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Old 08-11-2003, 08:33 PM   #1
mastahnke
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Question More than a dual boot (5 oses?)


I have been reading up on multi-booting the best I can.
1) http://www.experts-exchange.com/Oper..._20631132.html
2) http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/p...399433,00.html
3) http://www.xosl.org/
4) http://ldp.kernelnotes.de/HOWTO/Mult...with-GRUB.html

but none of them have really explained what I am looking to do.

I want to boot WinXP, RH9, Suse8.2, Gentoo 1.4 and FreeBSD on one disk. Is it possible? The problem with XOSL are
1) You need a floppy drive...who has a floppy drive any more, stupid crap....
2) You need to run the installer from DOS...(don't have a floppy sure as hell don't have dos)

Is there a way I can make all these OSes play together using simply grub and/or lilo?

Is there a better boot loader?

Do I have to breakdown and buy a floppy drive? (it died a couple months ago and I decided I didn't want to miss it)

What order should I install the os in?

I have dual booted one linux and Windows many many times, but this is a bit more.

Anyhelp would be appreciated.

The drive is 80 gigs. Internal IDE,
dual Athlon MP 1800, 2 gigs RAM
 
Old 08-11-2003, 08:54 PM   #2
slakmagik
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I've only got a triple. But it's doable - somebody - fancypiper, tinkster? I'm not sure - somebody's got like 8 going. They'd be the folks to ask. For me, the computer I got came with Win2K and I added a second hard drive and put Slack on. Then I experimented with Mandrake, which successfully resized my NTFS hda. Then I decided I didn't care for it and installed Debian - the jury's still very much out there. Anyway - when I installed Slack, I installed LILO to the MBR and Slack is my default and NT is my 'other'. Then Mandrake did weird stuff, and Debian too. I ended up just throwing the Debian kernel into Slack's /boot and adding it to lilo.conf. So now all three boot. Since I've got two drives, I've got a swap on each, but need to set up the cross-swapping. Right now Slack (doesn't) use both (but has access to them) and Debian uses the one on its drive. And I made separate /home's for each but think I'll change that. I still think separate users is a good idea but no reason they can't be the same partition, I don't think. If I wanted to add more operating systems, I'd just try repeating the Debian addition process.

So I like LILO. I don't know XOSL so I don't know if LILO's 'better', though.

No, you don't have to have a floppy, but I wouldn't be without one anyway.

Install Windows first, then the various Linuxes. Contrary to popular belief, it's easy enough to boot with a boot floppy and reinstall LILO (DOS overwrites the boot sector too) and I have installed DOS after Linux, then redone LILO. But it's easier, safer, better to start with Windows.
 
Old 08-11-2003, 09:32 PM   #3
2damncommon
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Quote:
who has a floppy drive any more, stupid crap.
My homebuilt had both a 3.5 and 5.25 many months before it got a CD.
My thought about the "death of the floppy" is that as long as people are asking "Who the heck still even has a damn useless floppy drive on their computer, now how do I do ....... without one." means they should not be dead.
IMHO

To your real multi-boot question, though.
The main problem with dual/multi booting to begin with is the requirements of the various OSs you plan to use. Many proprietary OSs require a primary partition, which cuts down on your options. I am pretty sure the only one on your list that could require a primary partition is Windows. The Linux distributions can all share a swap file, and I think you can "slice" the BSD partition for anything it needs.
Personally I would use Lilo, but whichever you prefer should be able to handle your multi-boot. Use whichever you prefer.
LOL. I was going to tell you to be sure to create a boot disk for everything you install, but....see above...
Good Luck.
 
Old 08-11-2003, 10:23 PM   #4
mastahnke
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Exclamation

well I have the windows part done. It is on a primary, (it doesn't have to be though...but it would take more effort). Linux/BSD doesn't care where it is.

If I use grub/lilo for booting, how will that work?

