I have a computer with 2 disks, I boot with efi from either disk, I have an efi system partition on each disk, I control grub with Void on disk hd0 , and with MX on hd1.
I need to install a new Debian based linux for a special job looking at the apt-build command ( see the post “apt-build world writeup request”). The distro has to function with my new amd graphics card, so that rules out Debian itself, or Devuan.
I decided to try Ubuntu 23.04. Downloaded, made a flash drive, booted it, and started the installer. When I got down to the disk partitioning stage, I asked it to install alongside existing linuxes, selected partition sdb12, then discovered that it insisted on writing the bootloader on some disk. I did not want it to write any bootloader anywhere, and I could not tell it that, so I aborted the install. Ubuntu installer is totally unsuited to my situation.
So, can anyone recommend a Linux distro that meets the following
Debian based so it has the apt package system
Has an installer which allows me to specify NO bootloader
Has an installer which can deal with dual disks
Is leading edge enough to drive an amdgpu graphics card
The ones that come to mind are Mint and Linux Lite. Dont know what their installers are like.
I would prefer something minimal. Ubuntu was probably a bad choice with all its complicated snaps.
It’s been awhile since I installed Linux Mint, but in the install process you have the option “Install alongside” and “Something Else”. I always go for the option of something else. The next screen gives you a gparted like screen where you can select where you want Mint install.
I followed your advice - it works.
Downloaded Linux Mint 21.1 64 bit. Put it on a Ventoy usb stick and booted.
You get a ‘live’ Mint . The graphics screen works, so Mint 21.1 can handle my new AMD graphics card. No issue there. It has kernel 5.15.0-56… thats not as new as MX but it works.
Now the big test … will it install without writing grub anywhere.
In the live MInt, I do man ubiquity and get a man page for the installer. It does not list a -b option? But my link above says it has one , so I try it.
Type at the command line ubiquity -b
and yes, the installer starts.
I work my way down to “Choose Something Else”
and it offers a menu of partitions
I choose sdb12 and mount it to /
then tell it to go ahead.
Nowhere does it mention grub… the -b option worked!
Takes about half an hour, then it offers restart
I reboot , and boot into MX ( that is where my grub is configured). Do update-grub in MX and it finds Mint ( mixed in with MX and Void).
Reboot again, and choose Mint on the grub menu , and it boots.
That was a really easy install. So the trick, if you dont want grub, is to ignore the installer icon and start ubiquity manually with -b option, and choose “Something Else”.
So now I have a spare distro ready to try apt-build.