@chdsl - regarding “I don’t want the Clear Linux Installer to touch the boot partition at all. Looks pretty menacing. Is there a way to disable that?”
Please allow me clarify how the Clear Linux installer works. There are 3 modes:
- Safe Installation
- Destructive Installation
- Advanced Installation
“Safe Installation” works by installing Clear Linux to any free space left (a minimum of 21GB is needed for the Desktop and 4GB for the Server version) on a drive. If the installer does not detect adequate / any free space, this mode will not be available. When installing using this mode, the installer will create 3 partitions (boot, swap, and root). It will install “alongside” an existing OS, but it will NOT touch the boot partition of an existing OS.
“Destructive Installation” wipes the entire drive and installs Clear Linux.
“Advanced Installation” allows you to manually create the 3 min. required partitions (boot, swap, root). You have to label the partitions as follows:
- boot partition as “CLR_BOOT” (fat32)
- swap partition as “CLR_SWAP” (linux-swap)
- root partition as “CLR_ROOT” (ext4, or xfs, etc.)
The Installer looks for these labels before it will proceed.
This mode allows you to install Clear Linux alongside an existing OS as well. You can create and assign a new boot partition for Clear Linux OR you can re-label an existing boot partition as “CLR_BOOT” if you want to share a single boot partition for the existing OS and Clear Linux.
You have total control.
Regarding your question “Can I not install grub from Clear Linux?” - Clear Linux uses systemd-boot. If you already have a GRUB-based Linux distro installed and want to install Clear and have GRUB boot it, it’s possible but it’s not our recommended method for booting Clear Linux. Basically, you’d have to use the “Advanced Installation” mode and share the existing boot partition, create a new swap partition if one doesn’t always exist, and then create the CLR_ROOT partition. Once installation is complete, you’d have to create a boot entry in grub.cfg to point to the Clear Linux root partition.