[SOLVED] 1001 ways to dual boot 2 distros -- which is correct?
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1001 ways to dual boot 2 distros -- which is correct?
Hi and thanks for the help. I would like to dual-boot 2 linux distros. I´ve read about 12 different ways to do this.
What I would like to do is hear from someone who has done this already successfully. And it has to be understandable to me. (I can run most linux commands and navigate around ok but I am by no means an expert)
I hope there is someone out there who has had success. Thanks again for the help.
The 2 distros Iḿ looking to dual boot with are Zenwalk and Dream Linux.
The way I've been doing it for several years now is to download GAG bootloader. You have to install Grub on the partition with your Linux root drive, not the MBR. After installing GAG, it will hand off to any drive or partition you tell it to. It works with multiple drives or a single drive with multiple OS's. It is not OS dependent, so if one Linux trashes you can still boot to others, or windows, or OS/2.
Other useful information besides the number of drives would be the hardware and age of the computer.
I beleive Zenwalk uses the Lilo bootloader so install it first and install Lilo to the master boot record. After completing the installation, remove the CD and boot Zenwalk to see that you can boot it from the hard drive. If it works, put the DreamLinux CD/DVD in the drive and reboot and install DreamLinux.
The simplest way to install is to put each (Zenwalk and DreamLinux) on a single partition and create a swap partition.
Install the Grub2 bootloader to the master boot record when installing DreamLinux and it should detect the Zenwalk installation and create an entry for it in its boot menu to allow you to boot both. If you haven't had much experience with this, I would suggest keeping notes during the installation on both systems in case there are problems so you can post pertinent data.
Distribution: Ubuntu, Ubuntu Server, Linux From Scratch, Fedora, Mac OSX, and Windows sometimes.
Having two distro's is always going to be a little annoying. I'm running Fedora and Ubuntu (along with Win7). What I've done is have Fedora installed first, and with grub2 on the MBR. I did this as if I was only installing Fedora, except that I left some room for another partition for Ubuntu. Then I installed Ubuntu, however I told it to install it's copy of grub2 in it's partition, and it shares the swap with Fedora.
Then I ran the commands in Fedora to search out other OS's and configure it's copy of grub2. Ubuntu's one does not get used but Ubuntu does not know that and carries on happily.
This does mean that every time Ubuntu updates it's kernel, I have to manually run Fedora's grub update, but other than that it works well. There is no real reason for having Fedora rather than Ubuntu manage the "master" grub. I could have done it the other way round.
Another option is to chain to the second grub from the first, however in practice I found this more annoying.
In your case you would be installing the "master" grub on whatever HDD you are booting off, possibly the one with windows on it. You may want to consider booting from the other drive and put grub there - simply as it gives you the option in the future to switch back to booting from the windows drive - and using it to google stuff about how to fix what you just broke
on the drive you want to install linux on , partition it into three partitions a small one for swap and two for the two linux distros you want to use , boot from a linux distro CD , install the first version in one partition , when you come to the boot loader installation it should tell you that it found linux and windows and asks you if you which one is to be the default boot O/S. tell it to make windows or linux the default , it will also set up the second os so you can chose at boot time , then reboot , make sure you can get into both windows and linux , then boot again from the second new linux distro cd you want as the second version of linux , during installation choose the empty third partition that you have reserved from the original three you made on the linux HDD . During the install be careful not to overwrite any of the other partitions , towards the end of the install the boot loader routeen will again start up , tell it again the sequence of choice of O/s's , that's all there is too it.
now when you boot the boot loader will present you a list of windows, linux #1 or linux # 2.
you can get fancy and add as many diffrent O/S's as you like depending on the size of the drive,also do a lot of other tricks, like making a separate partition for ntfs or fat16 and mounting it in both linux and windows to share files .
Since you have Windows on one drive then I suggest you use your bios to select the second disk as the first in the boot order. That way it should protect the entire MS install. You can later choose which to boot from a F key at boot or by changing the boot order of hard drives in bios.
Using Grub as a master bootloader is fine, but in my opinion too much trouble. I can do whatever I want to any OS on any disk
and boot as usual. Plus-if I use Fedora's Grub and trash Fedora, I can't boot to Mageia without doing repairs. With GAG, a reboot
and I press the number for Mageia or whatever. When all is OK it auto boots to the OS of my choice. GAG can be a little confusing
if you are not used to it, but it picks up all partitions on all disks and will hand off to any it sees, whether bootable or not.
Partitions can be named to your preference.
To install two distros I use grub2 and 4 partitions:
one partition /home - shared between OSes, for best resaults i use different user names in each OS so the user configs don't get mixed up, then use sym links to link music, photos and whatever else i need on both distros.
one swap partition used by both distros
two root partitions at about 10Gig each.
First distro, in my case debian, would install grub2 and write to MBR. Second distro (Sabayon, Chakra) would be installed without grub/lilo. After completing second distro install I would then reboot back to debian and run update-grub2. It picks up secondary OS and adds it to grub boot menu.
Job done - money in the bank.