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Old 10-16-2004, 08:09 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Distribution: RH 7.3, suse9.1
Posts: 7

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installing suse along side rh and ms?

I have been running rh 7.x along side windows me for some time now. When I start my computer, a rh screen comes up to give me the option of starting ms or rh. I want to install and run suse, but am curious to know if I can have all three accessible at startup such that when I turn the computer on I can choose which distro to run?

If I install from the retail packaging will suse configure this for me or is there something I can do to make this happen?

I asked a similar question a few months ago when I thought I was going to run a separate hard drive. I have since forgone this idea and would like to have all three on one hd if possible.

Thank you.

Old 10-16-2004, 09:21 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: ~/.au
Distribution: Mepis Kanotix SUSE
Posts: 189

Rep: Reputation: 31
this may be of some help . with respect to the auther found on yoper

Hi i have a linux multiboot with grub ... installed .... the way i set it up is like this
i make a /boot partition and a /home partition and a swap partition which are shared by all linux distributions ... by doing this all kernels and grub.conf or other settings files like menu.lst and so on end up in /boot
ubuntu is a bit funny with partitioning though as it doesnt recognize partitions made by other distribs even if they are ext3 or ext2 ... so the way i did it is to install ubuntu first and let it make the shared partitions that we need later ... which is not shared i installed on a / partition off course ... to leave primary partitions for / filesystems for mandrake, redhat, yoper and gentoo. which comes later ...
after installing ubuntu i copied /boot partition to /home as a backup offcourse with grub.conf which is needed later to get a multiboot with the right settings working.
I do that after every install anyway ... just for safekeeping ...
Next i install yoper ..... with yoper it is at the moment a little bit of an unfriendly distrib as it requires everything to be installed on one disk ... also it doesnt provide room for selecting a seperate partition for /boot ... but it does allow using grub as the bootloader ... which is good .... all of this can be overcome though ... if you set it up like i did .... i selected the second drive for yoper ... because of the current limitations ....

so my current second drive hdb contains the following after installing yoper os


/dev/hdb1 /boot ext2

(perhaps ext3 is better and more modern but i use ext2 now)

/dev/hdb2 /home ext3
/dev/hdb3 swap swap
/dev/hdb4 / ext3 (yoper root)

and my first drive is like this now

/dev/hda1 / ext3 (ubuntu root)
/dev/hda2 not mounted
/dev/hda3 not mounted
/dev/hda4 not mounted

as i cant select a /boot partition yoper doesnt put its kernel and all other things on /dev/hdb1 (/boot = shared boot partition) but on /dev/hdb4 (/ = yoper root).
this can be corrected later though.
Next in install redhat fedora core 2 .... not to screw up partition tables after installing redhat fedora core 2 i set the bios up so that the harddrive doesnt automatically select chs/lba/large but i set it myself to chs which probably can also be lba or large but i selected chs. This way redhat doesnt select a different one from the other installations as it apparantly did when i had it set to auto and it screwed up my installation ... so i learned a good lesson from fedora core 2.
I installed redhat fedora core 2 in /dev/hda2 mountpoint /
and for the rest i used the shared partitions on /dev/hdb (hdb1, hdb2 and hdb3).
After redhat is installed i copy the grub.conf from the ubuntu installation into the new grub.conf generated by redhat.
And i am able to boot redhat and ubuntu ...
i will forget about mandrake now as it goes the same as redhat ...
you also off course have to copy the configuration from mandrake into the grub.conf from redhat or vice versa to be able to boot mandrake, redhat and ubuntu ... and you can always switch to the grub version that you like best from each distrib simply by doing /sbin/grub-install hd0 as root by the way.
Anyway to go on ... As there are four installation now installed ... of which yoper cant be booted yet .... we have to copy the contents from /boot directory on /dev/hdb4 to the /boot partion which is /dev/hdb1 ... off course you have to do this from redhat, ubuntu or mandrake as root and you have to preserve the rights and settings from that directory when copying the files ... be careful not to overwrite your current files in the /boot partition though.
After doing this you can erase the contents from the /boot partition on /dev/hdb4 as they are now on the /dev/hdb1 partition ...
Next step is to change the /etc/fstab file on /dev/hdb4 ... so that the /boot partition on /dev/hdb1 can be mounted on the boot directory on /dev/hdb4.

here is my fstab file for convenience ...

# Begin /etc/fstab

# filesystem mount-point fs-type options dump fsck-order

/dev/fd0 /floppy auto rw,exec,noauto,users 0 0
#/dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom/ auto ro,noauto,users,exec 0 0
/dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom supermount fs=iso9660,dev=/dev/cdrom,--,ro,iocharset=iso8859-1 0 0
none /dev/pts devpts gid=4,mode=620 0 0
none /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/hdb4 / ext3 defaults 1 1
/dev/hdb1 /boot ext2 defaults 1 2
/dev/hdb3 swap swap defaults 0 0
/dev/hdb2 /home ext3 defaults 1 1
/dev/scd0 /mnt/cdwriter supermount fs=iso9660,dev=/dev/scd0,--,ro,iocharset=iso8859-1 0 0

Next thing is to change grub.conf so that yoper can be booted ...
grub.conf is off course on /dev/hdb1 on /boot/grub

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
# root (hd1,0)
# kernel /vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hda1
# initrd /initrd-version.img
title Fedora Core (2.6.5-1.358)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.5-1.358 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
initrd /initrd-2.6.5-1.358.img
title Ubuntu, kernel
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz- root=/dev/hda2 ro quiet splash
initrd /initrd.img-
title Yoper GNU/Linux 2.6.7-6
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.7-6 root=/dev/hdb4 vga=791 splash=silent
initrd /initrd-2.6.7-6.img
title Mandrakelinux 10.1 Community
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz- root=/dev/hda3 devfs=nomount acpi=ht resume=/dev/hdb3 splash=silent vga=788
initrd /initrd-
title Mandrakelinux 10.1 Community (mm)
root (hd1,0)
kernel / root=/dev/hda3 devfs=nomount acpi=ht resume=/dev/hdb3 splash=silent vga=788
initrd /
title Mandrakelinux 10.1 Community (nonfb)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz- root=/dev/hda3 devfs=nomount acpi=ht resume=/dev/hdb3
initrd /initrd-
title Mandrakelinux 10.1 Community (failsafe)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz- root=/dev/hda3 failsafe acpi=ht resume=/dev/hdb3 devfs=nomount
initrd /initrd-
title Mandrakelinux 10.1 Community (win4lin)
root (hd1,0)
kernel /win4lin- root=/dev/hda3 devfs=nomount acpi=ht resume=/dev/hdb3 splash=silent vga=788
initrd /initrd-win4lin-
title Mandrakelinux 10.1 Community (win4lin-mm)
root (hd1,0)
kernel / devfs=nomount acpi=ht resume=/dev/hdb3 splash=silent vga=788 root=/dev/hda3
initrd /

For clarity i use the grub from redhat .... and this works for me ....

Clearly one can see i dont use Winslows anymore ... but it is not that hard to boot Winslows also with grub ... if one needs to .... i dont bother anymore ....

Anyway some distributions use menu.lst instead of grub.conf i noticed .... so it depends on which version of grub from which distrib you are using to be able to boot another distrib..... to use grub.conf with redhat .... you only have to run /sbin/grub-install hd0 to use the grub from redhat distrib with grub.conf file that you changed according to your wishes ...

I hope this can be of some help to you ...

Good luck



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