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Old 04-22-2004, 10:45 PM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2004
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Multiple Linux distros on 2nd hard drive?


I am currently running WinXP on a 120 GB HD. I have purchased and installed an additional (primary slave) 120 GB HD with the intention of installing multiple Linux distros (Fedora, Mandrake, Slackware and perhaps SuSe). My machine has 1 GB of memory currently installed but my motherboard supports up to 4 GB (something to consider for the future). I would like to use one swap partition for all of the distros (something that is apparently possible from what I have read). I would also like to be able to share files among the Linux distributions. Perhaps even create a 2 GB FAT partition that I could share files with Windows. Does anyone have any partitioning recommendations, older posts that I may not have found yet or links to websites that make suggestions for a similar setup? Any recommendations on the best order of installation for the different distros?


Old 04-22-2004, 11:27 PM   #2
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Distribution: Mandrake 10 Fedora core 1
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iv just completed installing both fedora core 1 and mandrake 10 on my computer which was already home to xp i have 1 120 gig drive and 1 80 gig drive. sharing swap is easy during each install once swap partitions are created the will be recognized by all installations i have 10 gigs set aside as fat 32 to share files. i did have some trouble getting both grub and lilo to offer me the option to boot the OS of my choice i decided to go with a windows based boot loader and not let linux write to my mbr (after MULTIPLE installs)

Last edited by ronin4601; 04-22-2004 at 11:29 PM.
Old 04-23-2004, 12:32 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Ont, Canada
Distribution: Fedora Core 1
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multi boot distroses

When you add multiple distroses, use SuSE's Grub. Fedora and Mandrake both have a bug when adding new info to the Grub file with multi distrosses. Or you can edit the Grub manually in Fedora or Mandrake to override the bug depending on whose Grub bootloader you use.

I installed SuSE, Redhat and Mandrake on 3 different partitions using one swap file. After several attempts, I decided to install SuSE last so I could use SuSE's Grub file to boot Redhat and Mandrake.

I first installed say Redhat on hda5 and allowed it to create a grub file. At that point I retrieved the boot info from the Grub file because you need that info to add it to the final distros.

I then installed Mandrake on hda6 and allowed mandrake's grub file to over write Redhats grub bootloader. I then retrieved the boot info for Mandrake for the same reason. You need that info to add it to your final grub file.

I then installed SuSE on hda7 and allowed SuSE's Grub file to write over Mandrakes grub file. I then booted into SuSE and added the boot info that I retrieved from Redhad and Mandrake into SuSE's Grub config file using the GUI.

Now you should be able to boot to your desired distroses.

I will add a note of recommendations.

I abandoned this multi-boot of distroses from different partitions because I found that one effects the other in some way or another. For example, if I made changes (specific changes which I do not want to get into) to Mandrake or Fedora, than SuSE would no longer boot. SuSE's boot does several checks and if some of those checks are no longer valid, SuSE is designed not to boot. It goes into a Kernel panic (same with the others). I eventually got feed up with re-installs.

There is a better way. I am going to pick up a couple of cheap drives (4 GB) and install one distro on each drive so they can boot from there own Grub file. That way, one distros doesn't cause problems for another when you make alterations. I will change them with a drive rack.

I did learn a bit from trial and error. I finally settled with Fedora.

Last edited by sjia; 04-23-2004 at 12:35 AM.


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