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Old 03-30-2006, 06:23 PM   #1
pgrimes
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Folsom, CA
Distribution: RHEL
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Quad boot 1 WinXP, 3 RHEL4, with GRUB


Hi, I've been having a heck of a time with this, partially, I'm sure, to my poor understanding of Linux partitioning techniques.

I have WinXP installed, on a 120GB Sata drive... no problem.

Next, I've been able to install Redhat Enterprise Linux 4 AS and use GRUB to boot into either OS without a problem.

From here on, I have problems. If I install a 2nd RHEL then, I can boot into WinXP and the 2nd RHEL install but, I get errors when trying to boot the 1st RHEL install.

If I then install a 3rd RHEL then, I can boot into WinXP and the 3rd RHEL install but, get errors when trying to boot the 1st or 2nd RHEL install.

Hope that made sense...

So, it is my understanding that a hard drive can only have one "/" (root) mount point. But, during each RHEL install, I go into the Disk Druid screen, I am forced to make another partition have "/" as its mount point (RHEL AS requires "/" to install).

Sorry this is so long... can anybody pick up on what my problem is from this? I know that I have a lot to learn about the Linux filesystem/partitioning schems. So, I'm looking for help. If anyone can tell me where I'm going wrong here and hopefully give me an example of how I should be partitioning my drive, that would be REALLY COOL!

BTW, my current project requires this setup (1 winxp, 3 RHEL AS with GRUB as the bootloader so, LILO and other distros are not an option for me).

Thanks for any help!

Paul
 
Old 03-30-2006, 06:44 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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You sound like you're partitioning fine. One root partition for each RHEL install. I'm guess you went wrong when you installed the bootloaders.

The first time you install RHEL, you want to put grub into the MBR (and you also probably want a separate /boot partition, that way if you delete your RH install, you still can boot your other systems). The 2nd & 3rd time you install grub, you want to install it to the / partition for that install. Then you edit the first install's grub.conf (or menu.list, I forget which) to chainload the second grub, which will then boot the 2nd RHEL.
 
Old 03-30-2006, 07:00 PM   #3
pgrimes
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Folsom, CA
Distribution: RHEL
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Thanks a lot! One root partition per install makes sense to me... I had begun to think I was completely misunderstanding things. ;0

I'm in the middle of installing the 2nd redhat (with GRUB on it's own partition) now. Thanks a lot for the quick response!

It's near quittin' time so, I may not be able to see my results until tomorrow but, I'm pretty optimistic that you hit my problem on the head.

thanks again.
 
Old 03-30-2006, 07:06 PM   #4
philix
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Registered: Sep 2005
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Hi pgrimes,

I think you are beginner to Linux OS,
There are lots of reading works to be followed before ending up in error.
Please follow up these links which might be helpful in understanding the Partitions and booting process
http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Partition/index.html
http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Installation-HOWTO/index.html
Please remember you cant just re-install linux as you have done in Win-XP.
Some tips on Linux partition
"/" is designation given to partition like /dev/hda1 or /dev/hda4 (Hope your partition is Primary Master HD) saying it is the root directory tree from where all other partitions or directories takes its root
So /usr designates as "usr" directory starting from root "/"
So /home designates as "home" directory starting from root "/"
IF possible read the file using the command cat /etc/fstab to find the enteries of partitions to different devices of your harddive

If to compare the XP with Linux , Linux works with only one "C:" : "/" drive that is no other root drives could be created like "D:" or "E:" where you can try all installations of XP and it makes its own Windows directory and enteries in boot.ini file found under the "C:" drive. So that you can boot into different XPs.
So ultimately Linux in a harddrive can make only one "/" directory
If you have another HD like Seconday Master , Slave or Primary Slave you can make another "/" directory in this and another installation.
which needs furhter reading for editing the Grub to point to second installation too.

So happy time with Linux.
Hope this has helped you

Bye
Philix
 
Old 03-31-2006, 11:06 AM   #5
pgrimes
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Folsom, CA
Distribution: RHEL
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Ok, I just got a little more confused... and yes, I'm fairly new to Linux. I've had my laptop dual booted with WinXP and Slackware for a little over a year but, I've never installed more than one Linux distro on one hard drive before. Anyway...

pljvaldez said:
Quote:
One root partition for each RHEL install.
philix said:
Quote:
So ultimately Linux in a harddrive can make only one "/" directory
When I install a 2nd Redhat and have to specify a second "/" directory, I'm still not clear on things.

