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Cultist 11-13-2011 03:14 PM

quick questions about adding a second distro to dual boot with my Slackware install
 
I have a crazy huge root partition and was thinking about shrinking it and using the extra space to add a second distro to dual boot for playing around with, but I wanted to make sure I'm going about this correctly.

I have two internal harddrives, one I use for / and one for /home. I was going to shrink the / partition by about 50 gb and then partition the free 50gb into a /, /home, and swap, from a cd-booted Puppy Linux.

After I do this, what do I need to do to make sure my Lilo correctly recognizes my Slackware and the new distro?

And from what I described, am I going about this correctly? Or is there a better/easier way to do it?

If it matters, my I have two harddrives, sda and sdb, each 320 gb in size. sda is / with a 2gb swap, and sdb is /home. I'm shrinking sda for the second distro.

TobiSGD 11-13-2011 03:48 PM

If you just want to play around with a second distro I would rather use Virtualbox then set up a dual boot system.

GazL 11-13-2011 03:57 PM

I keep one primary partition free for playing with distros and chain load it from Slackware's lilo like this:
Code:

other=/dev/sda3
  label=sda3

I just make sure that the other distro only puts its boot-loader on sda3's pbr and doesn't touch either the mbr, or Slackware's pbr.

Cultist 11-13-2011 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TobiSGD (Post 4523142)
If you just want to play around with a second distro I would rather use Virtualbox then set up a dual boot system.

Its not really that I actually need the second distro. Its more that I just have over 100gb of root partition that will likely never get used and so I want to do something I've never tried before. Call it a learning exercise.

Quote:

I keep one primary partition free for playing with distros and chain load it from Slackware's lilo like this:
Code:

other=/dev/sda3
label=sda3

I just make sure that the other distro only puts its boot-loader on sda3's pbr and doesn't touch either the mbr, or Slackware's pbr.
I thought all I had to do was mark the new root partition as bootable and then add it to the Lilo boot menu?

GazL 11-13-2011 05:43 PM

The advantage of chainloading the other distros native bootloader as I described above is that some distros automatically maintain their grub/menu.lst files when an update pulls down a new kernel. If you add the other distros entry directly to your slackware lilo (which is a perfectly valid thing to do) then you'll end up having to manage this manually.

I find the chainloading approach cleaner and easier to manage.

ottavio 11-14-2011 07:49 AM

Try NetBSd. It's a refreshing experience. You can also reuse Linux binaries on NETbsd if you can't find native ones.

hughetorrance 11-14-2011 08:27 AM

http://distrowatch.com/6952

The link is for the Slacko Puppy Linux,if you dont use UUID,s then there is a possibilty of either distro not booting correctly because they can take files from either distro at boot.
I also recommend that you make the USB boot stick from pkgtool before you start and be aware how to boot from the DVD then if there are problems you can take all the time you need to find a solution because you can still boot the first system,having said that I actually use volume names rather than UUID and that seems to be OK.

vharishankar 11-14-2011 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ottavio (Post 4523589)
Try NetBSd. It's a refreshing experience. You can also reuse Linux binaries on NETbsd if you can't find native ones.

Hi, I put NetBSD on my old laptop (sadly I had to replace Slackware for the moment - not enough disk space :( ).

NetBSD is really the essence of BSD Unix. It just feels cleaner than FreeBSD and is really minimal. I love the pkgsrc approach -- and while I had trouble just setting up KDE (for some odd reason pkg_add kept failing and corrupting existing packages - I had to repeatedly reinstall certain broken packages), it was a really learning experience. rc.conf is very simple mechanism for daemon management, but you must know the dependencies of services (e.g. dbus must be working before hal etc)

NetBSD is also superb at auto-hardware detection. I had no trouble setting up Wifi with wpa_supplicant. And sound card also works.

In short, if you're comfortable with Slackware, NetBSD is a great way to learn more about the UNIX way of doing things (Slackware still is Linux at heart though it emulates the rc.d mechanism. But in BSD rc.d is just one part of the UNIX experience).

Using a BSD is also a great way to learn traditional vi. You'll get used to pure vi very quickly (though Slackware also uses a vi-clone by default).

*BSD kindles my geekier self. It's hugely satisfying to learn another UNIX-like Operating system apart from Linux. FreeBSD is cool in its way, but I am not a fan of ports. I am currently trying to get KDE to recognize suspend/resume features and though ACPI is enabled and PolicyKit is properly configured it still doesn't work.

Just by setting up a functional desktop, you'll learn a lot of how BSD works.

hitest 11-14-2011 09:50 AM

OpenBSD is another exceptional BSD you may wish to try. I like OpenBSD 5.0 a lot. :)

vharishankar 11-14-2011 10:05 AM

I did install OpenBSD once. It's installer can be scary particularly the disk partitioning part using fdisk. Of course, you could prepare the disk in advance using a friendlier tool. But NetBSD's installer is far easier and even easier than FreeBSD (if I remember right). Of course, maybe my previous experience with FreeBSD just prepared me better for NetBSD.

Of course, for those looking for uber-security by default, OpenBSD rocks. However the OpenBSD community has a reputation for being rather... no-nonsense in its approach and even semi-educated newbies can be scared away. (I've read some threads in the OpenBSD mailing lists and it can be a bit intimidating for newbies).

The BSD community (on the whole) is a bit different from Linux. Their users come from different backgrounds and there aren't too many hobbyists out there as compared to the Linux community. They feel very offended if they get a clue that you are simply "playing" with their operating system. They also tend to get angry if you ask why isn't X or Y working as it works on Linux.

GazL 11-14-2011 11:00 AM

Never got around to trying NetBSD, but I do like OpenBSD. vharishankar is quite correct though: their community definitely isn't one to suffer fools.

ruario 11-14-2011 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vharishankar (Post 4523722)
But NetBSD's installer is far easier and even easier than FreeBSD (if I remember right). Of course, maybe my previous experience with FreeBSD just prepared me better for NetBSD.

Keep in mind that FreeBSD just replaced their installer for FreeBSD 9. It is now the new bsdinstall rather than sysinstall. I have used bsdinstall a couple of times whilst testing 9RC1 and have to say it seems quite nice. It doesn't ask many questions but does ask enough to make sure you have the chance to make any customisations you might need to make.

hitest 11-14-2011 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GazL (Post 4523782)
Never got around to trying NetBSD, but I do like OpenBSD. vharishankar is quite correct though: their community definitely isn't one to suffer fools.

I think that the BSD communities are fine to deal with if you read the available documentation and you have made a good attempt to solve your technical issue. Yes. The OpenBSD community will balk at hand holding.
OpenBSD is very simple to set-up, configure.

vharishankar 11-14-2011 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ruario (Post 4523823)
Keep in mind that FreeBSD just replaced their installer for FreeBSD 9. It is now the new bsdinstall rather than sysinstall. I have used bsdinstall a couple of times whilst testing 9RC1 and have to say it seems quite nice. It doesn't ask many questions but does ask enough to make sure you have the chance to make any customisations you might need to make.

Interesting developments. Yes, I've tried FreeBSD on and off since 5.1 and it seems to have improved over the years.

ReaperX7 11-14-2011 10:20 PM

One interesting operating system you might want to try is OpenIndiana (the successor to the OpenSolaris project) http://openindiana.org/ . It's not exactly a BSD system as it's mostly based on Solaris and uses the Illumos kernel, but it's a bit different and something to look into. I've been playing around with it on an old laptop and it seems like a fairly nice little OS to dabble around with.


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