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Old 07-26-2004, 10:36 AM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2004
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multiple installations

Hi to all,
my goal is to have multiple linux distributions installed on my laptop, but I
can't figure out how to do it.

A few questions in random order first:

1. Where should I put lilo: in the MBR or any first sector of some root
partition fits? I already have lilo placed in the first sector of a root
partition, can I live it there?

Also, how does lilo.conf have to look like?

2. should I have many /boot partitions (one for each installed distro) or
only one is sufficient? I know the /boot dir contains the kernel image file
which is loaded by lilo, can it contain many different kernel images safely?
Would a successive installation overwrite some files of a previous inst.?

BTW, another question is why to have /boot mounted on a separate partition:
if it can contain many kernel images, the answer is obvious, otherwise what's the reason for it? To have the system boot from a primary partition? But does Linux care of primary vs. logical partitions at all? The literature answers it doesn't, but when I try to install some red-hat based distro in the free space of my HDD, the Disk Druid complains it can't create the root partition because there are already four primary partitions (which is true, BTW).

Anyway, please let me know how many /boot partitions are needed, whether the boot partition must be primary or not, how its layout should look like (which files should it contain), where to put lilo and how to configure it.

Thanks in advance,

Old 07-27-2004, 02:46 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
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Distribution: Slackware, LFS, Ubuntu, RedHat, Slamd64
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If you search the Distrowatch website (news section I think) there is a good "How-to" on having multiple distributions - if any one knows how to do that, those guys do!

Lilo should be fine in the MBR, "man lilo.conf" will give you an example, one boot partition is enough, it will be able to keep as many different kernel images as you have space, /boot is on it's own partition because it's so important - it's easier to maintain and protect it that way.

Old 07-27-2004, 04:13 AM   #3
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Location: Beautiful BC
Distribution: RedHat & clones, Slackware, SuSE, OpenBSD
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Where should I put lilo
You can use either lilo or grub. You can install lilo/grub boot loader on the MBR of your first drive.
Please note that after you install your first distro with a boot loader, take adequate care that you DO NOT allow the subsequent distros to install a boot loader.

should I have many /boot partitions
It is not mandatory to have a separate boot partition. Please do not misunderstand me here. You DO need to keep the boot files of each distro separate. But you do not need a separate boot partition. You can keep the boot files in the boot directory of your root (/) directory of each distro. You can however share the same swap partition among your distros. You can also share your home directory IF it is on a separate partition.

Last edited by ppuru; 07-27-2004 at 04:20 AM.


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