Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3618 mails)

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[opensuse] Re: linux in multiboot
  • From: "Joe(theWordy)Philbrook" <jtwdyp@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 02:13:00 -0500
  • Message-id: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0901250124320.5880@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

It would appear that on Jan 24, Amedee Van Gasse did say:

Hello,

Currently I'm running OpenSuse 11.1 32bit on an 2GHz AMD Athlon64 with 3
GiB RAM.
I have 3 SATA disks: 112 GiB + 112 GiB + 186 GiB.
sda1, sdb1 and sdc1 are 1 GiB and form md0 (RAID1) where /boot lives.
The rest of the disk space lives in LVM. I have:
/dev/system/root = / = 50 GiB
/dev/system/home = /home = 100 GiB
/dev/system/swap = swap = 6 GiB
That leaves me with 251 GiB unpartitioned in LVM.

I would like to try 64bit Linux in a multiboot configuration, while
still keeping my 32bit installation. I would make another LVM partition
and share /boot, /home and swap. I could also run various other Linux
distributions (Debian, Ubuntu and Gentoo are on my list).

I think I won't have a lot of troble seting this up, but there is one
thing that worries me a bit: the /boot partition with the kernels and
the grub config. 1 GiB is room enough for a lot of different kernels,
but I'm worried that different Linux distributions have different ways
of "automagically" configuring grub.

What are the pitfalls that I should watch out for?

Hi. Multiboot linux is what I do...

Currently I've got Sabayon 3.5, Kubuntu 8.10, & OpenSuSE 11.0 on this
old athalon.

About pitfalls, I'd recommend being real careful about sharing /home
between different distributions. As different distros, and sometimes
different releases of the same distro, often feature different releases
of various applications. Many of which needs to find it's rc files in
$HOME. This matters when an upgraded application from one uses an rc
file that is no longer compatible with the older version of the
application still in the other distro's installation.

As to the /boot I'd have to suggest choosing one distro to manage the
bootloader. You should be able to manually copy the vmlinuz and initrd
files from the other distro's /boot to the one you let install to the
mbr. Then manually add appropriate boot instructions to it's menu.lst,
grub.conf, or lilo.conf so that it can boot the other distros.

I don't know squat about LVM or raid. I simply use fdisk or cfdisk to
partition my hard drives. I created a /boot partition that none of the
distro's automatically update by copying one of the /boot directories to
a separate partition (hd0,1) aka /dev/sda2 editing the root lines in
it's grub.conf to point at (hd0,1), and then temporarily mounting it
on /boot long enough to reinstall grub to the mbr... After that any
time I install a linux I always poke around the advanced bootloader
settings in the installer menu until I find a way to either install
the bootstrap to floppy /dev/fd0 or to the distro's / partition. That
way when a distribution update changes the kernel, it will update the
files in it's /boot making it easy to copy the necessary changes to
the files in my boot partition. Another advantage of a distro
installing it's boot loader to it's / partition is that then I can add
a choice to my boot's grub that chainloads the bootloader in that
distro's /partition which will usually continue to work without manual
intervention even after the said distro automatically changes it's boot
configuration.

Hope this helps.

--
| --- ___
| <0> <-> Joe (theWordy) Philbrook
| ^ J(tWdy)P
| ~\___/~ <<jtwdyp@xxxxxxxx>>

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