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Old 11-18-2005, 04:56 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2003
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boot 2 linux distros with grub/lilo


I want to install both slackware and fedora on a single machine. Can you tell me how to do this? the 2nd distro installed modifies the MBR where the boot manager is installed and Im not able to boot the other distro.

My hard disk is partitioned this way:

partition1: 50Gb, ext3 (for fedora)
partition2: 2Gb, swap (for both)
partition3: 15Gb, reiserfs (for slack)

Thanks in advance
Old 11-18-2005, 07:35 AM   #2
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please post /boot/menu.lst
Old 11-18-2005, 08:11 AM   #3
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You should be able to tell your second distro not to touch your MBR, I know you can in Slackware.

In any case, you just need to add an entry for whichever distro is not in your current bootloader config file. I can probably help with LILO, as I'm more familiar with it than with GRUB.
Old 11-18-2005, 08:26 AM   #4
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The standard method or rescuing an operational Linux no longer bootable is to boot to any Linux, mount the unbootable Linux partition, change root to it, replicate its boot loader in its root partition and amend the bootable Linux's booting control file to chainload the one in trouble.

You are half way there as you have an workable Linux to start with, otherwise you will have to boot a Live CD up.
(1) Boot to any Linux, log in as root and drop into Bash shell
(2) mkdir /mnt/hda6 <-----make a temp. directory say for the unbootable Linux in hda6 (adjust to suit your circumstance)
(3) mount /dev/hda6 /mnt/hda6 <-----------Mount the device partition hda6 on the temp. directory
(4) chroot /mnt/hda6 <-------change root into the distressed Linux (you are now inside it)
(5) Replicate its boot loader inside its root partition

lilo -b /dev/hda6 <-----for Lilo to put itself inside hda6 or
grub-install /dev/hda6 <-----for Grub to replicate itself inside hda6
(6) exit <--------------leave the distressed Linux and back to the workable Linux
(7) If the good Linux uses Lilo then add these two lines to its /etc/lilo.conf


If the good Linux doesn't have Lilo but Grub then amend /boot/grub/menu.lst to include

title This is my Linux once unbootable
root (hd0,5) <----------Grub counts from 0 so hda6=(hd0,5)
chainloader +1 (again adjust to suit your circumstance, especially if you use more than one disk)

(8) Reboot and every system should be bootable now.


The above procedure is applicable if you have 100 unbootable Linux.

Last edited by saikee; 11-18-2005 at 08:28 AM.
Old 11-18-2005, 10:22 PM   #5
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: China
Distribution: Mandriva
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GRUB and LILO always conflict with Windows. And GNU GRUB is not so robust, causing many problems during boot.

So try GRUB for DOS please. It is a cross-platform boot loader based on GNU GRUB. The GRUB.EXE can be started from DOS/Win9x; and GRLDR can be started from BOOT.INI of Windows NT/2K/XP/2003; and even more, the GRUB.EXE can be started from LINUX via the KEXEC tool.

By using GRUB.EXE or GRLDR, you don't have to touch your MBR. It is the safest way coexisting with DOS/Windows.

You needn't install GRUB for DOS. Just run GRUB.EXE from DOS, or append a line of "C:\GRLDR=START GRUB" into your BOOT.INI(restart and select the "START GRUB" menu item), that will do.

Download GRUB for DOS here:

There is a fat12grldr.img file with the GRUB for DOS release. You can create a GRUB bootable floppy with this fat12grldr.img file.

Or, you can just copy GRUB.EXE to your DOS floppy and run GRUB.EXE to enter the GRUB environment.

If the system has no DOS/WINDOWS, you may use the utility to write GRLDR boot record onto the MBR.


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