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I run red hat and I was thinking of switching to gentoo 2004.0. I'm not sure how exactly I would do this... is it a good idea to first get rid of GRUB and then reformat my red hat partitions, or is there another better way to do this? Any help would be much appreciated.
I would suggest keeping grub and your red hat partition in case you need to switch back. Also, keeping grub installed is just one less step to go through. The most important tip I can give is to make sure to print off the docs or write down detailed instructions. It's not very hard unless you don't know what you're doing.
Do you want to dual boot with the Redhat or just delete it all together?
If you want to just run gentoo you needn't do anything really, just fire up the livedisk, and when you get to the stage for setting up partitions, erase the old ones and create new ones as you see fit.
Allthough you don't strictly need to reinstall grub if you want just gentoo, it will be simpler in the long run to just reinstall it as part of the gentoo installation.
I don't want red hat on my system anymore... I want to have a dual XP/Gentoo boot. I'm just confused as to whether or not I should get rid of the GRUB and let Gentoo put its own bootloader on there, or will GRUB be fine and boot to my new Gentoo distribution?
I would recomend that you just reinstall grub. Right now there are two parts of grub, the part which resides on your MBR, and the program itself which resides in /sbin on one of your redhat partitions, which you will be deleting to install gentoo, right?
There are ways to get around reinstalling grub but they are really not that easy to explain or implement. Keep in mind that you will be installing a new kernel, perhaps new partitions, is your root device going to be the same? etc....and all of that would have to be updated in grub.conf to reflect the changes....which brings up another good point: where is your grub.conf, will it still be around when you delete redhat?
It really is easier just to reinstall it when you install gentoo.
you've already got a /boot partition seperate from the rest, so the config files for that are not gonna be messed around with, especially as this would be a gentoo install, so you'll have shedloads of control. you shouldn't need to do anything but edit the existing grub.conf tosuit your new needs. maybe even change the splash screen too.. that's a doddle. no need to reinstall though.