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Old 06-18-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
vincix
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Change Linux/Windows boot remotely


I am trying to control my computer remotely, but I need both Windows and Linux. I have Windows 7 and CentOS. So my question is: is there a way to boot back to Linux after having configured grub to boot Windows?

I am using teamviewer for Windows remote control and ssh for Linux.
 
Old 06-18-2013, 02:58 PM   #2
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I'm assuming the computer doesn't have IPMI, or some other board-level remote management system built in? If not, you may want to look into mounting your Linux partition on Windows so you can modify the default boot OS in Grub before rebooting out of Windows. This depends on what filesystem type you're using though, Windows doesn't support them all.
 
Old 06-18-2013, 03:31 PM   #3
jefro
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In some respects, a system is always controlled remotely.

Yes, if all issues are performed correctly, one can reboot some systems so that it would reboot to some OS. The web pages I had seen on that were more for installing Knoppix on a windows system before they made an installer.


You'd have to consider this task very carefully. Any mistake would mean you'd need physical access.

I'd think it more safe to use a VM.
 
Old 06-18-2013, 05:22 PM   #4
vincix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
I'm assuming the computer doesn't have IPMI, or some other board-level remote management system built in? If not, you may want to look into mounting your Linux partition on Windows so you can modify the default boot OS in Grub before rebooting out of Windows. This depends on what filesystem type you're using though, Windows doesn't support them all.
Yes, well after reading about all kinds of software for editing ex4 under Windows I ended up with nothing. None of them worked (I tried 4 by now; ex2read, ex2 ifs, another ex2 sth., etc.). Any particular ideas?

And I don't want to use VM, not yet. It would be rather inconvenient now.
 
Old 06-18-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
Z038
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You wouldn't need to install your CentOS system in a VM under Windows. Just install a very small basic Linux system in a VM under Windows so you can mount your /boot partition and edit it before rebooting back to CentOS.

I'm not familiar with GRUB, but you might check to see if it can be installed in a vfat/fat32 filesystem that Windows can edit directly.

I wonder if it would be possible to network boot a Linux or a Windows image from a PXE server. You'd need another system on the same network to supply the boot images, and you'd have to login to it from your target system to change which boot image to serve on the next reboot. You'd need to enable PXE booting in your BIOS. I haven't really thought it through, but it might be worth considering.

Last edited by Z038; 06-18-2013 at 07:28 PM.
 
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:27 AM   #6
vincix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z038 View Post
You wouldn't need to install your CentOS system in a VM under Windows. Just install a very small basic Linux system in a VM under Windows so you can mount your /boot partition and edit it before rebooting back to CentOS.

I'm not familiar with GRUB, but you might check to see if it can be installed in a vfat/fat32 filesystem that Windows can edit directly.

I wonder if it would be possible to network boot a Linux or a Windows image from a PXE server. You'd need another system on the same network to supply the boot images, and you'd have to login to it from your target system to change which boot image to serve on the next reboot. You'd need to enable PXE booting in your BIOS. I haven't really thought it through, but it might be worth considering.

So basically what you're saying is I should install a linux distribution (whatever enables me to edit ext4) in a VM and give it access to my real hdd, right? I haven't thought of that, but that's what I am going to do. Great idea I'll post the results.

I am not familiar with PXE servers
 
Old 06-19-2013, 06:33 AM   #7
vincix
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how to access real HDD from VM

I've just realised that I actually don't know how to give a VM access to the real hdd. Any suggestions? For VirtualBox, that is. If not, then VMware maybe? Thanks
 
Old 06-19-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
Z038
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I was thinking of shared folders, but that won't work because you'd need to share a folder between your Windows host system and the Linux VM guest, but Windows doesn't support the underlying filesystem. Sorry about that.

There is another way, but the VirtualBox manual lists dire warnings about the dangers of using it. It is the raw host hard disk access support. Refer to the section in the manual titled "Advanced storage configuration" - http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html

I believe the risk of /boot filesystem damage would be low in your case, because your real CentOS system would not be running and would not be using it at the time you modify it from the Linux guest running under Windows VirtualBox. Proceed carefully if you go this route.


If I were doing this, I'd use the "Access to individual physical hard disk partitions" method because my /boot filesystem is an isolated physical partition on my hard drive, i.e., /dev/sda1, and the rest of my system is in a LUKS encrypted LVM logical partition.

Last edited by Z038; 06-19-2013 at 11:48 AM.
 
  


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