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Old 12-14-2009, 07:03 PM   #1
SaintDanBert
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milti-boot various distro installs ... and win-dose


I want to add multiple linux distros to a single system in a multi-boot
configuration. Can I do this as easily as it looks or have I failed to see the landmines?

Specifically, I have Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS dual boot with win-doze XP. I'm not ready to commit to Ubuntu 9.10 and so I want to install it to its own partition as OS #3. Can I do this?

Is create a partition and install over there then update grub?

Thanks,
~~~ 0;-Dan
 
Old 12-14-2009, 07:16 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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You can do it that way.

Or I typically will create the partition, then during the install specify the / directory instead of the MBR for the bootloader. Then I boot into my main install and just add an entry to chainload the new OS. That way if I don't like the OS, I can just nuke it and remove the entry from grub (or not if I'm lazy).
 
Old 12-14-2009, 07:16 PM   #3
DragonSlayer48DX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert View Post
Can I do this as easily as it looks
Yes, you can. The Ubuntu installer will show the existing OSes. At that point, you can resize the existing partitions to make room for the new installation, and grub will be automatically updated.

Cheers

Last edited by DragonSlayer48DX; 12-14-2009 at 07:18 PM.
 
Old 12-15-2009, 02:41 AM   #4
Brains
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Quote:
Specifically, I have Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS dual boot with win-doze XP. I'm not ready to commit to Ubuntu 9.10 and so I want to install it to its own partition as OS #3. Can I do this?
Yes, doing such is akin to getting off your knees and palms, and just using your feet.
A little guidance in the form of "google" will set you up for grade 1... and you're on the road to success.

Good luck!, and may the Penguin community spell it out letter for letter...if that's what is required.
 
Old 01-07-2010, 12:53 PM   #5
solarscooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez View Post
You can do it that way.

Or I typically will create the partition, then during the install specify the / directory instead of the MBR for the bootloader. Then I boot into my main install and just add an entry to chainload the new OS. That way if I don't like the OS, I can just nuke it and remove the entry from grub (or not if I'm lazy).
I'm a Linux noob (though a war-weary PC user of 24 years) about to set up a dedicated learning system on a used Dell Latitude (P4, 2GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB disk). Bought "Linux for Dummies" but frankly it's turning out to be a little too dumb.

Came to the forum with basically the same question as the OP, except that I'm starting from scratch and have nothing to lose. (Indeed the idea of the dedicated system is never to have anything to lose.)

I want to set up Win XP and three or four Linux distros. So if I create four or five partitions and install Win XP first, am I correct in assuming that I should be able to follow my nose installing Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora or whatever on the other partitions?

Now I'm off to research this chainloading concept.

Thx,
-solarscooter
 
Old 01-07-2010, 02:01 PM   #6
pljvaldez
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Yes, that's the way I would install (XP first, then linux distros). I would make the first linux installation the one you deem most "permanent" (i.e. the least likely to nuke right away). During install, tell it to install the bootloader to the MBR (Master Boot Record). It will likely auto detect Windows and add XP to the boot menu. At this point, you should have just a couple things in your boot menu, XP and the first distro.

Then I would install the other distros, putting the boot loader into the / (root) partition for each install. Then when you're done install it, go back to the first linux distro and add the chainloader part to grub or lilo. Note that I haven't tried this for grub2, but I assume you should still be able to chainload, the configuration will just be different.
 
Old 01-07-2010, 03:56 PM   #7
agrume
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Install windows before linux distros because the windows installer will systematically overwrite the MBR.

-> Windows will only install itself on the first partition of the first hard drive

-> Win7 need the 2 first partitions (primary partitions) on the first hard drive

Linux installers will autodetect other OSes, and generate the multiboot menu automatically.
 
Old 01-07-2010, 06:34 PM   #8
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agrume View Post
Install windows before linux distros because the windows installer will systematically overwrite the MBR.
...
-> Win7 need the 2 first partitions (primary partitions) on the first hard drive
...
Does this means that to put Win7 onto an existing dual-boot system,
you must start with an empty drive so that win-doze can claim P1 and P2?

I thought that win-doze solved their restrictions on which partitions could be win-doze and bootable!?

What does this mean for laptops that have a manufacturer utilities set on P2. (My Lenovo tools don't work anywhere except P2 for whatever reason. I discovered this when I tried to move them to P4.)

~~~ 0;-Dan

Last edited by SaintDanBert; 01-07-2010 at 06:35 PM.
 
Old 01-08-2010, 05:27 AM   #9
agrume
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Hmm

In fact I didnt try to install win7 on other partitions than the first two, or on logical partitions, or on a slave or secondary IDE drive...

Maybe it is possible now, im not a win expert...

What I am sure of is :

- win7 needs 2 partitions
* One for recovery (~100 Mb), one for itself
* If you specify only one partition in win7 install ,it will say ok but will automatically create another one for its recovery data
- win7 install will overwrite the MBR
- When I installed linux first, then win7 on the first partition/first master drive, I ended with a partition table that described correctly CHS partitions infos, but in the wrong order...

> Specifically, I have Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS dual boot with win-doze XP. I'm not ready to commit to Ubuntu 9.10 and so
> I want to install it to its own partition as OS #3. Can I do this?

On your laptop ?
Post partitions infos, disk size etc please
 
Old 01-08-2010, 06:01 PM   #10
solarscooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pljvaldez View Post
Yes, that's the way I would install (XP first, then linux distros). I would make the first linux installation the one you deem most "permanent" (i.e. the least likely to nuke right away). During install, tell it to install the bootloader to the MBR (Master Boot Record). It will likely auto detect Windows and add XP to the boot menu. At this point, you should have just a couple things in your boot menu, XP and the first distro.

