Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1231 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Grub2 and installing multiple distros on same computer - *ADDENDUM*
  • From: "Carlos E. R." <robin.listas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2013 15:29:31 +0100 (CET)
  • Message-id: <alpine.LNX.2.00.1303081517500.9292@minas-tirith.valinor>
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El 2013-03-09 a las 00:39 +1100, Basil Chupin escribió:
On 09/03/13 00:09, Carlos E. R. wrote:

What I did was tell yast to install grub 2 on the partition dedicated to RC2, and to not write anything to the MBR (which it will do by default). I may have forgotten another click by now. Ah! Yes, it also wanted to change some bootable marks which I disabled.

Yes, this is correct: you install the bootloaders of the OSs in the ROOT directory of the OS being installed and do not allow the MBR to be written to EXCEPT by the FIRST operating system you install - which is then overwritten when you install the 'Master' bootloader (as I have) . (But there is another exception which is that if you also have Windows then it will write its loader in the MBR which is why one installs Windows first and then the Linux install of the first distro will overwrite the MBR.)

Which is why I made sure that the MBR was not modified. I have also Windows 7 on this laptop and I want to keep the original Windows MBR. If not, there are more problems when installing service packs (in fact, to install them I have to disable grub).


But what you did is OK when you only have 2 OSs installed but then things get a bit difficult if you install more or change them or remove them - which is why the "main" booloader is suggested. For example, if you have 4 OSs installed and don't have a "main" loader then you would need to run grub2-mkconfig on each of the OSs whenever you add another or remove one of them; whereas if you have a "main" loader then you only have to run grub2-mkconfig just the once fot this mail loader.

My strategy is, on the main grub, to point to the grub of the other system(s). I do not make entries for the kernels or specifics of the rest of the installations. In my case, it is grub 1.

title openSUSE Factory (/dev/sda9) via chainloader
rootnoverify (hd0,8)
chainloader +1



If I were to install another multiboot computer, I would first create a small Linux system (5..10 G) with the main grub booter, loading the grubs of each other system installed, as in the above entry. This partition would double as rescue system.

This is problably what you call a "main loader"?


Piece of cake :-)

Always is - when you know how :-) .


Of course, my main system (see sig below) uses grub 1 and has an entry that points to the test partition, which now starts grub2.

Yep, no worries here. But what will happen if you decide to add 12.3 or Ubuntu/Kubuntu or Debian or <whatever> ? :-)

If I had to install a different flavour, I would have to make sure that they can install grub only to their root partition. Preferably I would install in vmware instead.


(Just on this point: I had 11.x installed a while ago and then installed Ubuntu. I couldn't understand what the fuss was all about re bootloaders and grub2 vs grub and "main" bootloaders - afterall, 11.x was working fine and so was Ubuntu! What was all the fuss about? I thought. Well, I found out later why a "main" loader is most useful - and so easy to setup.

Yes, I understand.

- -- Cheers

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.4, with Evergreen, x86_64 "Celadon" (Minas Tirith))

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