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-   -   Multibooting several Linux distros, advice. (

brjoon1021 01-01-2006 11:05 AM

Multibooting several Linux distros, advice.
I posted similarly about a year ago. I did not go through with it then because of some hardware problems. I am at it again.

I have an Athlox XP / nforce2 computer with an ATI radeon video card. I have 2 promise Hard Drive controller cards installed. I had 6 Hard drives lying around. They are not lying around anymore.

This system begs to become a multi-boot project, for fun. All 6 disks are NTFS because I have Win XP Home installed. I want to keep it and add around 6 or so Linux (I just do, don't ask... basically, a few debian based ones, a Gentoo based one and a Slackware based one... more or less my idea so far. ) and hopefully a BSD OS like PC-BSD or Desktop BSD when they have final releases.

I could use help, advice, whatever to get me started. I am not really seeking discouragement unless this is a blatantly moronic thing to try. I think that it could be fun to have, say... Slax or Vector, PCLinoxOS, Ubuntu, Mepis, Kanotix, aLinux, Win XP and PC-BSD, and Gentoo RR4 on the same computer, at least for a time until I know what I like best.

It just so happens that I have Partition Magic and System Commander 7 (a commercial windows boot loader) if they will be of any help beyond working with NTFS partitions. If not...

1. I need to decide between GRUB and LiLo. In part, this also determines which Linux goes on first, Ubuntu (GRUB) or PCLinux OS (LiLo). The bootloader will need to be able to have Windows, BSD and linux all getting along OK and spanning over several Hard Disks. I plan on putting a primary petition or two on each drive. So the bootloader will have to be able to point to a drive other than C:
I am leaning toward installing Ubuntu and its GRUB in the MBR and trying to add the other OS as I go, but definitely seeking advice here....

2. I certainly want PCLinuxOS .92 to be one of the Linux OS's installed. I have used it Live and like it a lot. I burned the Radeon 8500 driver version to CD. How can I install that CD to my C: drive in such a way that the driver works. This COULD be the first time that I have had an ATI driver installed with Linux. I would like that....

3. Can Linux read an NTFS partition ? If not, it seems that I would be wise to copy the files and folders of Windows XP that are currently NTFS to another drive or partition that is FAT32 so that I can access them with the Linux OS's. Pictures, music, Word files, etc... I would like to be able to get to them with Linux and BSD. Any ideas on how to go about that ?



GrueMaster 01-01-2006 11:50 AM

1. Either Grub or Lilo will work. I'd recommend creating a /boot partition on one drive, installing all of your linux distros using this /boot partition, and using grub. This way, all of your kernels and grubs configurations are 1 one central location.

2. Haven't used this, sorry.

3. NTFS is read only to Linux at this point. Main recommendation for dual booting is to use a universal filesystem for your data. Currently, that's FAT32. You will want to create this FAT32 drive/partition under Linux, as Windows will only create Fat32 partitions < 2G (they want you to use NFTS).

You shouldn't need to use Partition Magic if you plan on wiping the other drives. Grub and Lilo will both handle all the OS installations well, so you also don't need System Commander.

saikee 01-01-2006 01:47 PM

Some tips for multibooters.

If you aim low Lilo can do 27 systems. Go with Grub if you want more.

A lot less work with Grub especially if you go the lazy way.

freak78 01-01-2006 02:19 PM

I would like to run xp with linux I need help
I wanted to know if is possible to have a windows e linux on my pc. I have a laptop last generation. I am very interested on running both windows and linux can this be possible. Thank you

saikee 01-01-2006 03:14 PM

The tips I put in are good enough to do 100 systems of Windows and Linux.

If you install Windows first and Linux second you will find Linux automatically boots both systems. If you have a problem seek help from the forum.

GrueMaster 01-01-2006 04:22 PM


Originally Posted by freak78
I wanted to know if is possible to have a windows e linux on my pc. I have a laptop last generation. I am very interested on running both windows and linux can this be possible. Thank you

Yes it is possible, but you might want to check first to see what issues others with the same laptop may have experienced. Also, if you don't already have a distro picked out, I'd recommend a distro that is easy to use (especially if you are a new user), easy to install on a laptop, and very widely supported. Mandriva, Suse, Fedora Core 4, or Debian/Ubuntu would be my recommendations.

From there, you will need to know how much free space you have on your system, and then follow the instructions posted on similar threads. It really is quite simple to do, and I now have converted 6 of my sons friend's computers to dual boot on various hardware (including Dell & HP Laptops).

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