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Old 10-30-2003, 02:00 PM   #1
Pete Dogg
Registered: May 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Mandrake 9.0, RedHat 7.3, Mandrake 9.2
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can i put 2 linux distros on one hard drive

i have redhat 9 installed on a box with 6GB harddrive and it's using about 2GB of that drive. I've heard good things about Gentoo and I want to try it.

I am able to run the Gentoo installer and somehow have it repartition the redhat partition without losing my data?
and will the Gentoo install be completely seperate from the RedHat one?
and will the bootloader let me choose which distro to boot with?
Old 10-30-2003, 02:38 PM   #2
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Registered: Feb 2003
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1) I think so, though you may need to do that with parted or something like - I don't know what Gentoo's installer is like.
2) For any Linux, yeah, unless you combine swap partitions or something like.
3) For any Linux, yeah.
Old 10-30-2003, 06:20 PM   #3
Pete Dogg
Registered: May 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Mandrake 9.0, RedHat 7.3, Mandrake 9.2
Posts: 178

Original Poster
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what program do i use to repartition a partition?
also how do I find complete partition information?

I know df shows me some stuff, but it doesnt like the swap partition for some reason.
Old 10-30-2003, 07:23 PM   #4
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you can use
fdisk -l
to see all your partitions and information about them. For a particular hd, like /dev/hda, you can also use
fdisk -l /dev/hda
Old 10-30-2003, 11:02 PM   #5
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Northam, W.A., Australia
Distribution: Gentoo ~x86
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It certainly is possible, I have 3 Linux distros (Gentoo, Slackware and Arch) as well as Windows XP installed and booting on the same hard drive and I plan to add a 4th Linux, SourceMage, as soon as I get the latest 0.7.1 ISO.

Using GRUB as the bootloader makes this ridiculously easy as you don't have to worry about mounting boot partitions or rewriting the configuration to the MBR every time you edit it. You just load the grub.conf, add the entry for the new distro's kernel, save grub.conf and that's it. The command syntax for the grub.conf file is initially a little difficult to get your head around though, which is why a lot of old-timers aren't so quick to recommend it however the Gentoo install guide gives a few good examples on how to set the file up and apart from racking your brains as to the GRUB designation of the drive/partition you want it to boot, shouldn't present a major problem.

Regarding partitioning, parted's probably the tool you want but I'm not sure if it's included on the Gentoo CD however it is on the Red Hat CDs so you could probably just boot that and use the version of parted provided to resize the RH partition. You can share the swap partition between multiple Linuces (all 3 of my currently installed distros share the same swap partition without any trouble) but if the device node of the swap partition changes (such as from /dev/hda5 to /dev/hda6 from inserting the Gentoo partition in between), you'll have to open the RH installs fstab file (which can be accomplished easily from the Gentoo Live CD by mounting your RH partition and editing the file directly) otherwise RH won't know where to look for the swap partition and may not boot properly.


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