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swalter322 11-03-2007 08:39 AM

Multi linux boots?
Hi everyone!

I'm new to the community, I need to know if there's a description on how to install multiple distro's on 1 machine? I want to put Fedora 7, mepis 6.5, and kubuntu on a Dell 700M laptop. The specs on it are: Centrino proc(1.8 Ghz), 1 gig RAM, 60 gig HDD, and WiFi(plus all the other usuall on-board items). Is there anything I need to be aware of?
and where's the best place to find the drivers that may not be on the disto disk?

Thanks in advance for your direction or suggestions!:)

Vincent_Vega 11-03-2007 09:52 AM

Boot up from a live CD/DVD
Partition your hard drive the way you want using fdisk or cfdisk or whatever
Install your first distro to one partition
Install the second distro to the second partition
Install the third distro to the third partition
Make any necessary changes to your Grub/Lilo config

Pretty simple process and there's plenty of documentation about all of that stuff if you look around.
Once you're done, you can see if you need any additional drivers, in which case you should start researching. There's no definitive answer to that question.

bigjohn 11-03-2007 10:10 AM

It may be worth while making the partitions logical, rather than primary as it's easy to loose sight when you've used up all your primary allocations.

I'd suggest that you look into the wisdom of having a separate /boot partition, as well as a separate /home partition. Then as long as you install the same applications on however many distros you want to install, any short cuts etc that you make on your desktop should "just work".

Oh and there may be good justification for making subdirectories in the /boot so that all the various boot files are sorted into the appropriate place for each distro. As long as lilo or grub know which sub directory to look in for the boot files, it shouldn't be a problem.

When I last had 2 or 3 different distros installed, I made sure that all the various "root" partitions where mounted by whatever distro I was actually booted into, so I could see the different versions of the same file, and also be able to see why one distro did things one way, and the others might work differently. It did take a bit of thought and setting up, but while I had the system like that, I found it to be a worth while exercise.

To this day, I still partition the same way i.e. /boot, /, /swap and /home, but I only run one distro now.



pixellany 11-03-2007 10:15 AM

If you are starting with a "clean install"--ie erasing whatever is on the drive, then start with any of the 3 distros. During install, select manual partitioning, and make one partition of maybe 8-10GB (plus 1GB swap). Leave the rest of the drive empty (unpartitioned).

After the first distro is installed and working, then go to #2. Again make one partition but not another swap (this gets shared).

You can let #2 install a bootloader, but it may not detect the first install. I always tell the installer not to install a bootloader--I simply go into the config file for the first installation, and edit it to add the second distro.

You can of course set up all the partitions in advance. However you do it, I would have 8-10GB for each distro, another 20-30GB for shared data, and then the rest of the disk empty (for future changes)

The links below may give some more useful info---the booting one includes a Link to Saikee's tutorial on multi-booting.

swalter322 11-03-2007 10:59 AM

To everyone who contributed guidance/suggestions, THANKS!! this gives me a lot of information!!


veerain 11-03-2007 11:40 AM

Use a LVM logical volume for each distribution.


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