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Millenniumman 09-03-2008 01:20 AM

Multiple OSes
 
Lets say I want to have a computer "dual" boot, but with more than 2 operating systems. Is there any way I can give a minimal space partition for each OS, and then share a home directory across the multiple operating systems on a dedicated partition.

I'm interested in *nix only suggestions, but I am ideally looking to get this working with Windows XP as well (though I realize that may be more difficult).

ronlau9 09-03-2008 01:39 AM

Well how much disk space do you have ?
Using one /home for more than one OS I certainly will not do it
But multiply OS is possible , but it also means more handwork , because not every Linux Os do recognize the other enough
to leave it untouched .
Basically you have to decide where to install each OS and GRUB and add line to GRUB
If you have only one disk make as much partitions as the amount of OS you like to use , or use more than one HD

billymayday 09-03-2008 01:43 AM

Yes and no (how's that for decisive)

Simply put, you can always dedicate a partition to /home, and simply mount that under /home for each OS. The problem is, your user's home directory contains a whole lot of configuration stuff for gnome, firefox, whatever. This can cause problems between installations.

What I have done on one of my PC's where I'm basically the only user is to have each distro with it's own /home, and simply mount a common partition under something like/home/myuser/data. If you want to get fancy you can look into automounting.

No personal experience of mounting ntfs from *nix except to play. People around here seem to thing it works fine. You can mount ext3 from Windows, but you'd have to search for how, unless someone else viewing has done it [note to self to try]

Edit - ronlau types faster than I do!

sundialsvcs 09-03-2008 09:05 AM

If it were me, I would use two computers. Dual-booting is a pain in the arse.

brianL 09-03-2008 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sundialsvcs (Post 3268299)
If it were me, I would use two computers. Dual-booting is a pain in the arse.

What's the problem? If I can do it, anybody can. :)

pixellany 09-03-2008 11:49 AM

For the amount that I use Windows, the total waiting time per year is about 10 minutes.
By contrast, the total waiting time attributable to distro-hopping and obscure experiments is in the hours to DAYS per year.

All seriousness aside, I recommend all OSes on one drive (8-12GB each), and then shared data on a separate drive.

Larry Webb 09-03-2008 02:30 PM

pixellany has a good idea except I make one of mine about 20 gig to download those dvd distros and that makes sure home does not run out of room. The rest I run at 12 Gig, have 10 up and running now going for 11 this week sometime. My favorite one is everyone in my menu.lst.

billymayday 09-03-2008 03:43 PM

For most distros 8G is fine, although I have 12G for OpenSuSe. The main issue I have at present is that Linux only sees 16 partitions on a SATA drive

jay73 09-03-2008 04:40 PM

Yeah, that is a ludicrous restriction now that 1TB drives are not uncommon.

Larry Webb 09-03-2008 05:59 PM

With just 16 partitions the last one on each drive will be a huge data partition, is there a limit on hds, do not forget the usb?

oskar 09-03-2008 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jay73 (Post 3268758)
Yeah, that is a ludicrous restriction now that 1TB drives are not uncommon.


I thought so too, until I got my eee pc. Suddenly I find myself purging locale data and cleaning up after apt.

Gins 09-04-2008 05:53 AM

We use GRUB to have many operating systems. I am using GRUB to get Windwos XP and Linux flavours to the screen.

Some Linux distros are very troublesome to connect to the GRUB and get to the screen. This is my experience. GRUB simply doesn't recognize.

jay73 09-04-2008 09:00 AM

Quote:

Some Linux distros are very troublesome to connect to the GRUB and get to the screen.
Not my experience. Install one distro and have it write its GRUB to the MBR. Then for all the next ones, install GRUB in their boot directory (xfs and jfs not allowed for boot in this case) and add a these lines to the GRUB in the MBR:
title distro_name
root (hdx,x) <drive and partition of the boot partition
chainloader +1

This means that you will pass through two grub menus but as you can control their timeout value, you can set the second one to 0.

Gins 09-04-2008 11:51 AM

jay73

Did you connect Mandriva, FC8,open SUSE,Ubuntu,Debian and Windows XP sucessfully?

I gave up FC8. Some people in Fedora forum in vain helped me.

They ran out of ideas and I gave up.

jay73 09-04-2008 12:04 PM

I have used all of those at one time or another, not necessarily all of them at the same time but they all went along with the chainloading trick. Right now, I have Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora 9, FreeBSD7 and XP - all booting fine.


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