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By cheetahman at 2005-10-06 17:53
Here is the tutorial I made with the info I got from budman7

It can help anybody including me and should be sticked

How to Triboot a Computer

Distro 1= Prime Distro example (Windows)
Distro 2= The 2nd distro to be installed, this can be any distro (This controls the bootloader)
Distro 3= The 3rd distro to be installed, this can be any distro

Things to do Before You Start

Backup Computer
Run Defraging tools
Scan for Spyware
Scan for Viruses

These are good steps for Window's users and can be used in Linux also

This guide focuses primarily on the GRUB bootloader to Triboot

You can also use the Knoppix Live cd or the partitioner that comes with your distro these include Diskdruid in Fedora Core,Qtparted in SuSE and GParted (Gnome Partition Editor)in the GNOME desktop. There are also partition tools that you can use that do the same thing these include Parted,fdisk,cfdisk,PartitionMagic

Steps 1-6 can be skipped if you are using Knoppix or any other live CD's to resize and modify the partitions

Download A Copy of Slax

This is very important because this is the Live CD we are going to use to partition the hardrive to get it ready to Triboot.

Here is the site you can get it from in case you don't have it

Then download SLAX Standard Edition

Additional software for SLAX is provided in the form of compressed modules. The usage is very simple, just add your downloaded module to /modules/ directory on the CD to include it in SLAX permanently, or use "uselivemod" command in SLAX to activate the module on the fly, while running SLAX.

Download these modules and follow the instructions above for Linux or If you are a Windows user download MySLAX Creator at


Step 1:Bootup the Custom Slax Cd you have made then make sure the computer can bootup the cd.

You can check it by going into the BIOS by selecting F1 at bootup then go to computer check and change it from there.

Step 2:Once Slax is running you must now Unmount all partitions.

You do this by going into My Computer you will then see all of the partitions.Right click on one of them it will then give you the option to unmount.Select it and it will then be unmounted you must do this for all of the partitions.

You must do this for all of the drives or else the computer can't be partitioned

Step 3:Click on the KDE logo then go to run application and type qtparted in lowercase then hit run

Step 4:This will startup QTparted,now you must choose which program you want QTParted to use The drive I am going to resize is a NTFS partition.

Step 5:Now we begin the process of resizing the hard drive

1.Select the /dev/hda for IDE or /dev/sda for a SCSI drive on the left, then you should see its info on the right

2.Select the NTFS partition and right-click on it, then select Resize.

3.Next you'll see the Resize Partition dialog.

4.Enter the size you want for your existing Prime Distro to be resized and then click OK.

This can be done in Gigabytes or Megabytes

5.After clicking OK you'll see an updated view of your partitions. Note that nothing has actually changed yet; you must select File then Commit to apply the changes.

6.Just click Yes on the confirmation dialog.

7.You'll see the progress dialog and when it's done click the OK button

8.Now Select File then Quit to exit QTParted

9.You should now boot into the Prime Distro it will then detect the partition that you have made but it will be unformatted.

Now boot back into QTParted the way you did before and Delete Distro 2 and the Swap Partition by right clicking it and hitting delete

Now you should have the Prime Distro and a bunch of free space.

Step 6:Out of the free space create 2 partitions.

Both Should be Unformatted

1 Partition for Distro 2
1 Partition for Distro 3

Unformatted means that no file system is currently on it.

When installing the Operating System it will give you the most common options which are Reiserfs and Ext3.

Also many distros support Custom Partitioning which will give you more formatting Options.

A file system is added to the computer whenever you install an Operating System to it.

Below are some examples of filesystems that can be formatted or resized.



Its also a good idea to add Swap if you have a low memory computer which will use the Swap as temporary ram also the Swap partition should be formatted as Swap.

If the swap is inside the extended partition, you will have to delete the swap first.

Step 7:Now Install Distro 3 by Booting the install cd as if you were going to boot Slax and Install bootloader to root partition.

Step 8:Install Distro 2 using swap already created from installing Distro 3 and putting GRUB on the MBR which will make GRUB the bootloader that is controlled by Distro 2.

GRUB can be put anywhere but for this tutorial we are going to be put on the MBR so Distro 2 becomes the bootloader.

When installing other operating systems

Distro 2 should now make an entry in GRUB for both the Prime Distro and Distro 3.

The computer should now be restarted I you will be shown the Distro 2 GRUB Bootloader which contains the Prime Distro,Distro 2 and Distro 3.

