Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3280 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] multiboot
  • From: Felix Miata <mrmazda@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 01:20:51 -0500
  • Message-id: <4760CF43.3000809@xxxxxx>
On 2007/12/12 17:07 (GMT) Robert W Best apparently typed:

SuSE 10.3 KDE is my workhorse but on other partitions I've several
other Linux flavors (and MS WinMe). I can boot each OS and frequently
add or replace one to explore a new Linux version. Doing so I
encountered several problems for which I found no easy solutions.

Installing a new Linux usualy changes the MBR and prevents to boot

Changing the MBR is usually rude. Linux shouldn't be doing it just because M$
does it, or for most other reasons.

some old Linux's. SuSE 10.3 does a good (not perfect) job in
recognising other OSs, but Fedora 8 for instance left me with only
Fedora and Windows to boot.

IIRC, Fedora/RedHat have always ignored other installed distros when
configuring their own boot loaders. Anaconda probably has a feature/option
that permits you to direct it to add particular additional entries. I
wouldn't know, as I never use its grub to boot anything else.

Then I try to edit /boot/grub/menu.lst or grub.conf if it exists. If

Does anything other than Fedora/RedHat use /boot/grub/grub.conf?

Any easier solutions?

Install standard (windoz compatible) MBR code. Create a modest sized primary
ext2 partition on the first HD. Size it according to whether and how many
kernels and initrds you want to place on it. (I put installation
kernels/initrds on it and do network installs, so use a fair amount of space
on mine, which I make 200 MiB of late.) Install a standard Grub on it (i.e.
not Fedora's). Set it to be the active partition. Once installed and
functional, do not set it to mount as /boot in any fstab.

Once you've done it, you can chainload doz or any distro with a working
bootloader installed on its / partition, and for those distros with
boot/bootloader problems, you can manually boot them from the grub prompt. It
can be mounted anywhere you please as and when required for your own
personal/manual maintenance of its menu.lst, though technically it doesn't
need a menu.lst if you're good with the grub prompt and don't boot too often.
Make sure not to set makeactive on anything other than the one you actually
want active (Grub's as long as you've not configured anything else to
routinely get Linux started).

These are very simplified sample partition layouts for small disks with few
operating systems:

A more complex partitioning arrangement, including OS/2, doz, the IBM OS/2
Boot Manager, and a bunch of Linux distros:

A boot.ini file that enables doz bootloader to chainload to a Linux bootloader:

Two web pages about partitioning/multiboot/installation that might be helpful:
" Our Constitution was made only for a moral
and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to
the government of any other." John Adams

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata ***
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