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Old 04-20-2008, 11:36 AM   #1
Sunfist
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More than a dual boot


I was wondering if anybody out there has more than 2 OS on their systems. What I was thinking was Win and 2 different versions of Linux (or more). If you were to do that would the second install of Linux overwrite Grub, or is it smart enough to just add the new Linux to the Grub list?
 
Old 04-20-2008, 12:12 PM   #2
bigrigdriver
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The second will overwrite grub of the first, if you let it (by writing it to the MBR). If you install grub to the root of the filesystem instead of the MBR, It won't overwrite grub on the first. However, you will have to manually edit /boot/grub/menu.lst on the first to add the second OS.

For a thorough read on how to boot more that two OSs via grub, look up LQ member Saikee. In his signature, there are links to articles he has written. One of them details how he has 145+ OSs booting.
 
Old 04-20-2008, 01:15 PM   #3
jay73
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I simply chainload. Let the first Linux install its GRUB to the MBR and make all the rest install GRUB to their own boot or / partition. Then all you need to do for those other distros is add this to the /boot/grub/menu.lst of the distro that has access to the MBR:

title distro_name
root (hdx,x) <----- points to the partition that has GRUB
chainloader +1
 
Old 04-20-2008, 01:36 PM   #4
BobNutfield
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I have XP and four Linux distros on the same 160GB drive. Some distros (Unbuntu and PCLinuxOS in particular) are pretty good at recognizing the other operating systems and listing them in their menu.lst. But they don't always get it right and you have to manually add them to the menu.lst of the distro that provides grub. All I have ever done is when installing subsequent distros on the same drive is simply not install their bootloader and edit the menu.lst file. I prefer this method to chainloading because all of the OS's are listed on the opening boot screen. It is all quite easy.

Bob
 
Old 04-20-2008, 02:17 PM   #5
Sunfist
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How do you get a dist to not install their bootloader? When I did my install I dont recall anything where it gave me that option. For that matter how do you tell it to install grub to its own root dir.

Last edited by Sunfist; 04-20-2008 at 02:19 PM.
 
Old 04-20-2008, 02:38 PM   #6
bigrigdriver
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You have to watch carefully during the installation. When you get to the part about bootloader installation/configuration, that's the place to select whether to install to the MBR or to the root of the installation.
 
Old 04-20-2008, 06:10 PM   #7
pppaaarrrkkk
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If you do multiple-booting, do you put the Linux distros on one extended partition ? Does that work ?
 
Old 04-20-2008, 07:23 PM   #8
jay73
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Yes, unlike most operating systems, Linux does not need a primary partition at all.
 
Old 04-20-2008, 11:32 PM   #9
Fred Caro
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mbr

must have misted something here. you have 4 primary partions. Extended partions you have little control over. This chap has only 2 or 3 primary partions; if his bootloader is on a partion then that comlicates issues especilally fof us idiots.
 
Old 04-21-2008, 10:01 AM   #10
jay73
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How would that complicate matters? I used to install each new GRUB to the MBR so that it overwrote the one that was already there. That works fine but there is one serious downside to this approach: kernel updates. If you have added the boot lines for your distro B to the GRUB of distro A, GRUB is not going to update itself when B gets a kernel update. Either you don't notice and you keep using the older boot line / kernel or you do but then you have to editi your GRUB again. If you simply chainload, distro B still has its own GRUB so it does get updated with each new kernel updates. A lot less complicated if you ask me.
 
Old 04-21-2008, 03:27 PM   #11
irlandes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
How would that complicate matters? I used to install each new GRUB to the MBR so that it overwrote the one that was already there. That works fine but there is one serious downside to this approach: kernel updates. If you have added the boot lines for your distro B to the GRUB of distro A, GRUB is not going to update itself when B gets a kernel update. Either you don't notice and you keep using the older boot line / kernel or you do but then you have to editi your GRUB again. If you simply chainload, distro B still has its own GRUB so it does get updated with each new kernel updates. A lot less complicated if you ask me.

Good point. Linux is about choices, and since Dec, 1999 I have never updated a kernel, because that is complicated and I never had any problem which meant I needed to update. Clearly, if I were IT for a company, security requirements would mandate those updates, but I am not.

I don't like chainloading because I don't like seeing the Grub menu twice. Also, I do like control. I don't like things happening without my knowledge, such as Redmond does.

However, chainloading is a very good choice if one wants to do it, or if one routinely updates kernels.

I am an advocate of MGTOW, men going their own way, which mistakenly is usually linked to other issues, but for me it's everything. As my daughter says, whatever trips your trigger. I do like to know about the choices, though.
 
Old 04-21-2008, 05:53 PM   #12
louieb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfist View Post
... I dont recall anything where it gave me that option. For that matter how do you tell it to install grub to its own root dir.
Sounds like Ubuntu the option to pick where GRUB is installed is hidden behind a button labeled advanced. It on the about to install information page.

I tried a dozen or so distros before getting lazy and settling on Ubuntu. They all had some way of letting me chose where to put GRUBS IPL code.

I use the chainloader or the configfile option when I've installed more than one OS on a PC. Sure you see 2 GRUB menus. But if you let the kernel get updated as I do. It helps keep things straight.
 
Old 04-22-2008, 12:28 AM   #13
Fred Caro
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grub

I think I'm being a bit slow but the purpose of having a bootloader on your hard drive is to make things simple and so I don't like the idea of having to edit the thing. Why do linux distros have a set way they deal with this? Grub maintains it will boot anything but if you have to write it yourself then surely it falls down- if everyone was a software writer then who needs an operating system?
Fred.
 
Old 04-22-2008, 07:21 AM   #14
fair_is_fair
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I install GAG to the mbr and subsequent bootloaders to the root partition. No fuss. Allows me to install and uninstall distros without messing with the primary(GAG) bootloader. I have booted up to 7.

http://gag.sourceforge.net/
 
  


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