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Old 09-28-2003, 06:03 AM   #1
coolamit78
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: New Delhi, India
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Question on Dual booting


Hi......

Suppose I have 2 linux distros on the same hard disk..lets say RH 9 and Mandrake...

Now my question is:

(a) Does the boot loader appear as

(i) Dos
(ii) Red Hat Linux (2.4.20-8)
(iii) Mandrake Linux (2.4.20-8)

OR

(b) Does it appear as

(i) Dos
(ii) Linux

and when u choose linux, you get a choice between RedHat and Mandrake?

OR

in some other third way?

Since I have only a 8.4 GB HDD, and i am dual booting Win98se and RH 9.....I dont have extra space to check how 2 linux distributions would look like together.....so i'd like to know how the boot loader manages that...

Question No 2:

How is the appropriate boot loader loaded into memory when we have 2 linux distros installed on the same hard disk ....
 
Old 09-28-2003, 06:05 AM   #2
XavierP
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As far as (1) goes, the boot loader can say whatever you want. Edit grub.conf or lilo.conf and rename the os labels.
 
Old 09-28-2003, 06:31 AM   #3
coolamit78
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Quote:
Originally posted by XavierP
As far as (1) goes, the boot loader can say whatever you want. Edit grub.conf or lilo.conf and rename the os labels.
XavierP, you didn't read my post properly...my focus is not the label that appears on the grub loader, but the way it appears....I even gave u choices.....after 775 posts...at least I can expect that you will be able to reply to some more technical queries....

Well, anyways, pls take another look at the post once more and tell me how will I be able to choose between the two linux distros...

thanks
 
Old 09-28-2003, 06:59 AM   #4
XavierP
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I did some searching on this site for you. (If it's any help, I searched for triple boot).

here is one of the hits I got. It would appear that grub or lilo will show up both of your Linuxes but will require some editing - this is because all distros will try to install a boot loader. Your choices are:
Install a boot loader from your second distro - it may pick up your first distro or you may have to do some hand editing.
Don't install a boot loader, you will then definitely have to hand edit your boot loader.

Fact is, you will have to be resigned to editing your boot loader.

As I don't triple boot (i simply reinstall when I want to try different distros) I can't give you anything from experience.
 
Old 09-28-2003, 07:00 AM   #5
moistTowelette
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Your question is kinda hard to understand, maybe you wanna rephrase it. Depending on what bootloader you use and how you set it up, you can make your selection window(s) behave however you like. If you are dualbooting with WIndows however, I (personally) find that using the windows bootloader is the easiest thing to do. So make your partitions, install Windows on to the first one, and then install your Linux distros on the other two partitions WITHOUT installing LILO or Grub into the MBR when you are asked during the install, but do make a boot disk. Use this bootdisk to reboot back into the linux distro on the second partition, and data-dump the MBR (usually /dev/hda1) onto a floppy, then reboot into windows. Copy the MBR you dumped from the disk into C:\, and edit the (hidden system) file "boot.ini". Include the copied MBR in the boot.ini file, call it Linux, and you should get 2 choices when you boot up next (Windows and Linux). When you choose Linux, it SHOULD load LILO from the second partition, which you can set up in a similar manner to give a choice between your two linux distros. That's a pretty vague description but you should be able to figger it out, if you can't I guess I could elaborate if you need me to. Hope it helps.
 
Old 09-28-2003, 08:27 AM   #6
Freeek
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Well, I'm not very sure about this....
I think the Linux boot items in that list will depend on where LILO is installed - on MBR or on the partition itself. If you have some third party boot loader on the MBR, and have both Linux OS have LILO installed on their partitions, then both of them will show all the three OS. When you boot into say RedHat, then it will show DOS, Linux and another Linux like label. If you choose Redhat's label, then it will boot into it. but if you choose Mandrake's label, then again it will show the three labels. In this case, if you choose Mandrake, it will boot it. But if you choose RedHat, then this whole process will go on until you select the OS to which the LILO belongs.

If you have one linux installed with LILO on MBR, and install other linux with LILO on MBR, then obviously the MBR will get overwritten, and you'll have one LILO installed on the MBR, which will show all the three OS.

If you have one linux installed already with LILO on MBR, and install another with LILO on it's partition, then the one which is installed on the BIOS will show all the three entries, out of which, if you select the second linux, it will show the second Linux and DOS. Hope you unsderstood this, kind of confusing!!!

In short, the answer to both your questions is that it depends on where the two Linuxs' LILOs are installed, and it will be shown as
DOS
Linux
Linux2

or something like this, unless you've changed them.
 
Old 09-28-2003, 08:58 AM   #7
coolamit78
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okay, seems like my question got ya all confused...

My question regarding the boot loader options is based on the assumption that i have a dual boot of win98se and RH9...and after that suppose, if i go on to install mandrake, how will I be offered the choice between RH 9 and Mandrake? I asked that becoz, a month back, i tried to install RH 7.0 after RedHat 8 and it overwrote the boot record of RH 8.0.

So that means that while RH 9 is installed on the MBR and Mandrake will have to be installed on the boot sector of the root partition in which mandrake is installed....After that I guess I will need to edit the grub.conf file to add the extra option for Mandrake....right????

I guess I sound clearer now?
 
Old 09-28-2003, 09:14 AM   #8
simplico
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That could be the case. If you install Mandrake you can choose the option to install a boot loader and pick where to install it. It will replace the default bootloader. Otherwise, you could choose not to install a bootloader and edit, through RH, the grub or lilo file and add the information to boot Mandrake. (I prefer configuring the bootloader file in Mandrake because they have a GUI that is simple as clicking and typing.) Also, you will need to create a separate partition space because Mandrake will install over RH unless you have a separate partition for it, which seems like you don't.
 
Old 09-28-2003, 09:23 AM   #9
Freeek
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As I said before, the way in which you'll be given the options depends on where the LILOs are installed. If you're going to install another Linux OS, make sure you don't install LILO or GRUB where the previous Linux's bootloader is installed. I don't think you'll need to manually edit the grub.conf file, it should detect the new OS (I'm not sure), I read somewhere that in case of LILO, you just have to type lilo command at the terminal, so that it detects the new OS. Don't worry about how the different OS will be displayed, just make sure the the boot loaders aren't overwritten.

RH7 overwrote the boot record of RH8 becos you didn't specify where the bootloader should be installed and by default it was installed on MBR. This option will be there in some Advanced options in the setup.
 
Old 09-28-2003, 09:29 AM   #10
coolamit78
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ya simplico, u r right......Mandy will overwrite RH if I go on to install it on the same partition.... but since I dont have disk space....but I had the doubt in my mind, so decided to get it cleared...

I got the way I can boot Win98se, RH 9 and Mandy.....thanx everyone for your valuable feedback......thanx so much....
 
Old 09-28-2003, 11:26 AM   #11
snype
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well I have done this before but I forget how, Im pretty sure I made a mount point for the /boot in redhat on mandy and then edited grub.conf so that it would boot from that mount point it worked and then I screwed something up......... im working on gettting a knoppix hard drive install and mandy and win2k
 
  


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