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Old 08-01-2004, 03:43 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Distribution: RH 7.3, suse9.1
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can I install multiple distro along side each other?

A few years ago a friend installed RH 7.x on my system. I presently run that as well as win me. I am interested in installing SuSE 9.1 but don't know where to since I did none of the install the first time.

Do I just follow the install instructions as is or is there something special to be done before installation?

Will I be able to access all three at start up and choose which OS/distro to open like I do at present with RH and win?

Any direction here would be greatly appreciated.

Old 08-01-2004, 04:02 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Denmark
Distribution: Slackware 10.2
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Well, I recently installed SUSE on a seperate hd on the same box. As far as I remember, SUSE detected my Win2k installation and added an option to the bootloader automatically, I'd supose SUSE does the same for other linux distros as well. I'm not 1005 sure, though.
Old 08-01-2004, 04:07 PM   #3
Andrew Benton
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Registered: Aug 2003
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Yes, you can have many different distros on the same hard drive. Before you start it's a good idea to prepare a partition. As root run cfdisk or fdisk (I prefer cfdisk). If you don't have any spare disk space then you may need to devide one of the partitions that are already in use. That will mean you'll need to reinstall whatever is on that partition so you'll need to back the data up. You won't be able to devide any partitions that are mounted so you may need to run cfdisk from a bootable CD. I would reach for a Slackware CD. I think Red Hat have fdisk on there CD's (not sure) andI've no idea about SuSE.
The other issue is what bootloader to choose. Other people like lilo but I would recommend grub.
Old 08-01-2004, 04:14 PM   #4
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: 1st Brillouin Zone
Distribution: Gentoo (not ricer Gentoo)
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(incidentally there were no replies when I started typing this, so if it is moot, feel free to disregard)

This is doable and as I am not an expert I will just outline the steps that need to happen and let you look up, or let someone else answer all of the distrospecific questions.

First thing you need to do is make some new partitions. Then you will need to give SUSE mount points of all your partitions. Finally you need to configure your bootloader.

A linux partition needs 2 partititions (It like 3)

1. It needs a main partition where most of your data will be stored
2. It needs a swap partition which you probably already have from your RH 7 install.
3. It would like a boot partition where it can keep the core files isolated from the rest of your stuff, I run Fedora 2 without one but it occasionally yells at me for this.

So to do this all of this you will either have to have some unpartitioned space on your hardrive or resize an existing partition to make some unpartitioned space.

I have absolutely NO experiecne resizing partitions, I hear it is easy but I am too scared of screwing up.

Once you have the free space, the rest should be easy. I imagine SUSe has some nice graphical installation software. here is how I would do it with Fedora.

When promted about partitioning, I tell it I want to manually partition with Disk Druid. I create my main partiotn for SUSE which I set it's mountpoint to be "/" (and maybe a SUSE boot partition which I set its mountpoint to be "/boot" ) The sizes of these partitoon will depend on what SUSE needs and what you have - in other words I won't tell you. File systems are up to you but if you don't care I say ext2 for the boot partition and ext3 (aka ext2 -j) for the main partition. Then set the mountpoints of all the other partitions. (By the way a "mountpoint" is what folder it appears as. For instance if you want to mount your windows as /mnt/win, /mnt/win is equivalent to C:/ and all the files are in there.)

Take note of the device names for the partitions as well, this will come in handy later.
Those are of the form /dev/....

After you have created your new partition(s) and set mountpoints for all other partitions except the swap you may move on.

After a few screens you will hit bootloader configuration where there is a short list of operating systems. SUSE will definately be losted as well as your others (if it managed to autoconfigure). Your windows might appear as DOS. If you see all of you OSs there you are fine, if you don't you will have to click "add", name the OS and specify the device name.

SUSE probably uses GRUB (GRand unified Bootloader) so when you boot up, you will get a menu asking which OS you want.

Last edited by Tamsco; 08-01-2004 at 04:15 PM.


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