FRIHOST FORUMS SEARCH FAQ TOS BLOGS COMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Linux Multiboot distro's





EdgeHawk
Is it possible to multiboot different Linux distributions on the same hard drive?
fadirocks
yea why not? just make different partitions and setup whatever boot manager properly (e.g. GRUB)
mehulved
Yes, but install one instance of GRUB on MBR and for all the distros you install, install one more instance of grub on the drive.
For example.
I am planning to install ubuntu, suse and fedora on my PC.
I will start with creating 4 partitions. One for each distro and one more for common swap.
Then I will go with each installation, in each of the distro I will put grub on the / partition
WHen I am finished with all the 3 this way, get a grub super CD and install grub on the MBR.
Then edit it to chainload all the 3 distros.
Say, I have ubuntu on sda1, suse on sda2,fedora on sda3 and swap on sda4. Then my entry will look something like this
Code:

Title Ubuntu
rootnoverify hd0,0
chainloader +1

Title Suse
rootnoverify hd0,1
chainloader +1

Title Fedora
rootnoverify hd0,2
chainloader +1

This will chainload grub to use the grub on / partition, which will inturn start the whole boot process.
This will be very useful if you want to later add/remove distros. Follow the same pattern for adding new distros.
djclue917
I believe that is the right way of doing it (this is how I did it actually after reading a partitioning guide when I was still a Linux newbie):

partitions you will need:
one root (/) partition for each distro
shared swap partition
shared /boot partition
shared /home partition (not required but recommended when you frequently switch between distros, and simply, for the sake of saving hard drive space)

steps:
1. Install a distro. Create the root partition and all the shared partitions (swap, /boot, /home). Install GRUB in the MBR
2. Install your second distro. Create another root partition for it and use the shared partitions (see /etc/fstab) but do not format them. You need not install GRUB again in the MBR as it is already installed. Installing it again wouldn't actually do anything.
3. repeat #2 for other distros you wish to install.

Summary/Explanation/Blah:
If, for example, you installed 3 distros, you should end up with at least 6 partitions: 3 root (/), 1 /boot, 1 /home, and 1 swap.

/boot/grub/menu.lst should contain the entries for all your distros. Remember that since /boot is a separate partition, "root (hdX,Y)" should point to the /boot partition and not to one of the root partitions of your distros. "root=/dev/hdaX" (in the kernel command line), on the other hand, should point to the root partition of a distro. In effect, you will have the same "root (hdX,Y)" and different "root=/dev/hdaX" for each entry in the GRUB menu.

You may opt to use a single username for all your distros but be careful and be aware of the users UID and GID for each distro as those might differ.

Lastly, beware of the "automagical" menu.lst modification of some distros (when upgrading a kernel) like Debian as your menu.lst might get "dirty" or even screwed up.
paultjepotlood
there's also an easy way of doing it.

I started with an empty pc with 3 harddrives. install the oldest OS first.
In my case that was Windows XP.
Then i installed OpenSuse on another drive, a bootmenu was created automatically.

Then i installed Ubuntu on the third drive.
Again there was automatically created a bootmenu.

now i have a bootmenu where i can choose which system i want to start.
bissoboa
If you are new to linux I suggest to try LILO instead of grub.
LILO is the traditional linux loader, it has got less features than grub but it is simpler too.
At the moment I have got LILO start linux or winXP on my laptop, it is good for me Very Happy
mehulved
Also, it would be good idea to install a boot manager on MBR and bootloaders on the root partition for linux.
One good boot manager is GAG, which is quite nice.
kansloos
Most distro's include a preconfigured bootloader, which is the easiest.
Doesn't really if this is GRUB, LILO or something else as long as it works properly.
tdfranc
I'm currently using Gentoo, Ubuntu and Vista with GRUB,
and if I could just give you one good advise:
Always keep a boot cd with you,
it will be handy if you're messing with GRUB/LILO,
I had a few problems with it, in a strange way my GRUB was totally ruined (didn't do anything special, maybe I mistyped something...)
Damn I was glad I kept the install-CD of Ubuntu so I could boot and repair my GRUB
tdfranc
mehulved wrote:
Yes, but install one instance of GRUB on MBR and for all the distros you install, install one more instance of grub on the drive.
For example.
I am planning to install ubuntu, suse and fedora on my PC.
I will start with creating 4 partitions. One for each distro and one more for common swap.
Then I will go with each installation, in each of the distro I will put grub on the / partition
WHen I am finished with all the 3 this way, get a grub super CD and install grub on the MBR.
Then edit it to chainload all the 3 distros.
Say, I have ubuntu on sda1, suse on sda2,fedora on sda3 and swap on sda4. Then my entry will look something like this
Code:

Title Ubuntu
rootnoverify hd0,0
chainloader +1

Title Suse
rootnoverify hd0,1
chainloader +1

Title Fedora
rootnoverify hd0,2
chainloader +1

This will chainload grub to use the grub on / partition, which will inturn start the whole boot process.
This will be very useful if you want to later add/remove distros. Follow the same pattern for adding new distros.


you'd better not use rootnoverify,
there is no reason not to verify (unless it's Windows),
the chainloader +1 is also only needed for Windows,
I suggest this:

Code:

Title Ubuntu
root (hd0,0)

Title Suse
root (hd0,1)

Title Fedora
root (hd0,2)
cod3rbro
You should use GRUB
Related topics
own linux distro
Windows to Linux ( Vice Versa )
simple webserver on cable line.
usb pen linux dristo
Sun Solaris
What would you do with a new Computer?
Can File Sharing Keep Alive?
FreeBSD - Is it reliable and secure?
Portable OS
Problem launching phpmyadmin under Ubuntu
Which distro of Linux is best for a laptop?
Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Windows Vista
Fortune Quote "By golly.."
how to fix display brightness
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Computers -> Operating Systems

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.