Then I would install the other distros, putting the boot loader into the / (root) partition for each install. Then when you're done install it, go back to the first linux distro and add the chainloader part to grub or lilo. Note that I haven't tried this for grub2, but I assume you should still be able to chainload, the configuration will just be different.
Cool, thanks much.

I came across some impressive tales of multi-distro madness by saikee over at justlinux.com, particularly this one titled "How to install and boot 145 operating systems in a PC":

http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showt...hreadid=147959

Yoiks! And here I thought I might have been too ambitious.

Anyhow, I'm stoked. Now if the hardware would just show up in the mail. <foot tapping>

Cheers,
solarscooter
 
Old 01-08-2010, 06:09 PM   #11
solarscooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brains View Post
A little guidance in the form of "google" will set you up for grade 1... and you're on the road to success.
Doh! I can't believe I missed this link and then posted a link to the very same place, all proud-like: lookee wut I dun!

(Read, then post. Read, then post. Read...)

-solarscooter
 
Old 01-27-2010, 05:40 PM   #12
solarscooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brains View Post
Yes, doing such is akin to getting off your knees and palms, and just using your feet.
A little guidance in the form of "google" will set you up for grade 1... and you're on the road to success.

Good luck!, and may the Penguin community spell it out letter for letter...if that's what is required.
It took some head-scratching. I've only had 20 minutes' experience with GNU/Linux previously and I'd no idea which distros would appeal. That being the case, saikee's approach of installing GRUB in a dedicated partition appealed to me. So I now have Windows, Debian, Ubuntu Studio and Fedora installed with a few partitions left over for more transitory experiments. Only real hitch was that the Ubuntu Studio install that I have failed at the tail end of software installation, and failed to install Grub as well. I tried it twice. I'll try it on a dedicated disc at some point to see if that works. As a workaround I edited the entry in my main Grub menu.lst so as to boot Ubuntu directly rather than chainloading. Because I don't have a list of the programs it's supposed to contain, I don't know what if anything I'm missing and as yet I haven't found anything broken about it.

The booting concepts are painfully simple in retrospect, but for the beginner to pull the pieces together and imagine it, is not so easy. Despite my long history with PC's I learned more on this exercise about booting even Windows and DOS than I ever knew.

As I often do when I'm wearing my tech writer hat, I found myself thinking that a primer that had a few simple diagrams would be enormously helpful. Perhaps I should take a stab at this when I'm a little more comfortable.

Thx.
 
Old 01-30-2010, 02:51 PM   #13
Brains
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Quote:
Only real hitch was that the Ubuntu Studio install that I have failed at the tail end of software installation, and failed to install Grub as well.
Ubuntu is a little bit of a di..head at the bootloader stage of the installation. You have to look for a "barely" visible link called "Advanced" to specify it to install the bootloader to the partition instead of the default location, the MBR of the drive.
You can also change it after installation using the install disc in live mode.
 
Old 01-31-2010, 12:43 AM   #14
solarscooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brains View Post
Ubuntu is a little bit of a di..head at the bootloader stage of the installation. You have to look for a "barely" visible link called "Advanced" to specify it to install the bootloader to the partition instead of the default location, the MBR of the drive.
You can also change it after installation using the install disc in live mode.
I don't recall having a problem specifying the location I wanted. I'm pretty sure it was when I took the next step (confirmation or whatever) that I got an error msg to the effect that Something Went Wrong.

I really should've made better notes, but I knew I was going to be trying this again anyway. First I'll install it all by itself on an empty disc and use defaults as much as possible. If that works out, I'll try installing it on the multi-boot disc again.

I also want to try a "normal" Ubuntu distro (i.e. not the Studio version). The install routines are definitely different; e.g. I've only ever used the normal distro via LiveCD, whereas the Studio version doesn't even have a LiveCD option (not surprisingly).

Whatever happens I'll report back (assuming I learn something worth sharing).

-=s
 
Old 02-01-2010, 10:58 AM   #15
SaintDanBert
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Tech Writers of the World ... UNITE!

I'd love to contribute my tech writing skills to the linux community. Sadly, in many cases, it comes down to read the code as the only source of subject matter knowledge. I cannot count how many times I've contacted folks with documented knowledge -- their contact details are in the code or similar -- only to get a brush off filled with excuses. This happens even when I formally join a project (sometimes worse then).

Consider the Win-Tel PC bootstrap operation. The early parts have not changed since forever (er, 1984?).
  • power-on runs BIOS code
  • BIOS code reads Master Boot Record [MBR] on various drives according to CMOS_BOOT_ORDER settings.
  • BIOS loads and starts first boot loader found. For us, that is GRUB (now GRUB2 under Ubuntu Karmic). Others include LILO (still?) and win-dose.
What happens next fades into fog (under Ubuntu Karmic) now that we rely on the UPSTART package instead of traditional "system-V init". I wanted to write some upstart documentation, but could not find breadcrumbs or someone who could point out breadcrumbs or the yellow brick road.
I'm a tech writer for a reason. Yes, I can read code and have even written code. When I wrote code, I first wrote the details of what I wanted that code to accomplish and how that might happen. When coding professionally, I routinely wrote "man pages" and "reference manual" chapters before I wrote code. Does that stuff even exist? Must I do the whole subversion and bazaar dance just to obtain these as-built docs?

I'll pay the $5 fine for whining,
~~~ 0;-/
 
  


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