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Old 10-28-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
Mountain
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What is the best way to multi-boot several Linux distros?


I have a 120 GB hard drive I'm using for experimentation purposes. I want to install about a dozen or so different Linux distros to this drive and be able to boot into any of them. What is the best way to do that?

I'm interested in installing these distros:
sidux
Chakra Fuzzy
Kubuntu Karmic
Mythbuntu Karmic
Mandriva 2010
Crunchbang
openSUSE 11.2
and whatever others I decide to try later.

BTW, I also want to find out how to install these without burning CDs or DVDs. For several of them, I know how to do that, but I don't want to have to use a different USB stick for each distro. I have one 16GB stick that should hold all the ISO files. So it would be nice to use that for the installs.
 
Old 10-28-2009, 09:29 PM   #2
CoderMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain View Post
I have a 120 GB hard drive I'm using for experimentation purposes. I want to install about a dozen or so different Linux distros to this drive and be able to boot into any of them. What is the best way to do that?

I'm interested in installing these distros:
sidux
Chakra Fuzzy
Kubuntu Karmic
Mythbuntu Karmic
Mandriva 2010
Crunchbang
openSUSE 11.2
and whatever others I decide to try later.

BTW, I also want to find out how to install these without burning CDs or DVDs. For several of them, I know how to do that, but I don't want to have to use a different USB stick for each distro. I have one 16GB stick that should hold all the ISO files. So it would be nice to use that for the installs.
Is this just so you can see what they are all like? Why don't you just use VirtualBox? If you aren't familiar with it: VirtualBox allows you to have as many "virtual" disk images as you want, and you run them inside the VirtualBox emulator. You could store the images on your 16GB stick if you didn't want to take up your own PC's hard disk space.
 
Old 10-28-2009, 10:01 PM   #3
Mountain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoderMan View Post
Why don't you just use VirtualBox?
I know about VirtualBox. I don't want to use that approach. It introduces new variables and new issues as well as running slower.

I have the whole 120GB HDD available. No need to save any space on it.
 
Old 10-28-2009, 10:17 PM   #4
rokytnji
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Quote:
I also want to find out how to install these without burning CDs or DVD
http://www.instantfundas.com/2007/08...ctly-from.html

Quote:
What is the best way to do that?
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1300461

Oh and

http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showt...282#post861282

Last edited by rokytnji; 10-28-2009 at 10:18 PM.
 
Old 10-28-2009, 10:28 PM   #5
Mountain
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Wow! Awesome! Thanks for those great links! I can't wait to try that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
This won't really work in all cases. For example, it won't work with openSUSE 11.2 or with Chakra. I already tried something similar. In fact, this method doesn't work with most of the distros I have tried so far.
 
Old 10-29-2009, 08:36 AM   #6
Mountain
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I just learned about Grub2. Now I would like to use it. Is there any good guide for multi-booting with Grub2 as the main boot loader? I understand Grub2 will boot OS's that use Grub1 (or any other boot loader) in their partition.

I'm thinking it may be as simple as installing grub 2 to the MBR (using grub-install) then editing grub.cfg like this:

Code:
# Entry N - Chainload another bootloader
menuentry "Chainload my OS" {
    set root=(hd0,N)
    chainloader +1
}
and following the general suggestions given at the above links for grub1. However, if anyone knows of a good guide, I would like to read up on how this is done with Grub2 before I start.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 01:58 PM   #7
adonet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain View Post
I just learned about Grub2. Now I would like to use it. Is there any good guide for multi-booting with Grub2 as the main boot loader? I understand Grub2 will boot OS's that use Grub1 (or any other boot loader) in their partition.

I'm thinking it may be as simple as installing grub 2 to the MBR (using grub-install) then editing grub.cfg like this:

Code:
# Entry N - Chainload another bootloader
menuentry "Chainload my OS" {
    set root=(hd0,N)
    chainloader +1
}
and following the general suggestions given at the above links for grub1. However, if anyone knows of a good guide, I would like to read up on how this is done with Grub2 before I start.

Although this is right, I run into the problem that after grub2 chainloaded a partition that contains grub legacy. That grub legacy starts, but cannot find its splash screen and cannot boot its operating system (ubuntu 8.04, 8.10 or mint 6 / 7) Even not after editing the grub lines at all. When I chainload this grub legacy containing partition from a mbr with grub legacy in it there's no problem at all.
Chainloading into a windows partition works OK.

