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tcrew 01-12-2007 04:33 AM

Some info on Grub...
I have XP and Vista installed on 2 seperate HD's, i want to now install Linux as well and i know that Grub is one of the multiboot utils to use.
What i want to know is do i have to Format my HD's and have them Blank or can i install grub as the system is now, then install Linux after that. I want to install Fedora 6, Suse and ManDriva for full system testing without loosing what i have installed already if it is possible.
I am thinking of partioning one of my drives and having 1 swap partition then 3 Linux partitions to hold the 3 linux os's.

Thanx for any help.

nirmaltom 01-12-2007 04:41 AM

no need to have hard disk blank. sufficient free space or partition allocated to linux is enough.
if u dont have free space or partitions that can be used for linux,
use partition magic or parted to resize partitions.

mblames 01-12-2007 04:45 AM

Can u tell me more precisely the quota is self ?
/dev/hda ???GB
/dev/hdb ???GB
And you dont have to blank the HDs, just use windows partition software (like Partition Magic) so u can re-create the partition table. And manage the quotas for the OS.


tcrew 01-12-2007 07:08 AM

Well i can alocate 100 gig in total for the 3 linux os's including the swap.. I'm not too sure what a swap partition does..? is it like a page file on windows..?
So possibly 33 gig for eack linux and 1 gig for swap..?

saikee 01-12-2007 07:24 AM

You can use Grub in the following way

(1) Install Grub as a stand alone sub-system in a floppy. You need a Live CD that support Grub to source the information. If you have a flopy drive the best way is to make a boot Grub floppy as no PC system cannot be booted by a Grub floppy and so it answers all your booting problems for good. With a floppy you don't need the MBR to boot any system.

(2) Use Grub from any of the Linux. All the distros (Suse, Fedora & Mandriva) wished by you employ Grub as their standard boot loader. You can amend any of the three Grub's menu.lst to multi boot all the systems. This requires Grub to take over the MBR of the first boot disk. In this method Grub must boot its host directly and all other system can be indirectly.

(3) Install Grub in a data only partition. This installation is similar to Item (1) with the attraction that you can boot all the systems indirectly using one set of commands.

Have a look at my signature before you decide. The above is listed in order of difficulties.

A swap partition is a scratch area for Linux as there is no need to do defrag with a Linux filing system.

Also the footprint of Suse, Mandriva and Fedora are all within 5Gb and a 10Gb partition for each is more than enough.

tcrew 01-12-2007 07:29 AM

Thankyou for the replies... and i will read the stuff in your sig..


jlliagre 01-12-2007 09:26 AM


Originally Posted by saikee
A swap partition is a scratch area for Linux

That is a way to describe it.
It is more precisely a place where the kernel temporarily store memory blocks (and possibly whole files) when there is not enough RAM to hold them.

as there is no need to do defrag with a Linux filing system.
This is neither really true, nor related to the previous statement about the swap.
Filesystems commonly used under Linux (and Unix) are less prone to fragmentation than FAT, as they try to allocate contiguous blocks to growing files in the first place. This is however defeated when the disk is nearly full, so it is wise to avoid using filesystems with less than about 10% of free space.

There are not that much specific tools to defragment a Unix filesystem but a simpler generic way is simply to backup and restore it.

saikee 01-12-2007 10:09 AM


Thanks for the more precise definition. I do admit using terms loosely for the sake of expediency.

Nice to have the master stepped in to take us to the next deeper level.

I learn about the 10% limit too as I never bother with defrag in Linux at all. I do know with a swap partition the files can be written back to the hard disk in a more orderly sequence (before unmounting) than that used in the MS systems. In that sense it is not much different from backup (modifying as nececessary) and restore activities.

tcrew 01-12-2007 11:25 AM

Well it is intersting Linux to say the least... As a total newbie to it only been messing this last week in VMware, but i do like what i see... Maybe someday Linux will totaly replace M$ Windows and have total support from 3rd party vendors..

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