every time you do that Windows will get mad and ask for the full recovery key. (There's legit security reasons for this, but it's a PITA.)

So the easiest and most straightforward way to select which OS you want -- GRUB menu at boot -- is no good.

What you can do instead:
1. Use the UEFI to select which OS to boot. There will be some key you can press at boot (on my MSI mobo it's F11) to get a boot menu.
2. Use the windows bootloader as the main boot device and add a Linux option to the Windows BCD. Uh, I don't know exactly how to do this, I only know that it's possible. It was a thing people were doing at one point when windows was constantly overwriting GRUB during updates.


edit: possibility 3 is change from using TPM keys to using bitlocker with a regular password. This is less secure, but if this is a personal PC and your main reason to bitlocker is general privacy / theft insurance, it's not a huge deal.

Klyith fucked around with this message at 19:22 on Apr 10, 2024

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WattsvilleBlues
Jan 25, 2005

Every demon wants his pound of flesh
Ugh, this PC is used by my wife too so I might have to abandon the idea. She works from home sometimes and I don't want to potentially mess up her entire day with something not agreeing with Windows and Linux.

Storm One
Jan 12, 2011
How many disks does your PC have?
During the brief transition period where I "dual-booted" Windows and Linux I simply cheated by installing Linux on one disk and Windows on another, and using the BIOS boot drive selection to choose OS at power on. No bootloader nonsense to worry about that way.

Make the Windows disk the default boot device in the BIOS (and don't ever change it) so your wife can keep using the computer as usual, then when you need to use Linux reboot and press whatever the "boot drive temporary override" shortcut key is for your motherboard and select the Linux disk.

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

✨sparkle and shine✨

You can do that with a single disk and UEFI boot selection too, such as per the earlier post.

Phosphine
May 30, 2011

WHY, JUDY?! WHY?!
🤰🐰🆚🥪🦊

WattsvilleBlues posted:

Ugh, this PC is used by my wife too so I might have to abandon the idea. She works from home sometimes and I don't want to potentially mess up her entire day with something not agreeing with Windows and Linux.

I dualboot a couple of my machines and for this reason they all default to windows if one doesn't choose otherwise.

I have not had issues with bitlocker being rude to me, but I can't tell you if I did anything special to achieve this.

I have done the "point to Linux from the windows bootloader" version once, I probably followed the info on the arch wiki: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Dual_boot_with_Windows#Using_the_Windows_Vista/7/8/8.1_boot_loader

Not sure how/if this works with win 10/11 though.

Storm One
Jan 12, 2011

Subjunctive posted:

You can do that with a single disk and UEFI boot selection too, such as per the earlier post.

I'm sure you can, but bootloaders and UEFI are all black magic to me, and all the horror stories of Window's installer ruining people's Ubuntu partitions and vice-versa from long ago have put me firmly in the "don't know, don't really care to learn if some dipshit OS installer can just ruin everything anyway".

WattsvilleBlues
Jan 25, 2005

Every demon wants his pound of flesh
Well that's the end of that little thought experiment. Thanks anyway goons!

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week

WattsvilleBlues posted:

Ugh, this PC is used by my wife too so I might have to abandon the idea. She works from home sometimes and I don't want to potentially mess up her entire day with something not agreeing with Windows and Linux.

The UEFI boot selection method should be highly resistant to Bitlocker shenanigans -- if you have Windows as the default then the only way to enter linux would be pressing a special key at boot.


However if someone else needs to use the PC with Windows than I'd agree on abandoning the idea regardless of the bitlocker situation. Rebooting all the time is a hassle, and my experience was always that in the absence of a compelling reason I'd avoid the reboot and just use the windows side. The pattern was always install linux, spend time getting everything set up, switch back to windows to do work or play a game, and gradually stop rebooting to linux. IMO dual boots kinda suck. It was a good way to dip a toe in the water a decade ago but VMs are better for that now.


Storm One posted:

I'm sure you can, but bootloaders and UEFI are all black magic to me, and all the horror stories of Window's installer ruining people's Ubuntu partitions and vice-versa from long ago have put me firmly in the "don't know, don't really care to learn if some dipshit OS installer can just ruin everything anyway".

That was way more of an issue from the MBR-BIOS days, UEFI has really improves those matters.

The black magic works like this: EFI partitions are FAT with some defined folders and a .efi file. You can have any number of EFI partitions and .efi files. The BIOS looks through all the disks for partitions marked with the special EFI ID, makes a list of all the valid .efi files, and lets you pick one.

So you can have multiple bootloaders on a single disk and each OS can have its own, which makes them much less liable to gently caress with each other.

keep punching joe
Jan 22, 2006

Die Satan!

WattsvilleBlues posted:

Well that's the end of that little thought experiment. Thanks anyway goons!