My conclusion is that it is possible to chainload from grub legacy into grub 2 and boot succesfully, but not possible to chainload from grub 2 into grub legacy and boot succesfully.

So a dedicated grub 2 partition and grub2 starting from the MBR is not usable as long as one of the partitions containing an operating system uses grub legacy to boot.

Jeroen

A nice guide is found here http://members.iinet.net/~herman546/...l#grub-install

Last edited by adonet; 11-10-2009 at 02:01 PM.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 03:56 PM   #8
Mountain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adonet View Post
Although this is right, I run into the problem that after grub2 chainloaded a partition that contains grub legacy. That grub legacy starts, but cannot find its splash screen and cannot boot its operating system (ubuntu 8.04, 8.10 or mint 6 / 7) Even not after editing the grub lines at all. When I chainload this grub legacy containing partition from a mbr with grub legacy in it there's no problem at all.
Chainloading into a windows partition works OK.

My conclusion is that it is possible to chainload from grub legacy into grub 2 and boot succesfully, but not possible to chainload from grub 2 into grub legacy and boot succesfully.

So a dedicated grub 2 partition and grub2 starting from the MBR is not usable as long as one of the partitions containing an operating system uses grub legacy to boot.

Jeroen

A nice guide is found here http://members.iinet.net/~herman546/...l#grub-install
According to what I have been reading, grub and grub2 can boot any operating system via chainloading as long as that operating system has its own boot loader.

Grub2 can boot an OS on a partition containing legacy grub. In fact, I have made this work on my laptop with sidux. I have grub2 installed to the MBR and I have sidux installed to a partition. It works.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 03:58 PM   #9
linus72
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You know
if you install any Ubuntu last, it will, 99% of time
setup the menu.lst to boot everything
Debian is this way too
 
Old 11-10-2009, 04:11 PM   #10
linus72
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OH
and another little bug

when ubuntu installs
its menu.lst looks like this

Code:
title		Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-16-generic
uuid		9c85b1c0-8b69-429f-ad40-b3d9c3ddab07
kernel		/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-16-generic root=UUID=9c85b1c0-8b69-429f-ad40-b3d9c3ddab07 ro quiet splash --
initrd		/boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-16-generic
quiet
however, if you have many ubuntu's installed
like me
when you boot you'll get splash screens to other ubuntu's and errors
as with adonet

Quote:
That grub legacy starts, but cannot find its splash screen and cannot boot its operating system (ubuntu 8.04, 8.10 or mint 6 / 7)
so, I add the root thing to every menu.lst entry

Code:
title		Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-16-generic
root (hd0,2)
uuid		9c85b1c0-8b69-429f-ad40-b3d9c3ddab07
kernel		/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-16-generic root=UUID=9c85b1c0-8b69-429f-ad40-b3d9c3ddab07 ro quiet splash --
initrd		/boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-16-generic
quiet
and then it works good
 
Old 11-11-2009, 04:47 PM   #11
adonet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linus72 View Post
OH
and another little bug

when ubuntu installs
its menu.lst looks like this

Code:
title		Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-16-generic
uuid		9c85b1c0-8b69-429f-ad40-b3d9c3ddab07
kernel		/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-16-generic root=UUID=9c85b1c0-8b69-429f-ad40-b3d9c3ddab07 ro quiet splash --
initrd		/boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-16-generic
quiet
however, if you have many ubuntu's installed
like me
when you boot you'll get splash screens to other ubuntu's and errors
as with adonet



so, I add the root thing to every menu.lst entry

Code:
title		Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-16-generic
root (hd0,2)
uuid		9c85b1c0-8b69-429f-ad40-b3d9c3ddab07
kernel		/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-16-generic root=UUID=9c85b1c0-8b69-429f-ad40-b3d9c3ddab07 ro quiet splash --
initrd		/boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-16-generic
quiet
and then it works good
At my system it doesn't work. Grub2 boots, it chainloads all my partitions with Grub legacy on it and all my partitions with grub2 in it. But the partitions with grub legacy wont boot, but give error 22 no such partition.

When I install grub legacy in the MBR everything works fine.
 
  


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