Latest LQ Deal: Complete CCNA, CCNP & Red Hat Certification Training Bundle
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions
User Name
Linux - Distributions This forum is for Distribution specific questions.
Red Hat, Slackware, Debian, Novell, LFS, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora - the list goes on and on... Note: An (*) indicates there is no official participation from that distribution here at LQ.


  Search this Thread
Old 10-13-2007, 10:28 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2007
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
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.


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
LQ 5k Club
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Oldham, Lancs, England
Distribution: Slackware & Slackware64 14.2
Posts: 7,808
Blog Entries: 58

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I tried triple booting a while ago: XP, Slackware, and Debian testing. I used the GAG bootloader:

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
Registered: Jan 2007
Location: Stoke-on-trent, Staffs, UK
Distribution: Pupeee, Debian
Posts: 37

Rep: Reputation: 15
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
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Houston, TX (usa)
Distribution: MEPIS, Debian, Knoppix,
Posts: 4,727
Blog Entries: 15

Rep: Reputation: 234Reputation: 234Reputation: 234
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
Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Ottawa
Distribution: Arch Linux/Kubuntu/OpenSUSE
Posts: 300

Rep: Reputation: 37
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.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LXer: Quad-boot overshoot LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 06-15-2007 04:01 AM
Q6600 Quad FC6 System Freezing baisa Linux - Hardware 1 02-03-2007 02:36 AM
Destined (Doomed?) To Use Ubuntu! tauhshi Linux - Distributions 11 11-30-2006 11:37 AM
Creating a "Quad-Boot" System Linux,Windows 98, XP, Dos moslofu Linux - Hardware 4 10-26-2006 11:34 AM
Will a 32-bit OS be able to handle 32GB of memory on a quad dual-CPU system? theitguy Linux - Hardware 3 07-27-2006 05:31 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:48 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration