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Old 08-13-2005, 08:30 AM   #1
jspsandhu
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How to have two Distros installed on one hard disk


HI

I recently went across a document to install two linux on one computer but with two hard disks

I am confused that if it is possible to install linux on two hard disks but the same computer it should also be possible to install it on the same hard disk.

I tried this

I installed WIN XP on D drive
I installed WIN 2003 on E drive

So boot loader for XP and 2003 is on first partition hda1

Now I installed fedora on hda7 as /boot hda8 as /root and hda9 as swap.

I still have 15 GB on which I installed EL WS 4 without the boot loader, as suggested in the the article, to partition hda10 /boot and hda11 as /root and tried to install EL WS with two options:-

one with hda9 as SWAP
two with hda11 as SWAP and hda12 as /root

under both the situations

I copied three files kernel vmlinuz.* initrd.* and Sysimage.* to the /boot partition.

Edited grub.conf on my Fedora to have a entry for EL WS kernel and intrd and location for the root with the appropriate boot drive selected in my case is hd(0,9) as hda10 is my /boot for EL WS

Now EL WS boots up and is unable to mount root files and the kernel goes to panic where I get the dancing keyboard lights
What is that I am doing wrong?

Any solution to this will be great

Regards

Jaspreet Sandhu
 
Old 08-13-2005, 10:20 AM   #2
aysiu
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You shouldn't have to be copying kernel files. In fact, you shouldn't do it at all.
This is what, theoretically, should happen (and what worked for me--I'm currently tri-booting Windows XP, Mepis, and Ubuntu from one hard drive):

Windows is installed on one partition.
You install one Linux distro on another partition, but when you're asked where to install Grub, you say to install it to the first part of the /root partition.
You install the second Linux distro on another partition, but when you're asked where to install Grub, you install it to the MBR (master boot record). That Linux distro should recognize both your Windows installation and your other Linux installation.

If it doesn't recognize your other Linux distro (which sometimes happens), you can go into /boot/grub/menu.lst and add an entry for that distro.
By the way, you don't need /boot partitions, and one swap partition is fine to share between two Linux distros on one hard drive.
 
Old 08-13-2005, 11:19 AM   #3
jspsandhu
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Thanks for the response

The way you suggested will work if I inistall from the beginning starting with Windows first then first linux OS and then other linux distro that I will install to manage the booting using grub on the MBR. Am I right in saying so?

Problem is that i already had WinXP , Win 2003 and Fedora Core 1 installed on the hard disk with Fedora core 1 managing the booting using grub on master boot record.

Now if I want to add another linux to the 15 GB hdisk unformatted space I have what should I do?
Or is this possible or not to install anothe distro with my setup?

I don't want to loose my linux and Win 2003 and Win XP OS.


Regards

Jaspreet Sandhu
 
Old 08-13-2005, 11:24 AM   #4
Nylex
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Quote:
Originally posted by jspsandhu
Now if I want to add another linux to the 15 GB hdisk unformatted space I have what should I do?
Or is this possible or not to install anothe distro with my setup?

I don't want to loose my linux and Win 2003 and Win XP OS.
I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to install another distro. You've got free space, what's wrong with just using fdisk or something to make a new Linux partition from that space? After that, just install your distro on that space and configure it to use the swap space you've already got set up. Don't install a bootloader with the new distro, just add an entry for that partiton to your existing bootloader and it should be ok. I managed to dual boot Slack and Gentoo, but it shouldn't be any more difficult to boot several distros (and Windows).
 
Old 08-13-2005, 11:33 AM   #5
jspsandhu
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Thanks for your response

Can you just send a copy of your entries you made for the two linux to work

That will be good to look into

My entry was as follows probably you can compare with yours.

title Enterprise Linux
root (hd 0,9)
kernel /vmlinuz.* ro root=dev/hda11
initrd /initrd.*
boot

This is the entry I added in the boot loader

Wonder what I am doing wrong

When I boot up the title Enterprise Linux it starts and fails at the following mesage

Could not mount root
Kernel in panic and dancing keyboard lights.

Whats wrong in the above setup?

Regards

Jaspreet Sandhu
 
Old 08-13-2005, 11:48 AM   #6
Nylex
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These are my entries, although they don't have "boot" at the bottom (they work fine though).

# Gentoo
title=Gentoo Linux 2.6.12-r6
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/kernel-2.6.12-gentoo-r6 root=/dev/hda3

# Slack
title=Slackware Linux 10.1 (2.6.12.4)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda1

Honestly, I don't know what could be wrong with yours. A few questions though:

How come you've got the star there in vmlinuz? Why isn't it just the full name (same with initrd, I guess)?

Also there's something that confuses me about GRUB and it was something I found in the Gentoo handbook as well: why do you have root (hd0,9) and then root=/dev/hda11? Why are there two root things and why are they different? Edit: as you can see, I've just made them the same (ie. /dev/hda3 = (hd0,2) in GRUB language)

Last edited by Nylex; 08-13-2005 at 11:49 AM.
 
Old 08-14-2005, 06:28 AM   #7
jspsandhu
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Thanks for the reply

I could get it working today the last thing that you mentioned was the problem

As I had /boot and /root on different partition I had to make the following changes

The thing on grub you asked is expplained also

The first root (hd0,9) is the location of the boot loader that is my /boot partition is /dev/hda10

then the second entry is for the /root the statement is ro root=/dev/hda11 this is same as /dev/hda11 that is this partition contains my / directory

That was the only mistake I made I was using ro root=/dev/hda10 which is wrong the confusion was that I read somewhere that in grub it is one no back so I thought that /dev/hda10 actually means /dev/hda11 which is not true only in grub format that is hd0,9 means /dev/hda10

Well anyways problem is resolved and I am really excited with the new distro will be exploring its features now

Thanks for ur response

Regards

Jaspreet Sandhu
 
Old 08-14-2005, 06:30 AM   #8
jspsandhu
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The stars in the entry for the kernel and initrd are because the computer is at home and I was at work when I was replying to the forum and I dnt remember the complete version of the new distros kernel.

Regards

Jaspreet Sandhu
 
Old 08-14-2005, 06:38 AM   #9
Nylex
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Cool . Glad to hear you got it working!
 
Old 08-21-2005, 07:02 PM   #10
damianm
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Registered: Jul 2005
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Alternate Boot Disk with Grub & Suse

We have been able to build a system with RedHat 9.0 from which we could boot the OS from
say either of /dev/hda1 and /dev/hda3 with GRUB. This allowed us to boot from the second
drive if the first drive was cactus or needed repair.

This is ALTERNATE booting, not DUAL boot.

When we try and do similar things with SuSE 9.3, it does not work.

Ideally we want to do what you can functionally do with a SUN and say

boot disk0
or
boot disk3

Any ideas?

Thanks - Damian
 
  


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