For example, in RedHat, grub.conf is usually in /boot/grub/grub.conf

But Suse probably can't use the same /boot partition....

If I use the MBR that is fine, but how do I edit my options? Perhaps Lilo would be easier?
 
Old 08-11-2003, 11:56 PM   #5
2damncommon
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In the end, you only need one Os (of your choice) writing and or maintaining your bootloader configuration.
If you install Grub or Lilo to the MBR each install you will be sure to have the correct parameters to boot each distro and if you save them somewhere (a shared access partition maybe?) that would be accessable to any of the distros you can correct any configurations that are not correct.
As a side note to the above, if you are not careful about which filesystems each distro uses and what filesystems their kernels support, it is possible to not have access to the other filesystem until you make further changes.
Confirming you can boot to your OS from an install CD is also a good idea.
I am not sure of the best way to include FreeBSD as I have only installed it by itself with no bootloader.
 
Old 08-12-2003, 12:35 AM   #6
Skyline
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Quote:
If you install Grub or Lilo to the MBR each install you will be sure to have the correct parameters to boot each distro and if you save them somewhere (a shared access partition maybe?) that would be accessable to any of the distros you can correct any configurations that are not correct.
Good advice 2damncommon - adding to it - If he does it this way with LILO (ie repeatedly installing LILO with each new distribution that's put on) he'll still have to have the partitions that contain the kernels of the other distributions temporarily mounted in his "main configuration distro" (the distro you modify Lilo.conf from) to enable the map installer /sbin/lilo to resolve the real locations of the kernel images of the other distributions.

The map installer /sbin/lilo needs access to the locations of the other kernel images before it can create a map file - the partitions on which the other kernels reside therefore need to be mounted temporarily in your "main configuration distro" (it resolves back somehow)

This means that although you can repeatedly install LILO ( say to the MBR) with each distro you put on and you do get the correct "parameters" which are specific to that particular distribution - however - those PATHS (to the other kernels and initrd if its used) still have to be modified to take into account the mounted nature of the partitions that the other kernels reside on.

So once you,ve mounted the partitions on which the other kernels reside and you've modified the relevant PATHS to take into account the mounted nature of the partitions within which the other kernels reside - then you can succesfully run the map installer /sbin/lilo.

Oh - and mastahnke -

I'm currently multibooting 5 Operating Systems using LILO with no problems.

Slackware 9
Mandrake 9.1
Red Hat 9
Vector 3.2 SOHO
Win98se
 
Old 08-12-2003, 12:43 AM   #7
mastahnke
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Ok, I think i understand. Would it be possible for somebody doing this to post their lilo.conf with a bit of documentation along with it? I am usually a grub user, but I can learn.
MIKE
 
Old 08-12-2003, 12:54 AM   #8
2damncommon
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If you have been using Grub I would suggest you continue to use it.
Just check the Grub documentation and configuration files so you understand how to add or modify a partition entry.
I am against "changing horses in the middle of a stream". If you are already familar with Grub, just learn to use it.....
 
Old 08-12-2003, 01:00 AM   #9
mastahnke
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I wouldn't call myself a grub expert or anything. It was just the default bootloader on RH for 7.3 and after, also I liked that didn't have to type lilo to reread the configuration files. It has some advantages, but I don't utilize most of them.

Lilo, OTH, is much better documented because it seems to be in wider use and is the only boot loader supported by Veritas for Clustering at this point (just a side note).

Here is a grub on one of my boxes (not the one I hope do the installs on)

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
#
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
# root (hd0,0)
# kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hda2
# initrd /initrd-version.img
#boot=/dev/hda
default=0
timeout=10
splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
title Red Hat Linux (2.4.20-18.9)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-18.9 ro root=/dev/hda2 hdc=ide-scsi vga=791
initrd /initrd-2.4.20-18.9.img
title Red Hat Linux (2.4.20-8)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-8 ro root=/dev/hda2 hdc=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.20-8.img


I am assuming it is the
root(hd0,0)
parameter that woudl need changing? Perhaps the kernel line also?
 