Just virtual machine it? Unless you have a lovely processor and ram you can run a decent Linux desktop in a VM.

Tankakern
Jul 25, 2007

systemd-boot supports booting windows with bitlocker by using BootNext efi variable

Worf
Sep 12, 2017

If only Seth would love me like I love him!

i think it would be more efficient to get rid of wife?

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009

Worf posted:

i think it would be more efficient to get rid of wife?

Hans Reiser, is that you?

Volguus
Mar 3, 2009

xzzy posted:

Hans Reiser, is that you?

That was an easy one. Too easy.

mmkay
Oct 21, 2010

WattsvilleBlues posted:

Well that's the end of that little thought experiment. Thanks anyway goons!

Have you looked into WSL? Not sure what Linux specific things you want to play with.

AlexDeGruven
Jun 29, 2007

Watch me pull my dongle out of this tiny box


Volguus posted:

That was an easy one. Too easy.

Maybe, but they killed it.

Computer viking
May 30, 2011
Now with less breakage.

You could always just disable BitLocker. If this is a desktop in your house, the threats it protects against are not super likely, and kind of pale compared to everything else they can do given unfettered access to everything in your house in the first place.

WattsvilleBlues
Jan 25, 2005

Every demon wants his pound of flesh

mmkay posted:

Have you looked into WSL? Not sure what Linux specific things you want to play with.

Windows Subsystem for Linux? I've heard of it but have no clue what it is or how to use it.

There's nothing I need Linux for, I just like to try new things. VMs may just suffice for now though. My machine is a Ryzen 5600x, 16GB RAM on an NVMe drive. Performance even only giving the VM two cores and 4GB RAM is surprisingly decent for mucking around with.

WattsvilleBlues
Jan 25, 2005

Every demon wants his pound of flesh

Computer viking posted:

You could always just disable BitLocker. If this is a desktop in your house, the threats it protects against are not super likely, and kind of pale compared to everything else they can do given unfettered access to everything in your house in the first place.

I know it's unlikely to have it stolen but there are some work-related documents onboard so I do want to keep the disk encryption.

Less Fat Luke
May 23, 2003

Exciting Lemon
Didn't see it mentioned so apologies if it was suggested but you can install pretty much any distribution completely isolated on a USB device (thumbstick or larger). That way you can leave Windows and all of it's partitions + bootloader pristine while you fart around. I actually used a Sabrent NVME enclosure for a while on a motherboard where the M2 slot was dead with a Debian install and had no complaints.

mmkay
Oct 21, 2010

WattsvilleBlues posted:

Windows Subsystem for Linux? I've heard of it but have no clue what it is or how to use it.

There's nothing I need Linux for, I just like to try new things. VMs may just suffice for now though. My machine is a Ryzen 5600x, 16GB RAM on an NVMe drive. Performance even only giving the VM two cores and 4GB RAM is surprisingly decent for mucking around with.

It's a built in Linux VM that's a button click away. CLI is 100% Linux, GUI apps are embedded in magic Microsoft windows, there's an automatic two way mount point for your files.

Some apps have additional WSL integration, for example VS code can connect to projects in WSL without a hitch, others like pycharm have paid versions that do the same but you can just install a Linux version, create a Windows shortcut to it and it works anyway. It's great.

I think the default distro is Ubuntu, but you can maybe change it? Unsure about that one.

keep punching joe
Jan 22, 2006

Die Satan!

WattsvilleBlues posted:

Windows Subsystem for Linux? I've heard of it but have no clue what it is or how to use it.

There's nothing I need Linux for, I just like to try new things. VMs may just suffice for now though. My machine is a Ryzen 5600x, 16GB RAM on an NVMe drive. Performance even only giving the VM two cores and 4GB RAM is surprisingly decent for mucking around with.

Just throw more cores at it if you find it laggy, and set up usb pass through for peripherals and shared folders to the windows instance if you want to access stuff on that. It's probably the safest solution if you are worried about breaking your wife's system.

AlexDeGruven
Jun 29, 2007

Watch me pull my dongle out of this tiny box


mmkay posted:

I think the default distro is Ubuntu, but you can maybe change it? Unsure about that one.

There's not a default anymore. You enable WSL in the system and then pick a distro from the Windows Store.

Being a professional RedHatter, I use Oracle Enterprise 9.2. Works the same, including installing EPEL.

The trick is making sure WSL2 is enabled before installing, which has a couple of extra steps.

There's even a distro on there that uses docker/distrobox to give you a ton more OS choices than the store. I use that for when I want Fedora.

ziasquinn
Jan 1, 2006

Fallen Rib
i missed being excited about kernel and os updates (lmfao) and stuff like explicit sync coming means I don't have to go back to windows again...

Framboise
Sep 21, 2014

To make yourself feel better, you make it so you'll never give in to your forevers and live for always.


