How-to for dual-booting PCBSD and Ubuntu Mate

Okay Smartnoise, here is a step-by-step how-to for dual-booting PCBSD and Ubuntu Mate.

The following needs to be done in order:

Boot into a live UM session on a clean machine. Run Gparted and create half (or whatever proportion you want) of the drive as an EXT4 partition and then also create a swap partition immediately after is that is equivalent in size to the size of your RAM. then install UM on the partition just created. Then shut down.

Boot into a live UM session on a machine that already has UM installed on it. Run Gparted and resize your UM partition to around half (or whatever proportion you want) of the drive. Then, if necessary, move the swap down the drive so that it lies just after the UM partition. Then shut down.

In both instances, above, you will end up with a machine that has UM and swap on half of the drive. The other half will be unallocated space.

Boot up the same machine with a PCBSD ISO. It will take you to the installation screen. When you get to the part where it asks you where you want to install it, you must pick the advanced option and choose the unallocated space. Then follow all instructions to complete the installation. This installation also requires you log in once to complete your user registration. Once completed, shut down.

Boot back up with the UM live ISO into a live session. Once logged in, use Caja to navigate to your existing installed UM on your hard drive, Specifically, go to /boot/grub/ and open grub.cfg with Pluma.

Once opened look for a menu entry that looks exactly the same or very similar to below:

menuentry 'Ubuntu' --class ubuntu --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os $menuentry_id_option 'gnulinux-simple-a8a4dd97-fdf9-4a28-b86f-ce0bb2e317b2' {
    gfxmode $linux_gfx_mode
    insmod gzio
    if [ x$grub_platform = xxen ]; then insmod xzio; insmod lzopio; fi
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ext2
    set root='hd0,msdos1'
    if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
      search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos1 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos1 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos1  a8a4dd97-fdf9-4a28-b86f-ce0bb2e317b2
      search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root a8a4dd97-fdf9-4a28-b86f-ce0bb2e317b2
    linux    /boot/vmlinuz-4.4.0-34-generic root=UUID=a8a4dd97-fdf9-4a28-b86f-ce0bb2e317b2 ro  quiet splash $vt_handoff
    initrd    /boot/initrd.img-4.4.0-34-generic

Copy and paste this into an empty Pluma file and save it to your live session desktop. Then close grub.cfg down. Now email the file you saved to your desktop to one of your own email accounts that you can access from the Internet. Or, put it on dropbox. Or, save it to a usb stick. In other words, you need to be able to access this file later when you are back in PCBSD. Once you’ve done the above, shut down.

Start your machine in the normal way. You will find it defaults to the PCBSD boot loader and there is no sign in there of your UM installation. This is what we are going to fix now. Once in the PCBSD desktop,
open a browser/usb stick/dropbox etc and grab hold of the file you saved earlier. Put it somewhere accessible like your desktop or your home folder.

Open a terminal and type the following:

sudo dolphin

This will open the file manager as root and so allow you to make changes to system files

Navigate to /usr/local/etc/grub.d/40_custom and open this file with “kate” editor.

Then also open the file you saved earlier. Copy its content to the very bottom of the 40_custom file. Then save the 40_custom file. Then close both files down.

Close your root dolphin file manager.

Now open a terminal again, if one is not already open. Type the following:

sudo grub-mkconfig > /boot/grub/grub.cfg

The above command will update you PCBSD version of grub to reflect the new Ubuntu entry you just pasted into that file.

Reboot your machine. It will still go to the PCBSD boot loader. But now you have choice between PCBSD and Ubuntu

The only thing that is still a little raggy is that, although Ubuntu can be chosen and does indeed fully and unproblematically load, as you initially leave the PCBSD boot loader just prior to Ubuntu loading, you get a message saying PCBSD does not understand the video settings. Just press the Enter key to acknowledge this message. It can be otherwise safely ignored. My guess is PCBSD is complaining as Ubuntu takes over because it cannot communicate with or understand what Ubuntu is doing.

That’s it. From now on, you can elect to log into either UM or PCBSD!

See below for a video of me dual booting in a VM:

1 Like

Awesome, i shall have a stab at this over weekend, once I fix my sprinkler system, thanks for all the hard work…How are you liking PCBSD? More than Mate?

I am using Mate desktop in PCBSD installed after the fact. I cant stand the KDE desktop. Indeed, I am currently exploring how to install a minimal base BSD OS and then install the Mate desktop on it so there is no KDE desktop bloating it up in the background. I have no problem with the Ubuntu Mate devs. What they have done here is outstanding. I am not even blaming Cannonical in this instance. All of these parties are just currently hostages to fortune and are stuck with a semi-operational/broken Samba in the entire Linux environment for the moment.

