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Old 10-13-2007, 10:28 PM   #1
xanderfoxx
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Question Quad-boot System: Doomed or Destined?


I am seriously considering installing four GNU/Linux distros, while completely ditching Winblows of any kind, even XP (at least for my laptop).

I will probably install as many as six on my desktop, just because I can.

But I'll save that for later.

HERE'S THE DEAL:

I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop, that more or less works completely under Ubuntu Dapper. (The reason that I didn't post under"Laptops and PDAs," is because this is not a laptop-specific problem.) I was quite pleased with my experience with Dapper, even though I had plenty of problems getting it to work, and it eventually became too unstable (freezing up every now and then, where I have to force the power off) to use. I intend to install these Linux OSes:

Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty)
OpenSUSE 10.3
Slackware 12.0
Fedora 7 (Moonshine)

If I had more space I would also install:

PCLinuxOS 2007
Gentoo Linux 2007.0
Zenwalk 4.6.1

This is going to be fun!!

*ahem* Anyway, I want to know:
  1. What are possible problems with this quad install?
  2. What are some recommendations for a fifth distro?
  3. What are any tips, comments, or help you would like to offer?
  4. How am I going to overcome all of the GRUB problems?
  5. Are there any distros that will overwrite GRUB and place LILO in it's stead?

I would love to know if there are any possible problems with this BEFORE I start.

I have already started erasing my disk (after backing up the more important data), but I was going to do that anyway.

Any pointers, guys?
 
Old 10-14-2007, 05:56 AM   #2
brianL
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Location: Oldham, Lancs, England
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I tried triple booting a while ago: XP, Slackware, and Debian testing. I used the GAG bootloader:

http://gag.sourceforge.net/

It was successful, but my hard drive isn't really big enough to do justice to that scheme, so I dumped it. Check out GAG, it might work out OK for your plan.
The expert on these forums for booting is Salkee, maybe he'll see your post and help.

Last edited by brianL; 10-14-2007 at 05:57 AM.
 
Old 10-14-2007, 09:06 PM   #3
jononearm
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Location: Stoke-on-trent, Staffs, UK
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I would just like to point out you will only need one swap partition incase you didnt know
 
Old 10-16-2007, 06:02 PM   #4
archtoad6
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If you're going for that many, make a (very small) GRUB partition that isn't associated w/ any one distro's installation. Point the MBR code (GRUB stage 1) at it, & put only a master menu.lst/grub.conf in it. Make sure each installer puts its bootloader code -- LILO or GRUB, it doesn't matter -- in the 1st sector of its own root partition. Don't let any of them touch the MBR. Of course, keep your MBR backed up, just in case.

Use the master menu to chainload each of the normal installed bootloaders.

The disadvantages of this method are that it is more complicated in the beginning & there will be 2 layers of menu at every boot, but the advantages are easy maintenance & simple menus (even if there are 2 layers of them) that are just as the distros' designers made them.

If you want more info, search LQ for multi-boot, especially my postings. Also saikee is probably even better at this than I am, look at his multi-boot posts, too.
 
Old 10-17-2007, 12:52 AM   #5
SilentSam
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Location: Ottawa
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You should probably go for Ubuntu Gutsy (7.10) as opposed to Feisty. I think Gutsy is supposed to be LTS, so it'll be supported by updates for a long period of time.

Just remember that you can't do more than 4 partitions on your HDD. The way around it is to set up logical partitions within your extended partition, so make sure your extended partition is large enough to accomodate this.

As for a recommended 5th distro, since this seems like a hobby undertaking, I'd suggest something that you can tinker with more tahn anything else (I use Arch for this). So, out of your choices, even though I've never used it I'd say Gentoo.
 
  


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