LinuxQuestions.org
View the Most Wanted LQ Wiki articles.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices



Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 11-22-2009, 08:15 PM   #1
roshichris
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: 0
Multiple distros + win7 on one disk - possible?


Hi. I have been using linux for about a month now and I am starting to get the hang of it, though i'm still definately a newb. I still need windows for one single program but otherwise i've made the jump.

I am currently pretty settled on ubuntu 9.04 jaunty, but I also have puppylinux on a pen drive (wow how fast is that!?), and virtual machines running PCLOS and OpenGEU, to test them out.

My 'problem' is that I want to continue to try out various different distros in future, but I am not really keen on virtualisation, which has drawbacks which skew my opinion of the new distros I am testing out (for example I had loads of probs getting OpenGEU to work in Virtualbox, but it worked fine with the live CD).

So my ideal setup would be multiple distros (maybe 5 or 6, including win7) on one HDD, with a 'central' shared area (file? partition?) from where the different linux distros could access all my bulky, personal files (music/paperwork/photos etc). I could then delete/ install distros as I liked, while keeping all personal data untouched. As I understand it this is possible, as the distros/OS's themselves take up little room on the HDD anyway, and grub could be used to choose between them all on startup.

So, is this possible? If so could someone give me a basic step-by-step guide please.

Many thanks in advance

Chris

PS I have one HDD (250GB) in my notebook.
 
Old 11-22-2009, 11:59 PM   #2
Davno
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Montreal, Canada
Distribution: Mandriva 2010.2
Posts: 148

Rep: Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by roshichris View Post
As I understand it this is possible, as the distros/OS's themselves take up little room on the HDD anyway, and grub could be used to choose between them all on startup.

So, is this possible? If so could someone give me a basic step-by-step guide please.
You pretty much answered your own question here, a step by step guide would be too long (there is many guide on google for that) but basically you (first) need to partition your drive for each distros you will eventually install in ext3 filesystem and keep one partition in ntfs for your data files, that partition can later be mounted automatically onto all your distro.
Its all pretty easy to do, the tricky part is that (you will) eventually mess up your grub, but that is part of the learning process.
One advise is too practice installing multiple distro on a spare computer first.
 
Old 11-23-2009, 12:13 AM   #3
linuxlover.chaitanya
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2008
Location: Nagpur, India
Distribution: Cent OS 5/6, Ubuntu Server 10.04
Posts: 4,628

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
That is pretty much possible. You can ask grub to boot as many distributions you want. It is just the matter of configuring grub if it does not detect all the distributions.
But instead of installing everything on the drive, it would be a good idea to try the distributions on the Live media first and if you like then install. Else you can just remove the media and put another one and keep trying. If you do not intend to spend on the media you can use Unetbootin to make your usb stick bootable.
On keeping your personal data, you can keep the data on any windows drive and mount the drive on linux. You can also create a partition in Linux and format it as windows.
 
Old 11-23-2009, 09:18 AM   #4
roshichris
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thumbs up

Cheers guys. More questions i'm afraid!

1) ANSWERED Does the shared folder for personal data have to be ntfs then? Thanks pixellany

2) ANSWERED I have no idea how to fiddle with grub, i have only installed linux after a fresh (tiny)win7 installation before, and grub automatically found both OS's. Can anyone recommend a good tutorial on configuring grub? Thanks pixellany

3) SOLVED I currently have my ubuntu set up really nice, but it took me a fair while to sort out a few annoying issues to get it to this state (xorg issues, sound issues etc). Is there a way that I can save all my ubuntu 'settings' so that my future fresh ubuntu installation can be configured to it's current state? SOLUTION FOUND

4) How will I work the primary/ logical partitions. Will it be: ..?

1 NTFS (tinyWin7) Primary
2 NTFS (Personal Files) Primary
3 Ext3 (Ubuntu) Primary
4 Ext3 (PCLOS) Logical
5 Ext3 (OpenGEU) Logical
6 Ext3 (Puppy) Logical


Thanks again.


