Rebuilding a Linux System

I meant this to be “Reconfiguring a Linux System,” but that is not how it turned out. I had followed the default Ubuntu installation process when I set up this system. I wanted to change it so that the swap area and /home would be in separate disk partitions, as decribed in these articles in How to Geek and Make Tech Easier. The first step in this process is to create the new partitions using GParted, which I have used before. GParted always gives dire warnings about the need to back up your files before using it. I have always heeded these warnings, but this was the first time the reason for them was brought home to me.

Running GParted from a bootable flash drive, I carved the new partitions out of the current Linux root partition, which had more than enough extra free space. I then rebooted Linux, whereupon I noticed the system was not recognizing a flash drive. Pulling the drive out and putting it into a different USB port made no difference. However. the drive looked fine when I plugged it into another computer. Not having any other ideas, I rebooted the Linux system. The GRUB boot menu came up, but this time when I selected Linux it failed to boot. I tried it again with the same result. My Boot-Repair drive, which had saved me on a few previous occasions, also failed. A closer look at the boot error messages showed there was a problem with my Linux root partition, but running fsck from my rescue drive did not fix it. So I had to reinstall Ubuntu. Since my data files were on different drives and I had complete backups this was just a time-consuming annoyance. Also, in doing so I could tell the Ubuntu installer to use the new partitions I had created.

The installation went well, but there was still a lot to do before Linux was fully ready:

  1. The first thing I do on any new Ubuntu system is to install the Synaptic Package Manager. I find it much better than Ubuntu’s default software selection and installation tool. In fact, I prefer using the terminal sudo apt install to that.
  2. I recently found Grub Customizer. It has also become a regular part of my configuration process. I have no interest in splash screens but I do like to change the default boot order.
  3. Because of my Irish Language studies and other foreign language work I need the United States-International keyboard layout on both my Windows and Linux systems. On my new Ubuntu system I clicked on “Activities,” then typed “keyboard layout” into the search box and followed my nose.
  4. Install Microsoft TrueType Fonts. I will often work on the same Libreoffice documents and spreadsheets in both Windows and Linux and I need to have the same fonts on all the systems I use.
  5. The trickiest step was to Install and Configure Samba. Fortunately, I remembered
    what I did last time. At the end of /etc/samba/smb.conf I added:

    comment = Current working files
    path = /media/gmcdavid/GTM_CURRENT
    read only = no
    browsable = yes
    comment = General data files
    path = /media/gmcdavid/Samsung_T5
    read only = no
    browsable = yes

    Then I put in my usual username and password with smbpasswd. After a little refreshing my Windows system recognized the shares immediately.

I am using the system now. I will need to reinstall quite a few application packeages, but I can do that on an as-needed basis.

4 thoughts on “Rebuilding a Linux System

  1. Pingback: A Linux System that booted slowly | From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space, and beyond

  2. Pingback: Installing Debian Linux | From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space, and beyond

  3. Pingback: Adding new disk partitions to a Linux system | From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space, and beyond

  4. gmcdavid Post author

    Updates: The Samsung_T5 drive has been replaced by a larger SSD called MainData.
    The list should also include installing the pCloud client and updating the hosts file.



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