Lipstick Apathy
Can't wait to upgrade my PC so I can actually run Linux again efficiently. Ever since Kubuntu started having the same suspend issues Endeavour had, I wiped it and tried to install some other OSes like Fedora and VanillaOS (which I'm especially intrigued by), but I can't get them to boot at all. I think something may very well just be borked with my motherboard at this point or something, who even knows.

BrainDance
May 8, 2007

Disco all night long!

AlexDeGruven posted:

There's not a default anymore. You enable WSL in the system and then pick a distro from the Windows Store.

Being a professional RedHatter, I use Oracle Enterprise 9.2. Works the same, including installing EPEL.

The trick is making sure WSL2 is enabled before installing, which has a couple of extra steps.

There's even a distro on there that uses docker/distrobox to give you a ton more OS choices than the store. I use that for when I want Fedora.

I dunno if things have changed in the last year but WSL2 Ubuntu sure seemed at least more well supported.

I tried to do CUDA stuff in WSL2 Debian, turns out that just wasn't supported the same way it was in WSL2 Ubuntu.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week
Hit a thing on friday night that made me so :rolleyes: at Manjaro that I decided this weekend was the time to switch distros.

Now on suse tumbleweed. Welp. Blamming my user profile straight into what was both a change of distro and an upgrade from KDE plasma 5 to 6 was a bit stupid in retrospect. Like, nothing is totally broken, which is kinda surprising! But there's some minor stuff that would have been much easier to fix if only one of those variables had changes at a time.

The really stupid thing was forgetting to do a full copy of my old /etc before I wiped the partition. Idiot. I have backups of some stuff like systemd drop-ins I made, but not my samba or sshd configs. :doh:


Good:
Snapper + systemd-boot looks incredible as far as bulletproof rollbacks
Suse's installer isn't as slick as the calamares thing everyone else is using, but I appreciated how it had a better middle-ground between basic "we do everything for you" mode and full nerd mode
Uh, everything works? I dunno.

Bad:
suse doesn't have a deep library in their repos. gonna be using more flatpaks. having to manually download and install fonts like some type of caveman.
holy moly yast is some 90s throwback software

The Ugly:
Having to use bash for a bit because my zsh config was all messed up shows that I am way too reliant on zsh's history search and autofill. Hmm. What have we learned? To put everything that makes my .zshrc work into my home folder.

cruft
Oct 25, 2007

Klyith posted:

Hit a thing on friday night that made me so :rolleyes: at Manjaro that I decided this weekend was the time to switch distros.

Come on, you have to tell us what the thing was.

Klyith
Aug 3, 2007

GBS Pledge Week

cruft posted:

Come on, you have to tell us what the thing was.

I have a ventoy USB stick, for various bootable ISOs and tools. I wanted to put a more recent version of a couple thing on it. It wouldn't mount. Oh, is the stick bad? Lemme make a new one. Now that one doesn't mount. Is ventoy itself busted? No, it works on the windows pc. Let's wipe the stick and remake it there...



I determine that the problem is that Manjaro can't mount any exfat partition. This leads me to the Manjaro forums, and a thread where someone says that it's because they're still using exfat-utils, the FUSE exfat component that's been deprecated for quite some time as exfat has been in the kernel for years now. Some new update has finally broken it.

Uninstall exfat-utils, install exfatprogs, hey now my USB stick mounts just fine and I need to re-download the ISOs that were on it.

And there are many old threads on the Manjaro forums pointing this out. Arch and Endeavour switched in 2021. There's one where a Manjaro maintainer actually sees it and replies that they'll hold it until exfatprogs has all of the functions of exfat-utils. What functions? :shrug:



So anyways, on reddit I've occasionally seen some weirdo axe-grindy Arch users who don't like Manjaro and post giant walls of text of all their sins, real and imagined. Starting with the actually-bad SSL fuckups and ending with some real dumb crap. You can feel the mouth foam through the text, so I kinda dismissed them.

But if you want a devastating negative review of Manjaro in one sentence: they are cargo-culting the idea of a stable distro. They don't have the resources to test, so bugs affecting Arch have a good chance of hitting Manjaro. And when they do make changes from upstream, the follow through is lacking.

This was a pretty minor problem, but I found it highly symbolic.

waffle iron
Jan 16, 2004

Klyith posted:

And there are many old threads on the Manjaro forums pointing this out. Arch and Endeavour switched in 2021. There's one where a Manjaro maintainer actually sees it and replies that they'll hold it until exfatprogs has all of the functions of exfat-utils. What functions? :shrug:

Even debian doesn't carry exfat-utils anymore. And they still package exfat-fuse.

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Well Played Mauer
Jun 1, 2003

We'll always have Cabo
Fedora 40 tomorrow :hellyeah:

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