Old 08-12-2003, 01:32 AM   #10
2damncommon
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Not changed, added to.
A multi boot system will have entries for each partition it boots.
 
Old 08-12-2003, 01:35 AM   #11
2damncommon
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Here you go:
http://www.gnu.org/manual/grub/html_node/index.html
 
Old 08-12-2003, 04:24 AM   #12
JZL240I-U
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And also:
http://www.mcc.ac.uk/grub/grub_toc.html
 
Old 08-12-2003, 08:21 AM   #13
mastahnke
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Thanks, I will be reading up on those after work tonight.
 
Old 12-28-2004, 12:30 PM   #14
nycace36
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More than a dual boot (5 oses?)

Have following this thread a little bit.
How about for 4 oses, 3 of which are in same partition ??

Anyone have a clear suggestion for how to multiboot Linux+(DOS+Win9x+Win2000/NT) from a single hard-drive ??

Am familiar with lilo-mbr multibooting from lilo.conf's 'boot=/dev/hda' option. Much less familiar with grub's root(hd0,0) option and am unclear on href's.
http://www.mcc.ac.uk/grub/grub_toc.html
http://www.gnu.org/manual/grub/html_node/index.html
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Ope...Q_20631132.html
http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/...3399433,00.html
http://www.xosl.org/
http://ldp.kernelnotes.de/HOWTO/Mul...-with-GRUB.html

Goal is to have Linux-type-83 on hda1 (a.k.a. hd0,0) and the above three fat16-type-6 os's on hda2 (a.k.a. hd0,1)

Another way of expressing this : What is the best way to have each 16-bit OS boot separately from the other on one hda2 partition using either an hda1-residing lilo or grub ??

Size of hda2, used just for these FAT16 OS system files, is a somewhat-tight 1023MB; uses a 16KB FAT16 cluster-size instead of a larger 32KB size this way. As many OS 'program files' as possible yanked from their respective "C:\-drives" after successful installations for this to happen. OS bootloaders are DOS's COMMAND.COM, Win9x's COMMAND.COM, and WinNT's NTLR.COM.

Understand from the lilo and grub man pages that this may rely on such 'trickery" as hiding each OS bootloader from the others ??
Not a problem, if so.

Further swap-type-82, fat32-type-b, or ntfs-type-7 partitions for binary executables and data files can be preferably on hda5 - hda14 (a.k.a., hd0,4 - hd0,13)

Thanks for any clear help on this, or clear href's (above) where to best turn to for clearly optimizing this w/ lilo or grub!

-nycace36
 
Old 12-29-2004, 02:59 AM   #15
JZL240I-U
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Re: More than a dual boot (5 oses?)

Quote:
Originally posted by nycace36
...Anyone have a clear suggestion for how to multiboot Linux+(DOS+Win9x+Win2000/NT) from a single hard-drive ??
I don't understand the problem here -- it is irrelevant for LILO/GRUB how many physical devices you use...

Quote:
Originally posted by nycace36 am unclear on href's.
Huh? Unclear how? Just click on them . See also

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Linux+Win9x+Grub-HOWTO/
http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Multiboot-with-GRUB.html

Quote:
Originally posted by nycace36 ...Another way of expressing this : What is the best way to have each 16-bit OS boot separately from the other on one hda2 partition using either an hda1-residing lilo or grub ??
Um, if you are able, I'd suggest you put the µsoft OSs on hda1 (they do love their C: drive...) that'll make it easier for 3 installs and Linux doesn't care anyhow where it resides...

Quote:
Originally posted by nycace36 Understand from the lilo and grub man pages that this may rely on such 'trickery" as hiding each OS bootloader from the others ?? Not a problem, if so.
Not necessary. I use also the NT-loader to boot Linux via GRUB...

Last edited by JZL240I-U; 12-29-2004 at 07:57 AM.
 
  


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