Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 30th Jan 2012 20:39 UTC
General Unix Finally something really interesting to talk about. If you've used UNIX or any of its derivatives, you've probably wondered why there's /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin in the file system. You may even have a rationalisation for the existence of each and every one of these directories. The thing is, though - all these rationalisations were thought up after these directories were created. As it turns out, the real reasoning is pretty damn straightforward.
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I rather like /boot mounted to seporate hardware. I tend to drop it on an SD since pretty much every machine now has an SD reader. If the machine is dualboot, I can pull the SD and leave the HDD MBA booting to a secondary OS. If the machine is encrypted, I can pull the SD and leave the machine without any boot partition; given that the boot partition is normally unencrypted that also means not having an unecrypted partition sitting on the HDD that's supposed to be fully encrypted.

There is also grief with Win7/Truecrypt and Debian/LVA-Enc dualboot. Truecrypt won't see the Debian bootup but will kick off the Win7 bootup. Debian's boot loader won't see Truecrypt/Win7 but will see Debian's encrypted LVA partitions. Rather than wait for the developers to "fix the boot loader" I simply boot Debian from an SD and use the bios menu to select the HDD boot when I want the Win7 environment.

I think the biggest pain in my years of dualboot systems has been working around an OS that imposes a single boot loader on the drive instead of allowing a boot partition from any mountable media. Heck, Win even gave grief when dualbooting NT/win98 let alone NT+non-MS-OS and you can always count on Windows overwriting the boot sector with it's own loader so you'd best have Grub/Lilo handy on a removable media or you'll be fiddling with SuperGrub trying to get back into and fix the proper multi-boot menu loader after Windows kindly screws it for you. (becaus in Microsoft's world, no one would ever dualboot a non-MS OS so may as well just kill off whatever the user had there already)

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