On Sunday, 15 December 2019 17:04:52 UTC, Claudia wrote:
> I'm wondering what the best way is to go about installing two instances 
> of Qubes 4.1 on the same machine, which are more or less independent of 
> each other. 
> It's fairly easy to dual boot different OSes because they each have 
> their own EFI directory, e.g. /boot/efi/EFI/{qubes,fedora,ubuntu}, but 
> what happens when you want to dual boot two of the same OS? (Or two 
> different releases of the same OS?) 

First point

IF you have got UEFI booting working on your machine, and the Qubes 
detects that is so, then grub does not come into it. So if you are on 
4.0.2rc3 or 
later and you still have a grub.cfg file being created at install, then the 
is not fully recognising your UEFI and is adding the grub2 stuff for legacy 

Now to the real point. The way to do this is to create a triple boot within 
the EFI
partition, one for ecah of your two systems, and one for the Qubes updater. 
As you
say the updater wants to put things into /boot/efi/EFI/Qubes so we'd better 
let it do

So after updating the first one, create an OS that is named something 

cd /boot/efi/EFI
cp -rv Qubes Q-foo

and you have the EFI setup that UEFI will believe is called Q-foo.

Go into the machine setup, and figure out how to register this with UEFI. 
motherboard maker seems to do it differently. On my system I get to choose 
what to call it (ie it is not fixed to the directory name)

Add it as a new choice, don't remove the Qubes directory.

Now install or update the other Qubes. 

cd /boot/efi/EFI
cp -rv Qubes Q-bar

Go back into setup and register the Q-bar directory.

Now, when you boot, you may get the menu showing three choices,
or you may need to press esc or one of the function keys to see that menu.

After each update, which will go into Qubes, do the copy again

A couple of final points

The EFI filesystem will grow quite fast, as each boot option contains
a Xen loader and at least one kernel and initram for Linux. The EFI 
filesystem won't grow with any Linux tool I know of, so you will
need to create a new, bigger, partition and copy the files across.

The 100M partition seemsto only fit around three Qubes options.

Create a new partition to hold the EFI, I suggest at least 256M and if 
your disk can afford it, 1G. 

If using gdisk, make it type EF00, if using
other partition tools find out how to mark it as an EFI partition.

If you contemplate booting Windows [noises off] then you also need the
EFI partition to be first on the disk (in logical or physical order, or 
I am not sure) so you will need to tar the files to reinstall them later.

UEFI doesn't seem to care about where the partition is (at least mine 
doesn't) but mine does care about there being only one EFI partition 
and it must be on a GPT disk. So if you create a new partition elsewhere
on the disk, mark the old one as a FAT16 partition instead.

I hope this is useful: I have only just got this scheme working myself,
and it seems to work for me. I have mentioned all the pitfalls I fell
into, but I am not promising you won't find any new ones...

Please le me know how you get on

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