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Distribution: Mandriva mostly, vector 5.1, tried many.Suse gone from HD because bad Novell/Zinblows agreement
You do not need to crosspost
If you managed a 4-boot on 1 HD, then I am sure you can manage 2 dual-boots.
Maybe the two Zin on 1 HD (no expert at Zin dual boot)
and linux and solaris on the other HD with grub. Boot from the HD with grub.
This is my 2cents, sorry I cannot be more constructive
As Emmanuel_uk, I'm not familiar with the dark side, but if for some reason, these beasts do not want to coexist on the same disk, then I suggest to install first them, each one on its disk, as one never know what trick this O/S can do while installing itself.
Then later install Solaris on one side, and Linux on the other.
Also be aware that ntfs support is not yet there with Solaris, so you'll may need a fat32 common partition to share data.
I'll recommend also to install Solaris on the first disk, as Solaris 10 is not yet using grub to boot itself, and it installs its boot loader on the first disk MBR, which may be confusing.
If you go the Solaris NV way (or wait for Solaris 10 update 1), grub is natively used so I guess there would be no issue.
The reason I am asking this , because I feel the one hard disk is not enough for 4 OSs,,,at least I have to have 10 GB for win2000 server and 10 GB for 2003 , only 20 GB left for Solaris and Linux
Strictly speaking, Solaris only need about 4 GB to install, but after that, one starts installing applications and data files from everywhere, and whatever the hard-disk size, it quickly end up to be full after a while ...
I avoid removing files in the doubt I have no backup or the backup is broken, or whatever, and so have some kind of anarchic redundancy of files spreaded all over my disks (my main PC has three 160 GB disks).
I'm starting to play with ZFS, and disk management is incredibly simpler, faster and cooler with it, I think it will help me to clean that mess.
Make 4 primary partitions hda1, hda2, hda3 and hda4 first.
Make 1st primary partition hda1 active and install 1st Win2k, satisfy yourself it works then make the partition "hidden".
Make next primary partition hda2 active and install the 2nd Win2k. Check it works. No need to hide it.
Install Linux in the 3rd primary hda3. Make sure it place its boot loader in the MBR. Use one with Grub so that you can edit the Linux /boot/grub/menu.lst with the following entries (can give equivalent instruction if you use Lilo)
title My 1st Win2k in hda1
title My 2nd Win2k in hda2
title My Solaris in hda4
Install Solaris in hda4 and make sure
(a) When choosing the 4 primary the first 3 primaries are marked "preserved" by Solaris
(b) Say no to the boot loader position
Make 4 primary partitions hda1, hda2, hda3 and hda4 first.
You are talking about one HD,,,what about the second HD? because I have got no problem to install all 4 OSs on one HD.
Install Linux in the 3rd primary hda3.
You are looking to dump all linux file systems on one partition (hda3).
But if you want to create for each file system a seperate partition, then you need to have one primary extended instead of primary ( i.e I have to convert the hda3 from primary to extended primary ).Because as you know I can not have more than 4 primary partitions on one HD
OK I misread the title but it is easier to put them in two disks than one disk. Assuming you put the two Win2k in the first then no change is needed for the first two booting alternatives in the menu.lst.
If you put the Win2k on the second disk you can use Grub's "map" statement to "re-map" the disk order "on-the-fly" to enable the 2nd disk booting to a "C" even though it is not the first bootable disk. I run 3 Dos and 4 Windows this way. It is ironic that M$'s own NTldr can only boot one Dos-based with NT versions of Windows but an outsider like Grub can do all their systems in the same box. This was my surprise in LInux as XP cannot be booted by a M$ floppy but again a Grub floppy fires it up.
For the Solaris you need to replace its root root (hd0,3) with (hd1,1) in the /boot/grub/menu.lst if you put Linux in the first partition (hd1,0) of the 2nd disk. Grub counts from 0!
Good point about Linux in one primary! You actually need a swap too and my suggestion could have been a very slow running Linux without the swap. So make a third primary in the 2nd disk as swap. Sorry for the omission.
