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Old 07-25-2004, 06:48 AM   #1
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Ubuntu, Slack 10.1
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Smile How to install several Linux distributions?

My PC has two hard drives; they are both empty of any operating system. I would like to install several Linux distributions (possibly FC2, Debian, Slackware, Mepis, Gentoo, etc) to try them out. Can someone please provide me with instructions or point me to where I can obtain instructions on how to accomplish this. Your help is much appreciated.
Old 07-25-2004, 06:57 AM   #2
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Just install each of them on a seperate partition. Keep in mind that you have just 4 primary partitions so if you want to install more than 3 distros on your HDD you should use logical partitions which is no problem with linux. The number of logical partitions is limited with IDE/SATA/SCSI.
Old 07-25-2004, 06:57 AM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Australia
Distribution: Ubuntu, Fedora 10
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Partition you drives so that you have enough partition to cater for all your Distributions. In you case 5.

I am pretty sure you can reuse your Swap drive for all distributions so you only have to create one of these.

The linux installer will automatically detect the other installations and create a bootloader using GRUB or LILO.

Your installer will enable you to partition your drives.

You may also want to create a /home partition. This can then be shared for all the distributions and you will keep your files etc.
Old 07-25-2004, 08:35 AM   #4
David the H.
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I've heard that it's not a good idea to use the same user across different distros though. Configurations can be quite different, and a config file that works in one distro might bork in another.
Old 07-25-2004, 08:45 AM   #5
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I had no problems so far using the same /home partition, but using other usernames for every distribution.
Old 07-25-2004, 08:50 AM   #6
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IF running GUI's you are sure to run into trouble with a common home over several distros...

Seriously. Try a couple and pick one. It's hard enough getting familiar with one distro without having 5 or 6...

Try Mandrake, slack and debian... That's a good range. Then pick one and use it. Once you get that one you'll be in a better position to select another down the track...
Old 07-25-2004, 11:40 AM   #7
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: USA
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Hey would this apply to trying out FreeBSD as well? I've got Mandrake 10 and I think I'd like to try FreeBSD and maybe RedHat....

I've never had much success installing redhat - but my last attempt at that was a year ago- and on a laptop, I now have a PIII desktop to use as my test bed. I started to install FreeBSD and it's not a simple 'stick the CD in and go' - So I think Mandrake's going to be what I 'learn the ropes' with- but one of these days I'd like to see the others as well.
Old 07-25-2004, 08:28 PM   #8
Registered: Feb 2004
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If you have a fast computer with lots of RAM try VMWARE


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