Dual Manjaro boot questions

Hello there!
First I apologise, as I guess I could find some answers on Manjaro or Arch wikis. I’ll browse them later, when I have more time.

Noobish mode
I’m a 6 months old Linux recruit, some topics are still shady for me. I had first Cinnamon installed, with separate partitions for Data and Backup. Then I scratched my system and put KDE instead, with separate partitions for boot, swap, root and home. As Data and Backup were created first, they’re still sda3 and sda4, while my root is sda8 even if the partition is placed before… Well, that’ll be for another day.

I wanted to try Manjaro Gnome outside Virtualbox, so I reduced my Data partition and installed it in manual fashion in Calamares, with same as KDE, boot, swap, root and home partitions above the unallocated space.
At reboot I got an ugly vanilla Linux grub instead of Manjaro’s and the 1st entry was Gnome and no more KDE. Gnome booted OK, and when I selected KDE, I got initramfs missing then kernel panic :fearful:
Hopefully booting with 5.8 fallback worked. I tried update-grub, got nothing better than vmlinuz not found and still that old school grub. Maybe I tried other forgotten commands during the panic. Until grub-install put an end to my misery and reverted all to normal with Manjaro grub, KDE first. But Gnome this time would go initramfs missing too and only worked with fallback.

Deleted Gnome, I then put the empty space back to Data and chose this time in Calamares to install alongside and make it shrink automatically the partition (and get root, home, in a same partition).
Bim, still the ugly grub and fallback for KDE. install-grub again to revert but this time, Gnome works directly when selected in boot menu.

So I have all I wanted but don’t get all what did go wrong. And more, what I did wrong (who said ALL? :rofl:)
How could I have installed a 2nd Manjaro without breaking my 1st? Would have it be possible to select a manual partitioning (and splitting root, home, …) during install as I first tried AND succeed?
And if I already get a swap and a boot partition for my KDE, do I need that also for my Gnome? (yes I know I could use a swap file instead) Or will these be shared between the 2?
And last, I edited my Gnome /etc/default/grub and removed quiet. I updated grub but its still all black at boot and at shutdown/reboot. How do I see all the systemd logs as I have in KDE?

Ah a last one, would tweaking mkinitcpio be helping in my case? Or is it irrelevant here?

In theory, yes, but only you know what you did (and didn’t do) during installation.

If by “boot partition” you mean the EFI system partition ─ i.e. /boot/efi, not /boot ─ then the idea is that you share this partition among all operating systems installed on the computer, including Microsoft Wintendo Glassware, if you have that installed.

As for the swap partition, this can be shared too, but only on the condition that you’re not hibernating the machine in one distribution and then try booting the other distribution, because that’s a recipe for disaster.

Does it still say udev.log_priority=3 on the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT line?

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I chose manual install in Calamares and created a 512Mb FAT32 boot partition, a 8Gb linuxswap swap partition and two ext4 for root and home. As I had already created the same for KDE, guess than boot and swap were unecessary/not recommended.

I have also at the beginning of my disk a 8Mb bios-grub partition, as I have a GPT table on BIOS.

Here it is : GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="apparmor=1 security=apparmor udev.log_priority=3"

Um, if your system is booting in legacy BIOS mode, then you don’t need a vfat (FAT32) EFI partition. And if it boots in UEFI mode, then you don’t need a bios-grub partition. :wink:

Firmware Boot  Partition Table  Required Partition Type          

BIOS/CSM       MSDOS            -
BIOS/CSM       GPT              bios-grub with [boot] flag, ~2 MiB, unformatted
UEFI           GPT              esp with [boot] and [esp] flags, ~512 MiB, vfat (FAT32)

No efi folder in/sys/firmware or /boot. 2011 laptop, BIOS for the win.

Is it possible to change the labels in Grub? In order to get by ex Gnome instead of Manjaro Linux on /dev/sda5 ?

In theory, yes, but then you’ll have to mess with the scripts in /etc/grub.d/, and it’ll likely be undone again after the next update to GRUB.

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Alright, not worth the shot.
Last thing, if I wanted to install a 2nd Manjaro system alongside a 1st, the more vanilla-est way possible in Calamares, would it still mess with grub? (I guess the 2nd system overwrites the 1st grub)

Yes, that is correct.

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Well I’ll know it now and won’t freak out :smile:
Thank you!

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I scratched Gnome to put Cinnamon instead, with root and home partition. It uses by default the 8Gb swap partition I’ve had created for KDE.
At first reboot, I can see Cinnamon at the beginning in Grub, KDE in 2nd. To boot in KDE, I had to use fallback and repair with grub-install. KDE is back in 1st position in Grub and boots fine.

Back in Cinnamon, even after removing quiet from /etc/default/grub, it was still black at boot. I performed then grub-install then update-grub and now I have the boot logs.

KDE is initramfs again, I fallback, install/update grub and that’s all folks. In Grub, KDE first, then Cinnamon, each with the boot logs instead of black screen.

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