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SnowSurfAir 04-13-2004 11:29 PM

Different OSes
Hey I have a PH 9 box and I want to experiment around with other distros, what would be the best way other than partitioning the rh 9 hd? Like should I get another HD? Or what?

hw-tph 04-14-2004 12:57 AM

You can have several different Linux distributions installed at the same time and dual boot like a lot of people do between some Linux distribution and Windows. You may want to opt not to install a bootloader when installing the second distribution though, and instead just update the bootloader configuration of your original distribution.


American Psycho 04-14-2004 02:10 AM

If you have the money and want to you can setup dual harddrives though.

motub 04-14-2004 04:26 AM

Do you want to have all of them available to boot at the same time (multi-boot), or do you want to replace RH with a different distro?

Either is quite possible (I had a multi-boot of 2 versions of Windows and 5 versions of Linux), but multi-booting is more complex, depending on what you hope to accomplish and what files need to be accessible under all distributions.

You can see how I did it in the how-to that I wrote about multi-booting, which should at least give you an idea about one way that it can be done.

If you don't want to repartition the RH drive, you'll need another drive.... if you have no free space, you have no other choice but to acquire some if you aren't going to make some (by repartitioning, which is admittedly a pain to do with a running system).

SnowSurfAir 04-16-2004 07:48 PM

well the problem is that I have a mouse combo setup and Red Hat doesnt recognize it in the area where you choose which to boot. It is there ne way to choose which one to boot before I shut down?

motub 04-17-2004 02:37 AM

Sorry, what is a mouse combo? And what does that have to do with your bootloader? And what point in this process have you reached?

You normally choose what OS to boot when you boot the PC, not before you reboot. I can't see what benefits you would get from doing it any other way, even if it was possible, which I don't think it is.

I'm not understanding what problem you're trying to solve in the above post.

SnowSurfAir 04-17-2004 05:32 PM

The mouse combo is a keyboard and mouse that go through one USB port. It took me a long while to get it to work yet when I boot RH 9 doesnt recognize until I get to the login, I.E. I cant change which distro to boot.

Thymox 04-17-2004 06:46 PM

Ah, yes. RedHat uses GRUB by default as it's boot loader. GRUB does not like USB keyboards. I cannot remember how, or indeed if you can work around this, so my advice would be to change over to LiLo. There should almost definitely be a package on the install discs for LiLo.

Oh, and before I forget. If you have some free space on your current harddrive, then go partition it and install your other Linuxen into them. If you don't, and you don't want to re-partition and re-install RedHat, then go get a/some new harddrive(s).

There are two main ways to multi-boot Linux. You can have one bootloader than loads them all, in which case you should not install any other bootloaders from any other distros. This is the more "elegant" solution, but can bring headaches if you constantly chop-and-change (as I do). In order to make this work, you'd need to install your Nth distro (sans bootloader); boot into your favoured distro (RedHat, for instance); mount your new distro's partition; copy over the kernel and initrd files; add them to your current bootloader; reboot.

Another method (and my prefered method) is to install your Nth distro, and install the bootloader to the root partition of the Nth distro, and have an entry in your main bootloader pointing to that partition. That way you technically have multiple bootloaders, but it can save a lot of hassle.

For example, in my setup I am (currently) running Mandrake 9.1, Mandrake 10, SuSE 9 "technology preview" edition and QNX. The partition that Mandy 10 and QNX reside are constantly changing (I am a habitual tester and fiddler of distros). I have Mandy 9.1 installed on hda in it's entirety. Mandrake 10 is installed on /dev/hdb1; SuSE is installed on /dev/hdb2 and QNX is on /dev/hdb3. The entries in my lilo.conf file simply point to the partition, as follows:


When I select that, I am presented with another bootloader, this time from Mandy 10. It is by far less elegant, but it does allow me to chop-and-change my secondary/testing distros with relative ease.

Hope this helps.

SnowSurfAir 04-17-2004 06:55 PM

Ok but how hard would that be to do, like what are the chances that I encounter a problem that will take me a long time to fix?

Thymox 04-17-2004 06:58 PM

Post a copy of your current grub.conf file and I'll take a look at it. Oh, and could you put it in between [ code ] tags please? It formats it nicely and makes it easier to read off the screen. Thanks.

SnowSurfAir 04-17-2004 10:42 PM

well here it is:

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE:  You have a /boot partition.  This means that
#          all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
#          root (hd0,0)
#          kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hdd2
#          initrd /initrd-version.img
title Newer Red Hat Kernel (2.4.20-18.9)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-18.9 ro root=LABEL=/
        initrd /initrd-2.4.20-18.9.img
title Older Red Hat Kernel (2.4.20-6)
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-6 ro root=LABEL=/
        initrd /initrd-2.4.20-6.img


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