Yes I do suggest to people to put the Linux in one root partition for its "/" so that all the /boot, /home, /usr, /var,..... are just subdirectories to it. I went into Linux 1.5 years ago and that is what the current generation of distros arrange. I am aware of books and publications telling us to chop the hard disk up to make small partitions for housing these subdirectories but as hard disks are getting bigger this is no long necessary. The 70+ Linux I installed are working harmoniously each in its own partition. None of the installers ever raised an objection with a warning or anything like that. Technically I haven't found a single benfit for spreading a Linux into a number of partitions because Grub can fetch a kernel from Linux A to boot Linux B (therefore separate /boot is just a confusion) and a neutral personal data partition can always be mounted to serve the purpose of /home.
My message to you is be careful of using a Unix system in a disk because it may not have been implemented the PC standard in full to co-exist with an extended partition. There is no problem if you use Solaris on its own but co-existance with other systems seems to be an uncharted territory.
You will find in the literature that every logical partition has its own partition table carrying the hard disk address of the next logical partition down the line. Therefore an extended partition must be a continuous chain. The experience I have is that the "slices" of the Unix system are a variation of the logical partitions because they can be addressed individually by a boot loader, mounted as a partition and so on. Putting a Unix system next to each other or with an extended partition will alarm Linux, thinking of the only-one extended partition has been broken. The warning I received is always "partition boundary overlapped" or "hdax not ending at partition boundary".
(2) Your 2nd disk should have a mximum of 4 primaries. One for Linux, one for Solaris and one for the swap. Solaris only upsets an extended partition because itself is one and there cannot be more than one exist in a hard disk according to the PC standard.
In the Solaris installation you "DON'T" want it to wipe clean your existing disk. Solaris installer is clever enough not to do it but the "confirmation" is to see that it marks your Win2k, Linux and swap partitions as "preserved" then you can relax. OK?
Solaris will try to sell you its boot manager, to install it, to put it in the MBR or not to touch the MBR. As you are booting it with Linux's Grub you therefore keep Solaris' boot loader from occupying the MBR. Solaris can multi-boot but I don't think it has the intelligence to hide one Win2k from another. May it does but I am not experience to say so. I know Grub can eat this job for breakfast. It appear to me Solaris always place the bootloader in its root partition regardless what you choose and hence chainloadable by Grub or Lilo. Is this clear enough?
(3) If you don't mix an operating system with personal data I think between 5 to 10 GB should be adequate for a Win2k. Mine is in a 10Gb partition. Can't remember its size but I didn't think it is bigger than 5Gb. In using a NT version of Windows it stores thing automatically in the documents and settings and you do need some room to run the system. The size of Linux depends on your choice. None of mine is bigger than 5Gb but Mandriva is 4.8Gb, rPath is 3.9Gb and I have a few in excess of 4Gb therefore a 10Gb should do it. If the distro comes in as a CD then a 5Gb will suffice. My hda has 60 partitions standardised in 5Gb per Linux. There are only 13 empty slots there.
Solaris do need about 15Gb minimum I would have thought. It comes in 4 to 5 CDs and you are likely have to go back to Sun to do patches and download extra programs. My Solaris Express is in a 15Gb but I only installed it yesterday. My previous installations with Solaris have affected my partition table so I now have a separate disk for it together with 3 other BSDs. Grub hide the other 3 while I boot to any one of the four so it seems to work out so far.
(4) I have no idea what you want to do with the systems but partition or not depends on your need. You need one primary partition for every Win2k and Solaris. Linux and its swap can live in logical partitions but to me it is a bad idea to mix them in the same disk as Solaris, unless you use only primary partitions. You can potentially have 8 primaries in 2 hard drives but the current combination needs only 5 primaries. You can play tones with the 2 disks to maximise their use. My suggestion of 2 Win2k in the same disk is easier to explain without involving the map statements but there is nothing to stop you from putting the 4 systems in any combination between the two disk.
I am not a computer expert but logically I believe Unix system has no intention to conform in full to the Linux standard and so user should avoid a direct confrontation. The error message you got is samee as mine and as other users reported in various forum. It makes perfect sense to me from what I know how an extended partition works.
I don't see the link between my comment and your question.
Anyway, there are certainly many reasons justifying creating Solaris partitions on two disks, increasing performance by balancing the load, increasing security by duplicating/mirroring data, and possibly testing different releases of Solaris each one on its side.