The computer can now Triboot

Make sure you don't put Swap for Distro 2 on the partition where you are going to install Distro 2 to. By default Distro 2 should make a Swap partition or detect a Swap that is on the computer and mount it.

For Installing new linux distros install to the partition so Distro 2 Grub doesn't get overwritten

A Big Thanks to budman7 for supplying the info and if you want a picture guide of using QTparted this site is very good even though its mainly used for Ubuntu but can work on any distro.The distro that they use is the System Recovery Cd which very out of date.

by dntchaseme on Fri, 2005-10-14 13:12
can u Explain how to ''Tribooting a Computer''

Imran Hashmi 0044-7969012441

by cheetahman on Sat, 2005-12-10 22:59
Tribooting is the process of haveing 3 different operating systems on one computer.

It can be Windows,SuSE,Fedora Core


by saikee on Sun, 2005-12-11 08:09
It may be a surprise to hear it but one Grub floppy can boot over 90 systems in a PC.

The Grub floppy here is one with only the stage1 and stage2 "dd" into a floppy by any Linux that supports Grub. The details of how to create one is described by Chapter 3.1 of the Grub Manual. The stage1 and stage2 file can be sourced from a Live CD without even a Linux available from a computer.

The Grub manual gives out the full details but not necessarily tells us how to boot 100 systems but you can put two and two together to make 4 to do just that.

You may wonder how do I boot a system in a Grub prompt provided by this floppy. Well the full instruction of how a Linux boots itself is available in


if it uses Grub. The menu.lst is just the instructions you need to type at the terminal to boot the Linux manually.

For a Linux that uses Lilo its booting instructions are always stored in /etc/lilo.conf. Therefore you can ask Grub to list the file out at the terminal (by its cat command) and boot it with the displayed kernel and initrd names.

In other word you can literally walk up a PC you have never seen before, boot the Grub floppy up, list its /etc/lilo.conf or /boot/grub/menu.lst and follow the instruction to boot up the installed Linux. You can ask Grub to find which partition has /etc/lilo.conf or /boot/grub/menu.lst too.

How to boot 100 systems? If you know how to boot a system manually then you can choose a Linux into the MBR and edit its /boot/grub/menu.lst to automate the booting of 100 systems.

Why Grub is so easy?

Grub can chainload any system (DOS, Windows, Linux, BSD, SOlaris & Darwin) in the jth partition of the ith disk with 3 generic instructions

root (hdi,j)
chainloader +1

As systems like DOS, Windows, BSD, Solaris & Darwin must be installed and originally booted from a "primary partition" each has to put its boot loader inside the system's root partition. Chainloading mean Grub doesn't boot the system but boots only the boot loader of that system. That is why Grub can boot so many of them. The "+1" position means Grub actually "cut & paste" itself with that boot loader in the operation.

In Linux one can ask the installer to put the boot loader, either Lilo or Grub, in its root partition and then proceed to the above generic instruction to boot it. There you potentailly you can boot the 100 systems by repeating the above 3 generic lines 100 times, changing only the partition references. This is substantially true and you only have complication with multiple DOS, Windows, BSD and Solaris in the same PC. To overcome the booting order created by these systems Grub is equipped with

"hide" and "unhide" statement to make other partitions visible or invisivle to the booting partition.
"makeactive" to toggle any primary partition to become active or bootable
"map" to re-map disk order so that a system in 2nd, 3rd 4th..position can be temporarily take over the 1st disk status "on-the-fly".

I have not been able to find an operating system conforming to the PC standard that Grub cannot boot. I shall call it day when I have exhausted 100 systems.

When one boots a Linux by naming its kernel and initrd files names that constitutes "directly" booting. Grub can boot directly all Linux and BSDs.

Chainloading is "indirect" booting. Grub can boot every one.

I don't want to undermine cheetaham's work here but booting can be a lot simpler than most of the users think.

I just feel sad that so much emphasis is placed in "dual boot" and "tri boot" without bothering to know the simple mechanism of booting. Every Linux is born to multi boot. I just finished installing Frugalware 0.4 but haven't counted how many systems it has arranged to multi boot without even askig me. Its previous version 0.1 picked out 39 booting entires automatically. All I did was to arrange every Linux to have its boot loader in root partition because I have only one MBR readable by the Bios in a PC.

My Grub Manual is identical to the one you can read in the Internet. I am new in Linux too and started my adventure in June last year.


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