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Old 06-28-2003, 07:27 PM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2003
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A Newbie guide to Dual Booting Red Hat 9/Mandrake 9.1

Hi all,

A newbie guide for dual booting Red Hat 9/Mandrake 9.1 from the same hard drive without using boot disks. (Although the guide looks long it will actually only take you about 1-2 hours from start to finish using it to Dual boot RH9/Man9.1 - the interesting bits are nearer the end so bear with it in the earlier stages)

I’ve written this guide primarily for newbies but anyone else can use it – because its primarily for newbies a lot of it is pedantic and monotonous – There’s probably lots of ways of successfully dual booting Red Hat 9 and Mandrake 9.1 from the same hard drive without using easy aids like bootdisks etc but this is just one way and more experienced users will probably see some things that aren’t strictly necessary to do or faster ways of doing things (I’m certain of that) – feel free to comment.

Switch your computer on.

Go into the BIOS and enable the computer to boot from the CD-ROM drive.

Put Red Hat 9 disk 1 in cd rom drive.

Press enter to install Red Hat in graphical mode when the screen comes up.

Choose whether you want to check the cd rom media for errors – I choose skip.

Click next on the Welcome screen.

Click on the language you want to use in the install then click next.

Click on the appropriate keyboard “language” for the system – I chose United Kingdom – click next

Click on the type of mouse your using – Red Hat will have probably auto-detected it on boot up – just check to see it’s the right one then click next.

If Red Hat detects a previous Red Hat installation it will give you an upgrade screen next – click on “Perform a new Red Hat linux installation” so you can install from scratch ready for your new dual boot with Mandrake.

The next screen is the installation type screen – choose the CUSTOM installation option at the bottom – this gives you complete control over the install.

The next screen is the disk partitioning setup screen were you choose how to partition your drive – choose AUTOMATICALLY partition – you will get a chance on the next few screens to make modifications etc.

On the next screen you choose what you want to do with any pre-existing partitions – say you’ve got a complete Win XP or complete Win 98se or complete SUSE installation or even a previous dual boot system just choose “REMOVE ALL PARTITIONS ON THIS SYSTEM” – i.e. your going to remove everything that was on the system and have a clean drive ready for your new dual boot – a warning will come up to confirm whether you want to delete all previous partitions – just click yes.
(Remember to back anything up if you still need to)

Now at this point you are on the disk setup screen – you’ll see a graphical representation of the newly created Red Hat partitions on your drive – you’ll see

/dev/hda1 as a boot partition
/dev/hda2 as a root partition
/dev/hda3 as a swap partition

these will have taken up your complete drive – i.e. if you’ve got a 40 gig drive all 40 gigs will be taken up at the moment – so were now going to resize the root partition to make space for the upcoming Mandrake installation.

So click on the /dev/hda2 row in the descriptions below – then click on EDIT – on the window that comes up click on the FIXED SIZE option then in the size (MB) combo box above click on the little arrow to spin the size counter then actually click inside the size counter and type in your desired size for the root partition making sure you leave enough space for the Mandrake install – then click on ok.

Make sure you check both the graphical representation and the description rows at the bottom to verify that the root partition has resized correctly – if it hasn’t then just click on /dev/hda2 again then EDIT and redo it until you’ve got it right – you’ll also see that the graphic representation had changed -–ie you should now see lots of dark grey free space at the end of your drive ready for the Mandrake install later – then click next to go to next screen.

No you get to choose the boot loader for Red Hat – although you won’t use this boot loader eventually, I always click on change boot loader and click use the Lilo boot loader then ok – this is just the way I have done it and it works perfect – so for beginners I’d stay with this – Red Hat installs grub by default but now you should have changed it to Lilo and you should see the sentence at the top “the lilo boot loader will be installed on /dev/hda” – click next at the bottom

Next you’ll come to the network configuration screen – I don’t see any point in doing anything fancy in the install – you can do that later, so I just click on hostname - Manually and then click next – it will come up with a little warning – just click CONTINUE - remember you can always alter any settings later on – its not important at all in the install stage.

Next you come to the firewall configuration screen – for simplicity I just click on no firewall (you can always change settings later when everything’s set up) – then click next.

Now just select the language you’ll be using in the Operating System itself i.e. just click English, French, German etc

Now just select your timezone – in my case its Europe London – then click next

Your now at the ROOT password screen – choose a password 10 characters is enough but it can be longer if you want – retype it to confirm it then click next.

Now your on the authentication configuration screen – this is some fancy stuff and for most people you will just click next at the bottom and forget about it – I do

Now your on the package selection screen – just checkbox any software you want installed – make sure you leave the office productivity section checked because you’ll need open office writer later – its chekcboxed by default so your alright – just leave it checkboxed.

Then just click on next – the computer will check to see if there are any software dependencies that need rectifying – if there is just click ok to add any extra software that the computer thinks you need – if there are no dependency issues you’ll be taken straight to the about to install screen – just click on next and sit back for 10 minutes while the 1st red hat disk is installed.

