Latest LQ Deal: Linux Power User Bundle
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 01-19-2004, 12:32 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 156

Rep: Reputation: 16
GRUB - Multiple Linux help

I want to try as many Linux distros as I can on a computer with two hard drives: a 60 gig and a 40 gig. I have downloaded ISOs for at least ten. How do I accomplish this with NO Linux experience ?

GRUB is completely foreign to me. I have windows based bootloading software: Partition Magic and System Commander. The two best, but I did not know how to make a boot floppy for each Linux distro so I was out of luck. I reformatted my Hard Drives last night. No more Windows.

Now I have JAMD Linux (Tweaked Red Hat 9) on the computer by itself. It has GRUB. I want to add several other distros. How do I do that ?
Old 01-19-2004, 01:23 AM   #2
Registered: May 2003
Location: London U.K.
Distribution: dual b. XP Pro and Mandrake 10
Posts: 75

Rep: Reputation: 15
Look, I'm just a newbie but my advice and question are:
Why the hell do you want 10 distros at the same time? Do you have a thing for collecting stamps or what?
Listen, go easy... Install one of the good ones for beginers, get familiar with it and then everything will come easier in time.
Philately rocks...
Good luck my man.
Old 01-19-2004, 01:45 AM   #3
Registered: Dec 2003
Posts: 156

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
I don't know. Probably just obsessive. But I still would like to run more than one at a time, just because I can. I bought several really cheap off of ebay... and burned some more from the ISO's.
Old 01-19-2004, 02:00 AM   #4
Registered: May 2003
Location: London U.K.
Distribution: dual b. XP Pro and Mandrake 10
Posts: 75

Rep: Reputation: 15
Look, linux is different from Win in many ways but within linux many distros are just almost the same as I understand. For example Fedora is based on Red Hat and all of them are based on Unix. So if you learn to use the linux command line in one of them I would think that all the others use the same command line or if not the differences are just minimum.
Now look at the software that comes with the various distros. All of them use the KDE and GNOME as GUI and the boot loaders are always LILO or GRUB. OpenOffice, GIMP, Mozilla, etc etc.
With the exceptions of one or two distros that are really heavy metal and just for experts all the others are pretty similar. So choose one like Red Hat, Mandrake, SUSE or something like it and stick to it until you get good at it and forget about all the confusion for the time.
Old 01-19-2004, 02:18 AM   #5
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: /texas/austin/home/desk
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 341

Rep: Reputation: 30
Here is my grub.conf. I boot 3 different gentoo kernels, redhat, debian and winxp with it. You can install those other os's on their own root partitions, just DONT install another bootloader. You can use the grub you currently have. Just know that in grub, (hd0,0)==hda1, (hd1,0)==hdb1, (hd1,1)==hdb2. Grub starts counting from zero.
A search will yield a mountain of information about what you want to do.

default 0
timeout 30

title Gentoo-2.4.24
root (hd0,1)
kernel (hd0,1)/bzImage-2.4.24 vga=791 noapic hdc=ide-scsi root=/dev/hda3

title Gentoo-2.6.0
root (hd0,1)
kernel (hd0,1)/bzImage-2.6.0 vga=791 root=/dev/hda3

title Gentoo-vanilla-apic
root (hd0,1)
kernel (hd0,1)/bzImage-2.4.22-apic vga=791 hdc=ide-scsi root=/dev/hda3

title Red Hat
root (hd1,1)
kernel (hd1,1)/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.20-20.8 hdc=ide-scsi root=/dev/hdb2

title Debian
root (hd1,0)
kernel (hd1,0)/boot/bzImage vga=791 hdc=ide-scsi root=/dev/hdb1

title WinXP
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
chainloader +1
Old 01-19-2004, 05:38 AM   #6
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: New Delhi, India
Distribution: L.F.S 5.0 | FreeBSD 5.2 | Debian sid | Gentoo 2004.0 | Slackware 9.1
Posts: 78

Rep: Reputation: 15
Seems like you are hell bent upon installing soooo many distros! I would suggest you stick to 1 or 2 major distros for your primary work and install the rest just for fun. Most linux distros are similar so you wont get much kicks out of it. All have the same kernel, same window managers, and same gnu softwares etc.
AT least install Redhat 9, Fedora, Debian, Slackware, Gentoo, Knoppix, Mandrake, SuSE among your OS collection. Soon you will be sick of rebooting into different OSes and then realization will force you to get rid of most of them. Configuring hardware and maintaining so many distros is quite a headache.
All the time you will spend in setting up all the distros and maintaining them can be put to better use by using a single distro. I use debian unstable and FreeBSD 5.1 for all my work and at least I can say that I know them very well. I can fix any problem myself and tweak the OSes for any job. Doesn't that sound better than saying I have 20 linux distros in my hdd? Just my 2 cents!

je_fro's grub.conf file should help but remember to add the initrd line if you compile your kernel to use an initrd image. Read the info pages of grub. They aer exhaustive.

Last edited by bhaskie; 01-19-2004 at 05:40 AM.
Old 01-20-2004, 08:08 PM   #7
LQ Guru
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: South Alabama
Distribution: Fedora / RedHat / SuSE
Posts: 7,163

Rep: Reputation: 58
I normally create one /boot partition for all of them on the first partition of the boot disk

You can also use your same custom kernel on all of them.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
grub and multiple distros rabelais Linux - Newbie 10 01-07-2005 11:26 AM
Linux Red Hat9 with Grub, Problems with Multiple boot. Momboking Linux - Newbie 3 03-12-2004 04:40 PM
Why multiple linux options with grub? J.Q. Monkey Linux - Newbie 1 01-12-2004 04:08 PM
GRUB using /boot partition for multiple Linux/Windows boot? cpv204 Linux - Newbie 7 04-01-2003 04:54 PM
using grub to boot multiple linux os's Smerk Linux - Software 9 03-21-2003 01:07 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:35 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration