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I am planning to get XP, eCS (OS/2) and ubuntu to coexist in the same
machine (IBM ThinkCentre M50) and even on the same hard disk (40 G).
At the moment there is the pre-installed XP in its 10 G partition.
I think I know how to install eCS and ubuntu, the problem of course is
the bootloader. I know that in whichever order I install them, the last one will kill the previous system's bootloader. I'd rather use eCS's BootManager to start and call grub if asked for. I planned to install eCS next as I'd like to do the partitioning with it (it is rather sensitive to the MS-style non-standard partitioning info) and install ubuntu last, but need to know how I can prevent grub to write MBR, and make it go nicely into its own partition. I've got ubuntu 7.10 on a CD, but am not really willing to experiment.
background: used OS/2 a lot, Windows when unavoidable, Aix in my earlier
life (over 10 years ago), no Linux experience, but curious. I rather like
to use command line (or terminal as it is called here), gives you a nice
feeling of being in control...
If the Ubuntu installer is well behaved, during installation you will be prompted for various kinds of information. Among them: the partition to install Ubuntu, and where to install grub. Choose to install grub to the root partition (the boot sector of the Ununtu partition) instead of to the MBR.
Of course, this means that you have no means to boot Ubuntu without a boot disk (floppy or cd) or the Ubuntu cd (if there is a menu with the option to boot from hard drive instead of the cd).
I don't know the capabilities of eCS, so I can't say how you would go about configuring it to boot Ubuntu.
Unfortunately too many installers aren't "well behaved" - I prefer to use the Ubuntu "alternate" install CD. This is a more interactive install - gives you the option of where to place the loader (amongst other things).
Then you can merely chain-load from your loader of choice. Any updates to the Ubuntu system will update its "menu.lst", you have nothing to do from the other system to continue chainloading it. Only downside is that you get 2 (at least) boot menus - they can be hidden or on a short time-out, so not really a problem.
Well, that is actually what I am asking: how well behaved is ubuntu installation process. I have not seen documentation that would tell all the installation options, it there one? I am rather confident I'll be able do the chainloading, if I can make grub go sit in the ubuntu partition's boot record. But I am rather worried that ubuntu installation will go and write MBR and so destroy BootManager without asking me anything. What is the Alternate install CD and where can I get one?
Looks o.k., but I've personally never seen the need - same applies to all the other boot "managers".
Never had a collection of systems I couldn't manage quite nicely with grub. Even if the MBR does get over-written, it's trivially easy to recover from.
OK, in case grub accidentally slips into MBR, can it be moved with Linux commands into its own boot partition, or recreated? What would be the incantation for doing that? I believe I could manage to patch MBR.