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Old 04-17-2009, 09:13 AM   #1
the goat
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New to linux questions

Ive been using linux for many years as a hobby, but now i need to learn it in a new way ,my favorite is pclinux works good with my laptop ,ubuntu and then redhat/fedora
Iwant to try slackware but having a hard time trying to setup a dual boot with unbuntu any suggestions would be great
Old 04-17-2009, 09:28 AM   #2
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For a dual boot I recommend making different partitions for each distribution. This goes much the same as having a dual boot with windows; except that all the partition types would be linux-readable. (A second harddisk would be more or less the same thing)

As I do not know your current partitioning scheme I will assume you have your current OS (Ubuntu?) on one big partition called hda0 and swap as hda1.
NB: Mind that this is probably not how you currently have setup the partitioning scheme.

What you need is (at least) one free partition (the swap partition can be used by either) that is at least big enough to contain the intended installation (for a full slackware 12.2 installating this is along the lines of 6gb). This can be hda2 (or hdb0, or whatever free diskspace you have)

Slackware by default uses lilo, I think Ubuntu uses grub. I'm not 100% aware of the grub configuration lines, so I assume the slackware lilo will be your bootmanager. In said situation you'll just have to make sure both kernels are listed with a proper path and with the proper partition as the root partition in /etc/lilo.conf (e.g. root=/dev/hda0 for the Ubuntu one and root=/dev/hda2 for the Slackware root partition); run /sbin/lilo after as root and you should be set. Something similar will be needed in your grub configuration if you wish to use grub (except for the running of grub as the grub system works a bit different)

Hope this helps.
Old 04-17-2009, 09:40 AM   #3
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If you have Ubuntu running currently there is no problem dual booting with Slackware.


1. Install Slackware as usual. When the dialogue window asks whether Lilo boatloader be installed or not just click "No" and proceed to remaining steps without installing a boot loader for Slackware.

2. Boot to your Ubuntu and edit its /boot/grub/menu.lst; under the the line ## ## End of Default Options ## are listed the pointers to boot up, there in the beginning line enter the following:


## ## End Default Options ##

title Slackware 12.2 GNU/Linux
root (hd0,3)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda4 ro quiet splash
#initrd /boot/initrd.gz

If your slackware is installed in the second partition you may change the 'root' line into

root (hd0,1)

and then the kernel line must also implement the same, e.g.

kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/sda2 ro quiet splash

Under Slackware the initrd is not built upon installation, you have the option to build it yourself later <it is not a critical option> for systems having good RAM sizes.

Usual problem for any newbie editing /boot/grub/menu.lst lies in NOT ACCURATELY POINTING the target kernel. Don't be surprised if you can't hit the target right away: everybody falls the first time. Just be sure you have read enough about difference between Grub syntax of using "hd0,0" instead of Linux syntax of "/dev/sda1" when technically they point to THE SAME TARGET. Refresh your Grub first, here's a good tutorial:

Don't forget to read first the Slackware book in your cd /slackbook/slackbook.pdf

Or visit Slackware Essentials:

Check back if you need help how to build an initrd later if you decide.


What if your Grub in Ubuntu was overwritten by Lilo?

Solution: Reinstall Grub booting from Ubuntu CD. when it is installed configure /boot/grub/menu.lst accordingly as above. This if you don't know how to configure Lilo. But I always advise others to use Grub.

Or you can install Grub from the Slackware CD it located in the cd/extra/grub.

Hope this helps.


Last edited by malekmustaq; 04-17-2009 at 09:52 AM.
Old 04-18-2009, 02:27 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2008
Location: Washington state, USA
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You could also set up a 'home' partition to use in both: /home/user (but put your username instead of user) or maybe even '/root' if they have the same files in any home directory. If not, then probably also do not use '/home/user' as your main home folder, but you could use it to try things on both OSes.


dual boot, fedora, laptops, slackware12

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