PS. I realise there are posts on all these types of things elsewhere, but this is a big project for me, and if people are willing to help out with a bit of case-specific advice then it is greatly appreciated!

Last edited by roshichris; 11-23-2009 at 10:57 AM.
 
Old 11-23-2009, 09:35 AM   #5
pixellany
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
Distribution: Arch/XFCE
Posts: 17,802

Rep: Reputation: 729Reputation: 729Reputation: 729Reputation: 729Reputation: 729Reputation: 729Reputation: 729
Shared data can be NTFS--or Linux. Using ext3, for example, you can use the ext2fsd driver for Windows to access the data. I prefer keeping shared data in a Linux filesystem since there is better control over permissions.

The "booting" link below might be useful in setting up GRUB. (There is a link to the GRUB manual). Basically you have to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst
 
Old 11-23-2009, 09:44 AM   #6
linus72
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,084

Rep: Reputation: 336Reputation: 336Reputation: 336Reputation: 336
well well
a kindred spirit

Here is my current, though muddled, Hard drive layout

Code:
Disk /dev/sda: 164 GB, 164694781440 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 20023 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System 
/dev/sda1   *           1          79      634536   83  Linux
/dev/sda3              80        4895    38676487   83  Linux
/dev/sda4            4896        9868    39937590   83  Linux
/dev/sda2            9869       20023    81562005    5  Extended
/dev/sda6            9869       14877    40226760   83  Linux
/dev/sda7           14878       15750     7004340   83  Linux
/dev/sda9           15751       17406    13293787   83  Linux
/dev/sda8           17407       19740    18739822   83  Linux
/dev/sda5           19741       20023     2265165   82  Linux swap

Disk /dev/sdb: 80 GB, 80023749120 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 9729 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System 
/dev/sdb1               1        9067    72830646   83  Linux
/dev/sdb2            9068        9729     5309482    b  FAT32
/dev/sda has over 25 different distros on it right now
note that most are "frugal persistent"
as from USB.
So, I install any Ubuntu/debian/slack to a partition, then hand-install
any frugals I might be testing/making
heres a pic of sda6; which has Ultimate Edition-2.3(9.04)
and also has 3 puppies; grml-magix, pmagic and testing stuff
http://multidistro.com/distros/ubuntu-based/sda6.png

and sdb2; I made this to mimic booting off USB
it is a fat32 partition that has frugal installs of
KNOPPIX-6.2
Phalanx-9.04 (note the phalanx-rw)
Slax-6.1.2
Puppy-4.3.1
Pmagic-4.6
Tinycore-2.5
pic here
http://multidistro.com/distros/ubuntu-based/usbhd.png

I installed syslinux to the partiion and boot it via Plop
bootmanager

so, you can put many systems within systems
 
Old 11-23-2009, 11:03 AM   #7
roshichris
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Cheers linus72, but that is just confusing me to be honest! I do notice though that you seem to experience the same phenomenon as me - random numbering of partitions! I currently have sda1, sda5 and sda6. What happened to sda's 2-4 is a mystery to me..
 
Old 11-23-2009, 12:09 PM   #8
pixellany
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
Distribution: Arch/XFCE
Posts: 17,802

Rep: Reputation: 729Reputation: 729Reputation: 729Reputation: 729Reputation: 729Reputation: 729Reputation: 729
The primary partitions are numbered 1-4. In your case, there will be an "extended" partition---probably #2. This then links to the "logical" partitions, which always start with #4. To see the whole picture, run "fdisk -l" as root.

Linux can use logical partitions in the same way as primaries. Windows has to be on a primary--and is best on #1.
 
