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Old 06-09-2005, 06:31 AM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Distribution: Slackware-current 2.6.11
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Boot from multiple discs

I've recently thrown out my old P2 that was acting as a server after a script went bananas and was left in an eternal loop for 14 hours before the CPU died. Anyway, I now have a 10 gig disc i wanted to add to my system, and use to try out some new distrost. My problem is i know squat about bootloaders etc. SO:

- How can i install/run a distro on, say hdb or hdc when i have a distro+win on hda? is it just "input the cd, boot up and choose hdb1 etc"?
- Would the disc need it's own swap partition or can it use the one i already have in hda5?
- How can i make the bootloader(i currently use lilo) work with 2 seperate discs to boot from?

Also tips on fun distros to play with would be appreciated! Already decided to give gentoo a go, but need more!(Don't tell me to try Mandriva or Fedora cause i will "kick you sqwa in the nuts! )

Old 06-09-2005, 10:58 AM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Upstate
Distribution: Debian, Mint, Mythbuntu
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distrowatch has a multiple distro howto: It just focuses on using one disk, but you can use more than one disk. The key thing is you keep the same bootloader on the primary disk. The bootloader needs to be configured to boot each OS on the computer. You just need to point the bootloader to the right partition (on either hda or hdb) for each OS you have installed.
Old 06-09-2005, 06:08 PM   #3
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
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Installing another distro on a separate hard drive is pretty straightforward exercise, and if you're already using lilo, you simply need to append the new boot option (meaning the new distro) into the existing lilo.conf file. (Be sure to rerun /sbin/lilo after you save your changes in order to have those changes take effect) As for the swap partition, Yes, you can share a single common swap between multiple distros.

However, along those lines, I would not recommend trying to share any other partitions between multiple distros (typically the /home directory). Different distros often put things in different places, and the risk is that certain files that distro 1 uses could be overwritten during the installation of distro 2. It's not worth the risk, and instead, it's much, much easier to simply keep the distros apart. Plus, if you actually do need to access something from another distro, you can just mount the appropriate partition and get it. Just my 2 cents, good luck with it -- J.W.
Old 06-09-2005, 07:13 PM   #4
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Pretty much as i expected, and, thankfully, as easy as I'd hoped then..

Cheers guys!


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