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Old 01-19-2004, 09:07 AM   #1
cbjhawks
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How to triple-boot...two linux and one XP


In the past I've been able to triple-boot two 'windows' OS's along w/RedHat but now I've been attempting to have RedHat and SuSE along w/WinXP on my system. I can boot RH9 from the boot floppy but I havent been able to get RH9 LILO or SuSE Boot Loader (Grub) to reconize each other...XP works with either linux (LILO=RH or Grub=SuSE....here is my two HD partition setup:

| XP OS | SuSE Bkup | RH9 Bkup | FREE Space | = 20GB
|Boot-RH9| RH9 EXT3 | Swap | RH9BKUP | SWAP | SWAP | SuSE | =40GB

I dont know why SuSE created two swap partitions during install....I am not sure what value's to put into the following fields for SuSE boot loader: Section Name, Section Type, root, kernel, initrd. I have tried XOSL but regardless of which partition I tell it to boot it doesnt work with RedHat or SuSE....your thoughts/links would be greatly apprectiated...thanks in advance.
 
Old 01-19-2004, 10:04 AM   #2
thegeekster
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Instead of using the two different bootloaders for Linux, just pick one to work with.......although they both support chainloading, it's easier to use a single loader.
 
Old 01-19-2004, 10:07 AM   #3
cbjhawks
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I have been trying to work w/only one...but neither RedHat nor SuSE will boot the opposite....???
 
Old 01-19-2004, 12:23 PM   #4
thegeekster
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Okay, then...............here's a workaround that should provide best compatibility.

The Windows NT bootloader can work with mbr image files to load other OSes. So what you can do is to install lilo for each Linux OS to the mbr of the primary master disk (hda), one at a time. When you do, you can comment out the timeout and prompt options in lilo.conf so that lilo will immediatley boot that particular OS only. Then after installing lilo to the mbr, create an image of the mbr with dd. For example, in SuSE:
Code:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/suse.mbr count=1 bs=512
This will create a 512-byte image of the mbr in the SuSE's root directory ( / ) that the ntloader can use. Copy the file to the C:\ directory in XP (hda1). If you're using NTFS in XP, then copy it to a DOS formatted floppy that XP can copy from.

Do the same for RH by configuring and installing lilo and using a different name for the .mbr file (such as, rh.mbr).

Now you will need to restore the mbr so XP can use it (plus you need to be in XP for the next steps). If you have a Win98 startup disk, you can use that and run the command, fdisk /mbr................If not, you;ll need the XP install cd. Run the cd and choose the repair option. You'll then be given a choice to use the recovery floppy or recovery console. Choose the console. After logging in to the console, run the command, fixmbr. And to be safe, run this command also, fixboot.

Now you should be able to boot into XP. Log on as Administrator. In Notepad, open up C:\BOOT.INI. This will be a hidden file. Add these lines in BOOT.INI:
Code:
C:\SUSE.MBR="SuSE"
C:\RH.MBR="RedHat"
If you had to copy the image files to a floppy, now's the time to copy them both to the C:\ directory...................That's it. Now you'll be presented with two more options in the NT boot menu.

Last edited by thegeekster; 01-19-2004 at 12:31 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2004, 06:31 PM   #5
Thymox
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Location: Plymouth, England.
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Quote:
Originally posted by cbjhawks
I have been trying to work w/only one...but neither RedHat nor SuSE will boot the opposite....???
What do you mean? What have you tried?

The way I have mine setup is as follows:

I boot to one Linux OS.
I mount the / partition of the other Linux OS somewhere sensible, like /mnt/otheros
I copy the kernel and initrd files over and rename then sensibly.
I edit my bootloader (lilo) config file and add an entry for it.
I re-run my bootloader to instate the changes.
I reboot.

Example:
#mkdir /mnt/otherdistro
#mount /dev/hdb1 /mnt/otherdistro
#cp /mnt/otherdistro/boot/vmlinuz /boot/RedHat.kernel
#cp /mnt/otherdistro/boot/initrd.img /boot/RedHat.initrd
#emacs /etc/lilo.conf
add the following:
image=/boot/RedHat.kernel
label="RedHat"
root=/dev/hdb1
initrd=/boot/RedHat.initrd
append="devfs=mount hdc=ide-scsi hdf=ide-scsi"
vga=794
read-only

save changes and quit
#lilo
#reboot


Works fine for me.
 
  


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