After a short while your 1st red hat disk will be ejected - just take it out and put in 2nd red hat disk and click on ok – like wise when the 2nd one has finished put the 3rd one in and click ok

After the install has finished you’ll be on a boot disk creation screen – its up to you if you need to make one – I don’t at this stage – you can always create one later – so click on no and click next.

Red Hat should have auto detected your graphics card – if not just scan down and select the right one – a rough approximation will do i.e. if you’ve got an nvidia geforce 4 mx440 se and there's only an entry for an nvida geforec4 mx then that will do – then click next

Your now on the monitor screen – again Red Hat should have autudetected – if not just scan down and select your monitor or an approximation

Your now on the resolution screen – choose hat resolution you want – I use 800.600 16bit for linux – click next

Your now on the finish/reboot screen – your Red Hat disk will have been ejected – just click on exit and your computer will reboot.

IMPORTANT - GO INTO YOUR BIOS AGAIN HERE AND SET YOUR COMPUTER TO BOOT FROM THE HARD DRIVE – the idea is that we are quickly going to go into Red Hat to get some start up info from “Red Hat’s” lilo.conf file which we’ll later be putting into “Mandrakes” lilo.conf file then modifying it.

As the computer boots up you’ll come to Red Hat’s Lilo boot menu – just press enter to carry on.

After boot up you’ll be at Red Hat’s welcome screen – click on the forward button.

Choose a username, full name and password and remember to write them down or something – these are for a basic home user account – click forward.
Set date time – click forward.

If you’ve got a soundcard you might want to test it – I don’t bother – I do any configuration later (not that there is much btw)

You’ll now be on the Red Hat network screen – I click on no I don’t want to register – again you can do anything fancy later.

Your now on the additional CDs screen – I don't bother installing any extra documentation etc – just click forward.

Finally you’re on the finish setup screen – just click forward.

You’ve now arrived at the Red Hat login screen.

Your going to log in as the ROOT USER because this will give us easy access to Red Hat’s Lilo.conf startup settings – so just type in “root” (in small letters) in the username box, press enter then type in your ROOT password – make sure its your root password and not your home account password.

Double click on the roots home icon on the desktop then click on the “up” icon in the Nautilus file manager – double click on the /etc directory scan down and double click on the lilo.conf file – were going to be copying part of this into a word processor so we can transfer it to Mandrakes lilo.conf file.

Minimize Lilo and open up Open Office Writer – minimize open office writer and select and copy this section from Red Hats Lilo.conf file.

append=”hdc=ide-scsi root=LABEL=/”

These are essentially Red Hats start up lines that Lilo will process to enable Red Hat to boot – IMPORTANT – You’ll be making some crucial modifications to these lines later once you’ve transferred them to Mandrakes lilo.conf file,

Maximize Open Office Writer and paste it into a blank document – then just - file save as, give it a name and click save – if you go back to the desktop and double click on roots home icon you will see the new Open Office Writer file – now simply put a floppy disk in and save the Open Writer file to floppy – double check to make sure its on the floppy i.e. re-open it up and see if its on the floppy properly.

Now simply log out and reboot your computer (there's a little option at the bottom when you’ve logged out to reboot)

IMPORTANT - Go into the BIOS and set it to boot from the cd rom drive again – you’re going to install Mandrake now.

Put in your Mandrake 9.1 first CD and let it boot up.

Press enter on the first screen.

Choose your language to use i.e. English Spanish French etc – click next.

Click accept for the license agreement – click next.

Click for your mouse type – I just use standard, click next.

Click for your keyboard type – mines just UK keyboard click next.

Select the security level you want – I just use standard click next.

You’ll now be on the DrakX partitioning screen – use the default option which is “USE FREE SPACE” i.e. your going to install Mandrake in the free space that you’ve left over before when you set up Red Hats partitions – click next.

Mandrake will automatically partition for you.

You’ll now be on the choose software screen – choose what you want but make sure you leave KDE checked as one of your desktops – you’ll need KDE later to finish off the job – make sure you’ve got open office in the office checkbox - its there by default it’s a good idea to include configuration and console tools aswell as all the normal stuff like office and multimedia options – my exact choice for starters is Office Configuration Console Documentation and KDE workstation – then click next.

You’ll then see a screen saying Mandrake is going to install WEBMIN SERVER just click no and then next to carry on.

Mandrake will now start installing – just sit back for 5 minutes and wait to put in the second and third CDs when its time.

After the 3 CDs are done you’ll be on a root password screen just choose a ROOT PASSWORD for Mandrake – write it down.

Then just do the same for your home account i.e. a real name, username and password – click next

Your now on the automatic log on screen – uncheck the check box so you don’t automatically log on – you want to have flexibility in setting up the dual boot so no automatic log ons at this point – click next

Now your on Mandrakes boot loader screen - leave the default option of “First sector of MBR” and just click next – i.e. your going to install Mandrakes Lilo boot loader into the MBR on your hard drive – it doesn’t matter that its going to write over Red Hats Lilo boot Loader just carry on and click next.

