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Old 09-22-2006, 09:07 PM   #1
hypocatical
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Registered: Nov 2005
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Anyone know if is it possible to select OS remotely?


This is my first post on LQ, I have visited for the past 3 years but never had a need to post until now. (So, hello). I dont know if this idea is possible, but I figure maybe somebody out there has the same problem as me. I have a machine with Fedora 5 and XP, and a machine with Suse 10.1 and XP, both machines do not have monitors. What I have been doing to work around this is 'turn on machine, wait 5 seconds, down arrow (for XP), and enter,' essentially I am playing a guessing game hoping I select the right OS on startup. Sometimes I have to reboot a couple of times. I have considered reconfiguring GRUB (While in Linux) before each time I reboot, but I think that might become a bit much. I'm sure there is an easier way to do this, I just dont know what it is. I have been google'ing for about a week and I dont know what query to use because I just dont know what I'm looking for.

So the big question is: does anyone know how to configure GRUB or LILO in a way that I can choose an OS remotely?

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 
Old 09-22-2006, 09:13 PM   #2
Nathanael
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany
Distribution: debian, gentoo, os x (darwin), ubuntu
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grub and lilo are network unaware. you can however connect a console cable - which will slow down your boot a little,
or you can buy yourself a KVM (keyboard video mouse switch) these are generally quite handy and not that expensive.
the other solutions that come to mind are:
1. run 2 windows servers and use VMWare or VirtualPC and run linux in there
2. the obove just the other way round
3. xen
4. run 1 windows server and one linux server
5. run 1 windows server and one linux server with another linux server in xen, VPC or VMWare
 
Old 09-22-2006, 09:25 PM   #3
hypocatical
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Thanks, I am looking those solutions up right now to see what I can do with them. Although I cant really do 4 or 5 because I need 2 OS's on both of these machines,

4. run 1 windows server and one linux server
5. run 1 windows server and one linux server with another linux server in xen, VPC or

I know its kind of ridiculous that I have 2 machines with 2 OS's on each machine, but I do have a reason for that. But I dont think that is not really a question to present to LQ.
 
Old 09-22-2006, 09:28 PM   #4
Nathanael
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glad to hear you have a reason :-) that is def. a good start :-P

i personally am quite happy with VMWare - i use it at work
though i would suggest installing linux on the host and windows in the virtual machine

edit: i prefere vm over vpc after using that for some time too....
 
Old 09-22-2006, 10:03 PM   #5
hypocatical
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Registered: Nov 2005
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I'm looking at a console cable on Newegg (I think I found what you are talking about) and I am assuming 3 ft cable will not work if I am not within a 100 ft radius of the machine. (Yeah simple math never fails.)

And for the VMware I am guessing I would use VMware Server. Is this simliar to useing WINE (in Linux) or some other OS emulation like Cedega or Crossover Office? (All manifestations of WINE that I have tried did not work well with the software I was running) Also, is VMware very resource intensive?
 
Old 09-23-2006, 12:25 AM   #6
J.W.
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
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In lilo, you can specify the amount of time it waits for you to choose which OS to boot, and once that period elapses, it will just boot the default. The value is measured in tenths of a second, and typically is set to 50 (eg, 5 seconds). In lilo.conf, this would appear as
Code:
timeout = 50
You can change that to whatever you want, so if you wanted to extend it to 20 seconds, set it to 200.

I'd say that your problem is easy to solve though if you're using lilo -- assuming that you know which OS is the default and which is the alternate, you can just immediately press Enter if you want to boot the default, or press the down arrow then Enter to go to the alternate. There's no need to wait, because as soon as you make a choice and press Enter, your system will start booting. The timeout parameter just exists to shorten or lengthen the amount of time you have before it boots the default.
 
Old 09-23-2006, 03:51 AM   #7
Nathanael
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vmware is an application which emulates a computer rather than emulating windows (which is want wine and xover office do)
that way you can install windows into the virtual machine (vm) without windows ever getting the fact it is in a vm.
it is like running another computer - plus the beauty of vmware server is you can have a copy on your actual workstation and connect to the remote host to controll the vm on the host.
you can setup as many virtual nics as you like(if you have the need to)

all in all it is pretty good - you just need to apply for a lisence key - which is free
you will though need quite some recources available as this is effectivly running 2 os's on one computer...at the same time!

edit: why do you not buy 2nd hand comps on ebay?
 
  


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