As for how the BSD implementation of Mate stands up to UM, it will almost certainly be inferior in terms of ease of configuration. However, that doesn’t bother me in principle just so long as it is configurable, albeit probably involving more work with config files as opposed to easy-to-use GUIs. My problem is when I cannot configure at all because something is fundamentally broken, as with Linux Samba at the moment.

I believe there is a “Customize” option in the initial BSD install, one of the first screens

Well, well, well…

Look what I’ve found…:slight_smile:

Ghost-BSD 10.3 Mate 64 bit

Ghost-BSD 10.3 Mate 32 bit

Okay…backtracking slightly…

The latest version of PC-BSD works. However, it comes with KDE desktop pre-installed. Thus you have to install the Mate desktop over the top and this leads to some polluting of the menus/system-bloat etc. There is no easy way to subsequently remove the KDE desktop. Also the theming in the Mate desktop is broken unless you only use the one it came with. Otherwise it looks very messy.

Ghost BSD 10.4 menu editor (mozo) does not work.

Ghost-BSD 10.3 menu editor (mozo) works. But, the first time you run system-updates in Ghost-BSD 10.3, it breaks the entire installation.

Free-BSD requires that you install the base-OS and then install Mate desktop on top. This works, but there is clearly loads of secondary system software missing still from the installation that needs to be subsequently installed in order for it to be fully functional. Which, unless you are a seasoned BSD user is going to be far from easy.

But Samba works flawlessly on all of them!

Okay, after much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that, presently, PCBSD is the best option of all the ones I have checked out. It works out of the box with all multimedia codecs etc. It does come with KDE desktop preinstalled. Which is a pain. But, it is a piece of cake to install Mate 1.12 from the AppCafe. Also, PCBSD does the nifty trick of parceling all of KDE’s stuff into a separate sub-menu in the Mate applications menu, whilst simultaneously allowing all of the applications that might be common to all desktops to be placed in amongst the various Mate applications sub- menus. Which is a nice touch in my opinion.

Compton works well, as does Guake. Also, a boon for me is that all of my various bash scripts I use to run various bits and pieces all seem to be working in BSD. which, again is nice cos it save me a lot of time rebuilding them. All in all, BSd is very linux like and so the learning curve is turing out to be not that great.

But, most importantly of all. Samba works! This was, after all, the reason for looking as BSD in the first place.

At the moment, this is all in a VM. But, tomorrow, I am going to commit this to my main bare-metal rig as a dual booting UM-PCBSD machine.

See below of how I have got the Mate desktop set up in the PCBSD VM.

Nice tutorial, thanks for all the hard work…I have been messing with other distros, when I was not messing with irrigation. Tried out PCLinuxOS mate, not very mate like but pretty cool, also tried KDENeon, which is a light weight KDE also very good, and I have never been a huge KDE fan. Still messing with Peppermint which I am quite impressed with, English Bob does a lot of talking it up, along with helpful tutorials. And since Midfngr passed there is a surge of interest in ArchMid, which I installed, and liked real well, just not sure I am really up for the Arch challenge yet…Remains to be seen if samba is working on all these, hopefully find some time this week to try them all a little more thoroughly.

Samba is currently broken/semi-operational on every distro of Linux I have tested and I have tested a large number since Ubuntu 16.04 came out. Consequently, I am pretty sure it will be broken in the same way on every distro of Linux I have not tested as well. This is not an Ubuntu Mate issue or, for that matter, a Canonical or even a Debian Issue. It is a Linux-wide issue.

I am also pretty sure it will be resolved at some point. I am just an impatient bugger, that’s all!

By the way, some further information on the PCBSD install;

If you decide to use it, go for the 10.3 net-install ISO. This allows you to selectively choose the Mate 1.12 desktop alone and so have a fully functional PCBSD with solely the Mate desktop. So, pretty much perfect so far as that goes. I have yet to delve properly into the applications availability for BSD. So, that could still be a major bug-bear for me. But, I am sufficiently impressed with it at this point to at least go for a dual-boot with UM.

Agreed on the Samba, if not for that I would probably have stopped at Ubuntu mate, as it seems pretty well rounded for my needs. I was pretty happy on Mint 17.3 for a long while but when the new releases rolled in had to give some a go, so sad that the roll outs were flawed in a variety of ways. I shall have to futz with PCBSD a bit, see if it feels worth the agro, or just wait out a samba fix. Have been enjoying Peppermint, must say that its a good one, I see why it’s popular. Thanks for the advice on the 10.3, although i swore i read that you could select your DE on install…

You’re right. you can. I am an idiot…:slight_smile:

Well then, we are united!

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