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Old 03-29-2005, 03:44 AM   #1
sureshkellemane
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Installing Multiple Distributions


Dear friends,

I want to install multiple linux distros into my computer having 40GB harddisk.

Can anybody help me with step by step guide.

Thank you
 
Old 03-29-2005, 03:55 AM   #2
Orkie
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If the hard drive is blank, create a partition for one distro's root, another for another distro's root (etc etc). You can share the /home and swap partitions between distros though I'm not sure how well this works, since I only have one on at a time.

When you install the distro, tell it which partitions to use (most have an option to do this).
 
Old 03-29-2005, 10:35 PM   #3
sureshkellemane
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Can you please explain how can i start from scratch ?
 
Old 03-30-2005, 04:14 AM   #4
enemorales
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What are you planning to do?

I've Gentoo as my primary distribution, but also Debian, which I use very often. Yesterday I installed FreeBSD... .

Are you familiar with Linux? If not I'll recommend you to start with something like Fedora or Mandrake (you can also try Knoppix, but I don't like it very much). The setup programs of these distributions will allow you to partition your harddisk. The only thing you have to do then is to leave some space free, so when you decide to install the second distribution, the setup program of the second distribution will have some space where to install the system.

What Orkie was saying is that, for Linux, you need a "SWAP" partition, that the system uses to simulate RAM memory if necessary. Well, if you have more than one distribution, you only need one SWAP partition, because they can use the same, so when you install the second distribution, you can say to the setup program not to create a new one, but to use the existing partition. Same applies to the "/home" partition, where the users' files are stored. Unless you want your distributions to be completely independent, you can make them to share this partition, so the same users (with their documents) will exist in both.

For instance, I've a 40Gb HD also. If I run fdisk I get:
Code:
Disk /dev/hda: 40.0 GB, 40060403712 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4870 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1               1         974     7823623+  83  Linux
/dev/hda2             975        1097      987997+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/hda3            1098        4502    27350662+   f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda4   *        4503        4870     2955960   a5  FreeBSD
/dev/hda5            1098        4137    24418768+  83  Linux
/dev/hda6   *        4138        4502     2931831   83  Linux
/dev/hda1 is my Gentoo's system partition.
/dev/hda2 is the swap partition.
/dev/hda3 is an extended partition: for i386 you cannot have more than 4 partitions, but one of them can be "extended". Inside an extended partition you can create "logical" partitions. Those are /dev/hda5 (where my /home partition is) and /dev/hda6 (my Debian partition).
Finally, /dev/hda4 contains FreeBSD.

I hope this helps you...
 
Old 03-30-2005, 10:31 PM   #5
sureshkellemane
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Thank you very much.

This is sufficient for me to start the game of magic partions..!

Once again thanx...
 
Old 04-25-2010, 10:07 AM   #6
raci1983
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I installed multiple distros in my pc,the problem is when the system boot up the first installed distros were gone...what should i do?
 
Old 04-26-2010, 12:40 AM   #7
brucehinrichs
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@suresh*: For what it's worth here's my partitioning scheme:
Code:
Frank2:~# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 200.0 GB, 200049647616 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 24321 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0007c950

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1         243     1951866   82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda2   *         244         304      489982+  83  Linux
/dev/sda3             305        3951    29294527+  83  Linux
/dev/sda4            3952       24321   163622025    5  Extended
/dev/sda5            3952       11246    58597056   83  Linux
/dev/sda6           11247       14893    29294496   83  Linux
/dev/sda7           14894       18540    29294496   83  Linux
/dev/sda8           18541       20485    15623181   83  Linux
/dev/sda9           20486       22430    15623181   83  Linux
/dev/sda10          22431       24321    15189426   83  Linux
sda1: swap 2Gb
sda2: /boot 500Mb
sda3: /data ~30Gb #shared (fstab entry in each distro to mount at /data)
sda5: / Debian Lenny ~55Gb #my primary OS, gnome DE
sda6 / Arch ~30Gb #still under construction , xfce DE
sda7: / Slackware64 13.0 ~30Gb #KDE
sda8, sda9, sda10: ~15Gb each formatted as ext3 #used for test runs

I also use vbox quite a bit, it's great for experiments.
 
Old 04-26-2010, 12:59 AM   #8
tommyttt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orkie View Post
If the hard drive is blank, create a partition for one distro's root, another for another distro's root (etc etc). You can share the /home and swap partitions between distros though I'm not sure how well this works, since I only have one on at a time.

When you install the distro, tell it which partitions to use (most have an option to do this).
DO NOT use shared /home between distros, not even between different versions of the same distro. The results of shared /home is horrible (been there, done that). Took a long time to fix the damage.

A better solution is to use a separate partition, i.e.:/data. You can store your documents, pictures, music, etc. there. What I ended up doing was to create a partition of ext3 called /common. Then created sub-directories /Documents, /Pictures, /Music... and made symlinks in /home/tom to those directories.

The data is shared with different distros and the user settings (stored in /home/tom) aren't clobbered between distros.
 
Old 04-26-2010, 01:04 AM   #9
brucehinrichs
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I agree, sharing /home is a BAD idea. Sharing a partition for data is the way to go.
 
Old 04-26-2010, 01:19 AM   #10
damgar
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I'll also add that while I never had a problem sharing a swap space on a desktop, I've run into some oddities sharing swap on a laptop that uses that space during hibernate/suspend ........I think it's just hibernate.........all the same when I've been in powersave and the battery died from one distro, and then the same happened with the other distro, when I booted back into the original I got a number of errors.

Also when I'm just trying out distros, I no longer use multiple partitions for a single distro. It just gets too messy. I usually end up formatting one distro and using it's partition for the remaining install. I always keep a seperate data partition that is mounted in all distros as /mnt/data.
 
Old 04-26-2010, 04:28 AM   #11
austinium
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Maybe you could try installing a single distribution of linux and then install VirtualBox on it. That way you can try out as many distributions as you want without having to partition your hard disk each time.
 
Old 04-26-2010, 05:00 AM   #12
jschiwal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyttt View Post
DO NOT use shared /home between distros, not even between different versions of the same distro. The results of shared /home is horrible (been there, done that). Took a long time to fix the damage.

A better solution is to use a separate partition, i.e.:/data. You can store your documents, pictures, music, etc. there. What I ended up doing was to create a partition of ext3 called /common. Then created sub-directories /Documents, /Pictures, /Music... and made symlinks in /home/tom to those directories.

The data is shared with different distros and the user settings (stored in /home/tom) aren't clobbered between distros.
I don't exactly agree. I would recommend sharing the /home partition but use different home directories. E.G. one could be jsmith-fc while another is jsmith-suse. Since the location of your home directory is given in /etc/passwd, you can edit /etc/passwd and rename your home directory after the installation, using the same username. You do need to keep in mind that different distro's may use different ranges for user IDs. You can edit /etc/login.defs to use the same ranges.

Sharing directories for documents & downloads is a good idea however. You want your UID to be the same across each distro to share common directories.
 
  


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