You’re now on a little configuration screen just click next.

Your now on the update screen – just click next – you don’t want to install any updates at this point – again anything fancy can be done later.

ATLAST were on the final screen – just click REBOOT.

IMPORTANT - Now go into your BIOS again and set it to boot from the hard drive.

The computer will now boot from the hard drive into Mandrakes Lilo boot menu – don’t worry at this point you - wont see an option for Red Hat yet – your going to do the final bits in Mandrake now – just press enter to go into Linux – it will do it by default in 10 seconds so either way your alright.

Now just click on your home username account and type in your home password – you’ll be taken to the first time wizard – just click skip wizard and your into KDE atlast – uncheck the open on start up Mandrake info and get rid of the welcome – your now in the KDE desktop.

Now click - K (bottom left) - configuration – KDE control center (not the Mandrake one at this point) - system - login manager – then click the administrator mode button at the bottom - type your Mandrake ROOT password then click on the Users tab then uncheck the cross by the word root in the central hidden users section - click on apply - your basically just enabling yourself to log on as ROOT USER from the start to do these configuration bits – you can always checkbox it later to get rid of the root option on boot up – log out - then click “log in as a different user” – click on the root icon and type your root password – when the root warning comes up just click “continue”

You’re now going to create two dummy directories to hold Red Hat’s boot and root partitions

So to create the dummy boot directory - click - K - home directory icon - root directory - boot directory (your now in Mandrakes boot directory) - right click on mouse - create new directory - give your dummy boot partition a name – I called mine “skyboot” - click into Mandrakes home directory next - right click create new directory – give your dummy root directory a name – I called mine “skyroot”.

So you now should have two dummy directories one in Mandrakes boot directory and one in Mandrakes home directory. Make sure you’ve done this right.

Next your going to mount Red Hat’s Boot and Root partitions into Mandrakes boot and root directories.

So click on - K – configuration - Mandrake control center (not the kde one you used before) – click on Mount Points section - Disk Drake section - click ok to make back up when the message comes up.

You’ll see a graphical representation of your whole drive with Red Hats boot and root partitions on the far left – click in the tiny Red Hat boot partition on the far left then click Mount Point button underneath - type in the path to your new Red Hat dummy directory – i.e. if your dummy Red Hat boot directory was called skyboot them you’d type /boot/skyboot

I.e. Red Hat’s boot partition is going to be mounted in Mandrakes boot directory on the next boot up.

Then do the same for Red Hats root partition – click inside the graphical rep of Red Hats root partition, then click mount point, if you called your dummy Red Hat root directory “skyroot”, then the path would be /home/skyroot

IMPORTANT - These two bits are vitally important so make sure you get them right – you should have written down the directory names that you created before in Mandrakes boot and Home directories.

Click on DONE when you’ve finished

It will say do you want to save etc/fstab modifications just click yes – close Mandrake control center.

Now reboot the computer and log into Mandrake as ROOT USER again – this will enable the newly mounted dummy directories to be mounted and hence enable “Mandrakes” lilo.conf file to accept a new directory path for the Red Hat kernel image and init file.

Now put your floppy in and do

k - home directory icon - /mnt directory - double click the floppy icon in the /mnt directory then open your open office writer file, (click cancel when the rubbish comes up at the start – its not relevant here) – now minimize open office and the konqueror window.

No you want to go into the KDE control center (not the Mandrake one you’ve just done the mount points in)

So click - K - configuration - kde control center - system - boot manager Lilo

Click on the Expert tab on the far right – click back into your open office file and copy the Red Hat start up code across to the Expert tab in boot manager Lilo.

Scan down to the bottom of the Expert tab and paste the new entry just ABOVE the line that says


– make sure you put about 7 lines of space in first betweeen the last “image=” entry and the “other=” because it does seem to paste funny sometimes ie pasting goes funny in this app sometimes – just make sure you paste it in and make sure its in the same “format” as the other entries ie spaced out right etc.

Now you have to modify what you’ve just pasted into the Expert tab.

At the moment the top line of your Red Hat entry (that you’ve just pasted in) reads


Simply insert the name of the dummy boot directory you created for Red Hat before i.e. I called mine “skyboot” - so the new line would read


I.e. you’ve instructed lilo to find Red Hats kernel image in the newly mounted skyboot directory.

Next change the label from just linux to say RedHatlinux or some other name what you want – remember no spaces are allowed in the label names

Next change the line that reads




REMEMBER to put the name of your dummy red hat boot directory in place of my “skyboot”

Then just click apply.

Close down the boot manager.

IMPORTANT - To finish – open up a console i.e.

k - terminals - console and type


and press enter – and close down console - you’ve now added your Red Hat entry to the Lilo boot menu which you’ll see when you next boot up.


now just log out and reboot your computer

At the Lilo boot menu you’ll now see entries for both Mandrake 9.1 and Red Hat 9 – Mandrake 9.1 is just called Linux and Red Hat 9 is called whatever you chose! – have fun!



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