[How To] Dual-booting CloudReady on UEFI systems

Comments

19 comments

  • Forrest Smith

    Thanks for sharing Patricio - and I appreciate you making clear that this is an experiment and nothing officially supported. Enjoy!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Patricio Villar

    Thank you Forrest :)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Patricio Villar

    Just wanted to point out that dual-booting this way didn't break CloudReady updates. Updating to v83.3 was smooth and free of issues. I'm really glad as this was my main concern beforehand :-)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • SignedAdam

    Very helpful, Many Thanks

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Bidwell Ely

    Patricio Villar, to continue your experiment, how is the dual boot affected in vs 92.4?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Joel R.

    Hey Bidwell Ely, running a triple boot setup with Win10 and Linux. Still works fine in v92.4.

    For everyone, just to add, it would be good practice to set an admin password after doing the steps above. Cloudready is already technically in Developer mode and hence RootFS Verification is a vital security feature. Disabling this can be a significant risk i.e. someone can boot your device, open a crosh session (even from the login screen), and make modifications to your system without you ever knowing.

    You can run the below command in crosh to set an admin password:

    sudo chromeos-setdevpasswd

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • SignedAdam

    Thanks for the update joel, I can confirm this works, resizing of the partition can only be done by using gparded in my testing, nothing else works

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • pierro78

    My goal is to have a dual boot cloudready/windows.

    I disabled verity, resized H-STATE partion, created fake partition for future use, installed refind.
    Cloudready still working fine.

    Then installed windows into empty space but then cloudready can t boot, it tries to "repair itself" and display the message "Your system is repairing itself. Please wait" for about 5 minutes and reboots but then same issue again.

    (windows seems to be fine)

     

    any help ?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • SignedAdam

    @pierro78 - What ever you used to resize the partition quite possibly damaged cloud ready? I suggest using gpart, and confirm it still works after the resize before installing windows

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Joel R.

    pierro78 As suggested by SignedAdam above, ensure you use GParted for resizing. I once broke a previous Cloudready install because I used a different partition manager. Boot up a Linux Mint live USB or whatever Linux diistro you prefer that has GParted.

    Might also be worth double-checking if you indeed disabled verity before doing any resizing. After entering the command in crosh, reboot and look for the pop-up prompt that warns you of the risks of having verity disabled. Also you should see this on the upper-right of your login screen:

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • pierro78

    I did the same and installed MX Linux instead of windows. No issue with Cloudready.
    Then tried to install windows again but it messed up my cloudready again.

    SignedAdam Joel R. do you mean I should also pre-partition my windows partitions with gparted ? but is that possible ? (I have the feeling that the windows installer adds windows partitions in a way that is incompatible with cloudready)

     

    PS1 : installed an older Cloudready v92.1 and it updated nicely to latest 92.4 :)

    PS2 : noticed a weird behaviour if I boot cloudready from MX linux grub : it s loosing Ctrl Alt F2 and once it lost wifi (impossible to turn it on) ... working fine from the Cloudready ESP (UEFI entry) though ...

    PS3 : wow I was downgraded from v92.4 to v92.1 again ! ... I guess you really better not use grub ... I seem to be good on v92.4 again ... now I am going to stick with the cloudready ESP boot ;)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • SignedAdam

    @pierro78 - try installing just windows, open a command line and do

    Diskpart


    Select disk 0

    (use list disk) to search for yours

    Select part 1

    (use list part) to find you're Windows partition

    Shrink

    (literally type shrink)


    Reboot in to some free back up software copy the partitions of Windows, then delete it all by installing cloud ready, then use gpart to shrink cloud ready, then restore Windows with the free recovery software (recommend Windows build in one or backupper)
    Then use uefi boot to select which on start up

     

    Typed on a phone, all from memory! 

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Joel R.

    pierro78 I see what you mean now. The Windows install probably used the existing EFI partition of Cloudready and may have messed with some of the boot files. What I did for my multi-boot setup is not far off from what SignedAdam described. You can use other third-party cloning software or you can just use GParted. Just right-click the four Windows partitions, click copy and paste onto a spare disk.

    So to recap, install Windows first >> clone / image new Windows install to a spare disk >> install Cloudready, disable verity, shrink >> clone back Windows onto the free space.

    At the very least, this will leave your Cloudready install intact. You may encounter issues on the Windows side; you may need to do some boot repair work on Windows command prompt. It'll help if your BIOS detects and allows you to browse into EFI partitions to select specific boot files. Just comment back if you reach this point and get stuck.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Bidwell Ely

    Why not have Windows on a USB or an external hard drive? CloudReady on your hard drive. That would be the easiest.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • pierro78

    Bidwell Ely  : yes I am now running CloudReady and MX linux on my internal hard drive and Windows on a tiny usb key thanks to Rufus WinToGo

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Joel R.

    pierro78 Adequate for occasional Windows use. Just a heads up mate, running Windows under heavy workload from an ordinary USB stick will not be a good experience, also the monthly cumulative and bi-annual feature updates will likely take significantly longer to install.

    Best solution would be to get a USB 3.0 external SSD to run Windows from or maybe Cloudready itself. But yeah overall, good that you found a solution for now.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • pierro78

    Joel R. good information and advice here, thanks  ... actually my laptop with Windows on USB only has a 128GB ssd so I thought Windows would have more space on the USB stick ... but I have an older laptop with a 512GB ssd where I ve made most of my tests and maybe I ll try your procedure ... it looks like I ll be able to backup-restore my Windows partitions like you said with a tool like Clonezilla (?) ...

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Joel R.

    pierro78 Clonezilla is good, I hear. In my case, I used Macrium Reflect for this purpose and also as a system image backup tool for my Windows and Linux installs. As I mentioned, since it's already part of the entire process, GParted will also do fine in copying partitions. For further clarity, the purpose of this is to ensure Windows has its own EFI partition so as not to interfere with Cloudready's EFI partition files (though other users may have found a way to use just one EFI partition for both).

    **REMINDER: For everyone, since several third-party tools have already been mentioned here, just want to reiterate that the dual or multi-boot procedures discussed here are NOT officially supported by Neverware. Follow at your own risk and expect further complications / troubleshooting needed.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • pierro78

    PS : found a faster USB SSD with larger capacity and created a ventoy bootable WinToGo .vhd file on it :
    https://forums.ventoy.net/showthread.php?tid=370&page=2
    (quite convenient way of using Windows as I can easily move/copy the WinToGo Windows .vhd file to any media ... and ventoy allows to boot plenty of OS ...)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.