Old 11-23-2009, 01:13 PM   #9
malekmustaq
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: /root
Distribution: Slackware & BSD
Posts: 1,223

Rep: Reputation: 231Reputation: 231Reputation: 231
roshichris,

Mark the opinions of Pixellany and Linus72, their information are very important. Yet if you are a bit confused let me say a little-- (longer)--

a) Understand that generally (the one's we use) there are ONLY four (4) AVAILABLE PRIMARY partitions: 1, 2, 3, 4. This fourth (primary partition #4) is the one to house (accommodate) ALL LOGICAL partitions you subsequently make. NOTE: When creating this 4th partition ALL REMAINING & available disk spaces MUST be consumed for it. (otherwise that space will remain unusable until again you will resize or change the 4th partition which today could matter hours to wait by the giant sizes of HDDs we have.) When you examine or view your hdd through any querying means, partition #4 is sometimes invisible, only the logical partitions are enumerated, so don't worry if you have 5 & 6 without 4, it is there, only that it has no label though it contains your 5 & 6.

b) If I am to work out your hard drive preparations I'd do it this way:
Hard drive: (hd)
Primary 1 -- 3% -Weakling Duck 7
Primary 2 -- 3% -(Reserve for future use)
Primary 3 -- 3% -(Reserve for future use)
Primary 4 -- 91% -- Sub-divided into logical as ff:
-- Logical A -- 3% -Linux ext3 (distro 1)
-- Logical B -- 3% -Linux ext3 (distro 2)
-- Logical C -- 3% -Linux ext3 (distro 3)
-- Logical D -- 3% -Linux ext3 (distro 4)
-- Logical E -- 3% -Linux ext3 (distro 5)
-- Logical F -- 3% -Linux ext3 (distro 6)
-- Logical G -- 1% -Linux Swap Format
-- Logical H -- ntfs format --All Remaining Space for Data

Primary partition 2 & 3 are versatile drives (it can house either Weakling OS or Linux OS) in case you decide, or it can house your further OS/Distro or Solaris experimentations in the future.

With grub you only need to install it once anywhere along the 1st-6th logical drive holding a linux system. Be sure to install grub into the MBR for it to have control in all booting sessions including chainloading a sickly duck sitting at primary 1. To edify yourself about grub there is a good tutorial here, just give few minutes of reading it.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.

Last edited by malekmustaq; 11-23-2009 at 01:17 PM.
 
Old 11-23-2009, 02:04 PM   #10
roshichris
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Talking

malekmustaq - Thank you for probably the best, most helpful response I have ever received on any linux/ computer forum I have ever used.

Seriously, that is exactly what I wanted to know, all set out very clearly and concisely. Big up malekmustaq! and thanks pixellany too!

So, all my questions answered in one day, brilliant. I better give it a go then..
 
Old 11-24-2009, 08:44 AM   #11
roshichris
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Nov 2009
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Just thought i'd say thanks, i did it no problem. Well I had a few issues with GRUB as predected, but I found a very useful tool in PCLOS whichscans for OS's and automatically adds them to the GRUB menu. Very helpful. I even managed to add a frugal Puppy! (See attached).

So thanks again
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCN1986.jpg (233.2 KB, 7 views)
 
Old 11-24-2009, 12:55 PM   #12
malekmustaq
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: /root
Distribution: Slackware & BSD
Posts: 1,223

Rep: Reputation: 231Reputation: 231Reputation: 231
roshichris,

It is to everyone's satisfaction in this community each time a newbie has conquered his problem through the use of LinuxQuestions.org. We are glad to hear you made it. Thanks for letting us all share in solving your problem.

You may click the "Solved" button to close the thread if you will. We can save a little space for the new comers.

Congratulations.

Good luck.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Those of you with multiple Linux distros across multiple partitions ... SlowCoder General 14 05-15-2009 04:24 PM
Multiple Blade servers booting from multiple disk drives simultaneously NGC_cheryl Linux - Enterprise 0 11-26-2007 09:38 AM
How to-Installing multiple linux distros on single hard disk rbh123 Linux - Newbie 14 08-04-2005 10:55 PM
Multiple Boot - Multiple Distros noname Linux - Distributions 3 05-08-2002 11:01 AM
multiple distros jppw Linux - Newbie 0 03-25-2001 12:16 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:47 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration