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Old 09-21-2008, 11:55 PM   #1
Rubicon244
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Registered: Sep 2008
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Multi-boot XP Pro with several linux distros


Hi, I've googled my butt off on this one but couldn't find any info that fit my scenario. I'm currently dual booting XP Pro with OpenSUSE 11 but I'd also like to add a few more distros to the GRUB boot menu so I can play around with them when the mood strikes.

I plan to partition my 500GB HDD as follows.

sda1 Primary XP Pro NTFS 40GB

sda3 Extended partition
sda4 Logical Drive Linux distro 1 ext3 15GB (mount ('/')
sda5 Logical Drive Linux distro 2 ext3 15GB (mount ('/')
sda6 Logical Drive Linux distro 3 ext3 15GB (mount ('/')
sda7 Logical Drive Linux distro 4 ext3 15GB (mount ('/')

sda8 Logical Drive Shared data FAT32 300GB

sda9 Linux-swap

The rest is unpartitioned.

The 300GB FAT32 partition is to be used as a shared drive for media files that can be accessed by XP and all distros (or is NTFS better?).

Is this set up possible?

From my understanding I'd have to stop the install process for the first 3 distros from writing anything to the MBR. The last distro will be responsible for setting up GRUB and the MBR. Once that's done is it just a matter of adding distros 1,2 & 3 to GRUB (assuming the last distro only recognises XP) by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst for the last distro?

Is there anything else I need to do?

Cheers, Dave
 
Old 09-22-2008, 12:18 AM   #2
pinniped
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Registered: May 2008
Location: planet earth
Distribution: Debian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon244 View Post
The 300GB FAT32 partition is to be used as a shared drive for media files that can be accessed by XP and all distros (or is NTFS better?).

Is this set up possible?

From my understanding I'd have to stop the install process for the first 3 distros from writing anything to the MBR. The last distro will be responsible for setting up GRUB and the MBR. Once that's done is it just a matter of adding distros 1,2 & 3 to GRUB (assuming the last distro only recognises XP) by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst for the last distro?

Is there anything else I need to do?

Cheers, Dave
All recent Linux releases support full r/w of the NTFS partition via the ntfs-3g driver. If you have a kernel < 2.6.16 then you might have problems (release is too old). It's better to use NTFS if you can because FAT32 cannot support all the features that WinXP wants to use on the filesystem.

If you already have Linux installed, then just skip the bootloader installation for all the other installations; however, you do need to make a note of what the initrd and kernel image files are so you can configure your bootloader correctly. Don't worry if you can't write them down during install time; as long as you can boot one linux installation you can mount the other partitions and check out the initrd and kernel image file names.
 
Old 09-22-2008, 12:23 AM   #3
immortaltechnique
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Registered: Oct 2006
Location: Kenya
Distribution: Ubuntu, RHEL, OpenBSD
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This should give you a basic idea of what you are hoping to achieve
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=4518498
Multibooting is a moderately complex procedure but check out how this guy booted up to 145 Os'es......quiet a stretch unless its experimental

http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showt...282#post861282
Cheers.
 
  


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