Scenario:
- I have WinXP installed on /dev/sda1 (Linux seems to view SATA drives as SCSI)

- I then start on RHEL install is this configuration ok?
Hard Drive:
-/dev/sda
--/dev/sda1 vfat (winxp) 20.0 GB
--/dev/sda2 /boot ext3 2.0 GB
--/dev/sda3 /home ext3 10.0 GB
--/dev/sda4 Extended
---/dev/sda5 / ext3 2.0 GB
---/dev/sda6 swap 2.0 GB
 
Old 03-31-2006, 11:45 AM   #6
pljvaldez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgrimes
Hard Drive:
-/dev/sda
--/dev/sda1 vfat (winxp) 20.0 GB
--/dev/sda2 /boot ext3 2.0 GB
--/dev/sda3 /home ext3 10.0 GB
--/dev/sda4 Extended
---/dev/sda5 / ext3 2.0 GB
---/dev/sda6 swap 2.0 GB
You've done just fine. Now if you want to add a 2nd RHEL install, you would create partition /dev/sda7 and that would be / ext3 for the 2nd install.

Now the tricky part of the 2nd install is whether or not you want to reuse /home. Since all the installs are RHEL, you can probably just use the same /home partition for all the installs. If they were different distros, I wouldn't recommend that, but since they're all RHEL, I don't see a problem. Just be aware that if you make a change to some config file in /home, it will be made in all your installs.

The other option is to instead of /home, make a separate partition and mount it under all the installs to share just the documents. Then you can just let /home live in the / partition for each install. i.e. it would look more like this:
Code:
Hard Drive:

/dev/sda1  WinXP      vfat      20.0 GB  --> XP is more efficient with NTFS, you might convert it
/dev/sda2  /boot      ext3      2.0  GB
/dev/sda3  /mnt/docs  FAT32     10.0 GB --> your shared doc partition for all linux's and windows.

/dev/sda4   Extended
  /dev/sda5    /      ext3      6.0  GB --> RHEL install 1  (including /home)
  /dev/sda6    swap   swap      2.0  GB
  /dev/sda7    /      ext3      6.0  GB --> RHEL install 2  (including /home)
  /dev/sda8    /      ext3      6.0  GB --> RHEL install 3  (including /home)
Depending on what you want to install on your RHEL, I'm not sure if 2GB is enough for /... Usually I think you need around 4GB if you want Gnome and a bunch of programs installed.
 
Old 03-31-2006, 02:03 PM   #7
pgrimes
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Location: Folsom, CA
Distribution: RHEL
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Ok great, I have plenty of room on the drive (it's 120 GB) so I decided to give a seperate /home to each RHEL install. So, I have 2 installations complete and, here is the current partition setup:
Code:
/dev/sda:
    /dev/sda1                     ntfs        20.0 GB
    /dev/sda2        /boot        ext3        2.0  GB
    /dev/sda3        /mnt/docs    fat         15.0 GB
    /dev/sda4                     Extended    
        /dev/sda5    /home        ext3        10.0 GB --> 1st RHEL
        /dev/sda6    /            ext3        6.0  GB --> 1st RHEL
        /dev/sda7                 swap        2.0  GB
        /dev/sda8    /            ext3        6.0  GB --> 2nd RHEL
        /dev/sda9    /home        ext3        10.0 GB --> 2nd RHEL
So, you might be able to guess that my next issue is with setting up GRUB to find everything ok.

With the first install, I installed GRUB on the MBR of /dev/sda. For the 2nd install, I put GRUB on "/" of /dev/sda8....

Aha! Nevermind the question I was about to ask. I finally got it!

For anyone who has a similar issue:
I edited the menu.lst of the GRUB that is installed on the MBR and added this:
Code:
title RHEL_2
     rootnoverify (hd0,7)
     chainloader +1
     boot
That allows me to use the GRUB on the MBR to load up the GRUB that is installed on /dev/sda8 and boot the 2nd RHEL install from there.

I'm sure I won't have much of a problem getting the 3rd one going now.

pljvaldez/philix... thanks so much for your time and help! I really appreciate it.

I'll post my menu.lst (it's linked to grub.conf), just in case someone in the future would like to reference it, in a bit.

Thanks again,

Paul
 
Old 03-31-2006, 02:13 PM   #8
saikee
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Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Distribution: Any free distro.
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Care have a look at the 100+ system link in my signature?

You should find all your answers there, plus explanation (in particular Para D.2) how to get there.

Last edited by saikee; 03-31-2006 at 02:16 PM.
 
Old 03-31-2006, 03:22 PM   #9
pgrimes
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Folsom, CA
Distribution: RHEL
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Thanks saikee... good links! Given the info provided on the "100+ systems" link, I'll refrain from posting my menu.lst file info since the info someone might need is available in your links.
 
Old 03-31-2006, 06:20 PM   #10
saikee
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The quickest and easiest way to boot all your other RH systems would be

(1) Use RH installation CD in Rescue mode to get into any RH that isn't booting. Replicate its Grub boot loader inside the root partition. e.g. if RH is in sda5 do a grub-install in root terminal
Code:
grub-install /dev/sda5
.

(2)Go to the Linux that currently boots and add to its /boot/grub/menu.lst the same 4 lines you suggested in Post #7 except for sda5 you use (hd0,4), bearing in mind Grub counts from 0.

(3) Repeat for any Linux you care to include to multi-boot
 
  


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