How can I install Manjaro without installing GRUB?

How can I install Manjaro without installing GRUB?

In the past you could uncheck it in the installer, but now I don’t see any option to install Manjaro without GRUB.

I’m asking because I have Manjaro installed (on /dev/sda2, where GRUB is also located).
And a second emergency installation of Manjaro 17.10 (on /dev/sda5 - without GRUB), unused and not updated for years.
Now I want to install Manjaro on /dev/sda5, but without the new GRUB (as GRUB is already on /dev/sda2).
How to do it?

Alternatively, I could update this old Manjaro 17.10 on /dev/sda5 (if that is possible without automatically installing the new GRUB?)
However, in this old installation of Manjaro, Pacman/Pamac still use .xz files and I am not able to update the system or install any package, which are based on .zst .
Is there anything I can do here?

You should not try to match a new os with a 5 year old version of the boot loader. It will go sideways. And makes no sense at all.

p.s. are you on MBR?

When you say Grub, do you mean boot partition?

When you install, you choose to manually partition, you select the boot, root and (if you have one) home partition. If all partitions already exist you just select them and add their mount points (/boot/efi / & /home). if you dont have efi boot you mount your boot partition to /boot instead. Boot partition also needs to have boot flag, but since it has been formatted as a boot it already should.

If you have separate home partition, this will keep all your settings.

To clarify.
My main Manjaro (on /dev/sda2) is up to date and GRUB is up to date too.
Now I want to install the second, “emergency” installation of Manjaro on /dev/sda5 on the same partition where the old Manjaro 17 is currently installed.

Then you use the boot partition you have on your main, I would guess /dev/sda1 as the boot partition, grub detects both installs.

ie, one boot partition (that you call grub xD) for both installs.

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This, even if possible (i do not think so or i do not understand what you mean), is a very weird setup.
Just resize some partition, make a new one form the free space and install it there if you whant triple boot setup.

Just install it and let it install GRUB. Then if you want to make the GRUB of your first install the primary one again, boot into that install, make sure os-prober and the menu are enabled in /etc/default/grub, and run… :point_down:

sudo grub-install --recheck && sudo update-grub

More about my system.
Main Manjaro is on sda2

lsblk -l
sda    8:0    0 465,8G  0 disk
sda1   8:1    0   300M  0 part /boot/efi
sda2   8:2    0  97,7G  0 part /

And inside sda2 partition GBUB files are located in /boot/grub/
(and I do not have any separate boot partition).

Now I want to install the second, small and “emergency” installation of Manjaro on /dev/sda5

sda5   8:5    0  14,8G  0 part` 

Currently on this partition there are no GRUB files (a directory /boot/grub/ is empty)

So when during the installation on sda5 I will set:
sda1 for /boot/efi
sda5 for /
will installer reinstall all GRUB files located in /boot/grub/ on sda2?

Stop talking about grub, this is all about the boot partition.

Follow what Aragorn said in the last post.
Grub will detect BOTH INSTALLATIONS.

Your old installation will never even be mounted, it has nothing to do with the new install.
The grub files you talk about will be installed at the same place but on /dev/sda5

The grub you keep talking about is just the program creating the boot menu.

Make sure you have following in your /etc/default/grub (on both installations) so the menu is actually visible


Then sudo update-grub


Erm, it does matter. It is about grub.
If its EFI, then its the grub installed to the ESP, but grub nonetheless.

Which is why the guidance is:

Which is reasonable advice because whichever grub you do that to last will be “the” grub.

(Well, I would normally do something like sudo grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=manjaro --recheck, but I assume aragorn has a reason for the suggestion as is)

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I do not have any separate boot partition and files used by GRUB are on sda2 in /boot/grub/ .

And installing the second system on sda5 will create files used by GRUB are on sda5 in /boot/grub/ .

Now I will do as @Aragorn wrote to use main system on sda2 and will be using this system daily.

But let’s assume in few months I will want to update the second, emergency system on sda5.
As I understand this update of system on sda5 will result that the system on sda5 will became the main system (first seen in GBUB) - what will give more complications.

That’s why I wanted to install a second system without GRUB.

Or can I do an update on sda5 without changing the GBUB files?

Silly question:

Why an Emergency Install of Manjaro, why not backups?

Backup needs more space, which I do not have.
And emergency system is a convenient replacement for live USB in emergency situations.

Yes you do.

You want to update the second more often than after 5 months. On stable, I would wait max 2 weeks, maybe a bit longer. But NOT 5 months!
This is a rolling release, you HAVE to keep it updated.

:point_down: :point_down: :point_down: :point_down:

As for emergency system. Take a look at
All you need is an iso file and a 8gb usb stick and you have a bootable version, the same way you install.

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I am confused…
It seems to me that /boot partition is not the same as /boot/efi as shown in instillation guide:

I have zero clue what to either do with that picture or what you mean. IIRC you select “choose partition” (or something similar, NOT “partition manually”) in the installation and select partition 5.
That’s it.

I’m pretty sure calamares will figure everything out, or ask you. There is no need for selecting mountpoints if you do what has been instructed.

I think you select partition by clicking at the colored partition in the bottom, and there might also be a dropdown menu for boot, most likely already set to /dev/sda1.

I prefer emergency system on the same disk, where I have access in both directions sda2 ↔ sda5 and my preferred tools installed.

That’s what chroot is for.
But the user is the god of the system. :slight_smile:
(Ie you should do what you feel comfortable with)


There appears to be a bit of confusion here on account of what constitutes a boot partition. That which @bedna is referring to is the EFI system partition, which technically is indeed the partition from which you computer boots up, in that the EFI system partition will launch the EFI-compatible version of the GRUB boot loader.

What you @majo are talking about on the other hand is the /boot directory, which can indeed also be a mounpoint for a separate partition — as is the case on my own system, but I have my own reasons for that — but which normally is just part of the root filesystem.

And thus, if you have multiple distributions installed on the same drive, then each distribution will have its own /boot directory on its respective root filesystem itself, and the same EFI system partition mounted at /boot/efi in each of the distributions.

In a UEFI install, as is the case on your computer, the /boot directory contains the kernel images, the initcpios, and the GRUB configuration file. But it is the UEFI firmware which, by way of the EFI variables stored in the machine’s non-volatile memory, loads the boot loader from the EFI system partition. And it is the choice you make in the boot loader’s menu which determines which root filesystem must be booted from.

An EFI-capable GRUB always points at the root filesystem and the GRUB configuration file of the GRUB that was installed last, and therefore, you will want to have the GRUB of your main system be the one in charge. Hence the two commands I gave you.

By the way, @cscs, the reason why I’m not listing all the options in the grub-install command is that they are not needed. That particular system already has GRUB installed, and once the OP boots from that system, running grub-install will automatically detect all the correct options — that it must be an EFI install, that it must use /boot/efi, and so on. So all that’s really needed is the --recheck option. :wink:


Figured as much but I wondered about the path. There being multiple grubs and all. Cheerios.

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