On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 2:06 PM, r hayman <rhayman at pureice.com> wrote:
> Grub, Grub2, or your UEFI BIOS (if you have one) can all provide a menu for
> what to boot.

Maybe I'm looking in totally the wrong place. I do have UEFI bios and grub2.

If I could ever understand man pages I might be able to do something with
UEFI but - -- alas its cuneiform to me.

> I hear your pain. I am currently running Debian-based Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS on
> a Dell XPS 15 9650 4K LCD with a Dell TB16 dock - all is fully functional
> except dimming the external 34" or 40" 4K dock attached monitor. It took me
> a bit to get this all working and Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS replaced Unity with
> Gnome 3 which also removed franctional scaling of the display(s) - only
> providing for 100% or 200%, and I currently run at 150% or 162%. Gnome 3
> also screws up my virtual workspace preferences and talk on the forums is
> that this hardware combination is borked on 18.04.1, so I'm right there with
> you.

Don't you love upgrades that reduce functionality?
> I will make a dd replica of my 16.04.5 SDD onto one or more external SDDs
> and play with upgrading them in place. Grub2 should automatically add the
> new external SDD to the boot menu.
> On my Ubuntu desktop workstation, I have space and some open SATA ports that
> I can simply plug a fresh SDD into and do a fresh install. I would let Grub2
> update the MBR of the existing bootable partition.
> I have had little to no issues with Grub or Grub2, so I continue to use that
> for my boot menu and boot options.
> It sounds like you have split a single HDD/SDD into multiple partitions for
> your different OS versions. Do you have the ability to have separate disks
> for each OS version? That shouldn't be needed, but one never knows. I always
> use separate disks when I do these things.

I would use separate disks if that were an option but there is room for only
one drive in the chassis. I bought this sy stem cheap because I need someplace
to test software BEFORE I install on my primary systems this way I won't be
destroying my main systems with new software rather just a testing system and
if things work - - -well then they get moved to their permanent homes
and if they
don't - - - HOSED! (and without my main systems getting polluted!)

Sorry -  - its a good idea but not possible this time.

Thanks for the ideas!