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  1. #1

    grub questions for multi-boot system

    I am sure there's enough install, multiboot and grub questions but here's yet another one.

    I hope it sparks enough interest to obtain some replies.

    The concern is regarding grub legacy and grub 2. Which one should I use? I want to multiboot XP, Fedora 12, Debian and maybe one or two other distros (including Mandriva 2010). I also might have one of the distros using VirtualBox.

    The hardware:
    Thinkpad T41, IDE 160 GB HDD, ATI RV250 Mobility Radeon 9000 video card, Intel 2200bg wifi card

    Operating Systems: XP, Debian, Mandriva, Fedora

    I'm not sure whether to just install as regular with the last distro installed controlling the boot loader with its grub.

    Or, alternatively, having a separate dedicated grub partition. I've done that before but I was using the grub 1 or grub legacy version. Should I skip grub 2? Don't some distros now use grub 2?

    I'm confused so please recommend a strategy and procedure applicable to my desired situation if possible. I have read the grub wiki including the grub 2 wiki. I downloaded Super Grub Disk although I'm not sure I should use it. I have at my disposal some live CDs including Ubuntu and System Rescue CD. I also have some instructions of setting up a grub partition although I'm a bit rusty on the details. But, I'm really clueless here, I admit, on whether I should use grub 2 or stay with grub legacy. What are the implications of using either?

    Please recommend!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    I've been using GRUB2 for the last year on my own machines without any problems, but it is still rather experimental in nature and perhaps a bit harder to configure, so I'd recommend using the legacy version unless you know what you are doing.

  3. #3
    If I use the legacy version, how should I set everything up?

    Likewise, if I use the grub 2 version, same question.

    I haven't used VirtualBox before. Does it boot up with grub? Could I try grub 2 with it?

    Actually, I may have an older Pentium 3 I could try with grub 2 or just use my laptop and experiment with grub 2. There's no data on it I need to keep, yet.

    Looking forward for your and anyone else's ideas.

    Thanks for your reply!

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    I don't do any multiboot systems anymore but if it were me, I'd start out by installing Windows XP first leaving some unallocated space on the drive for the Linux distros, or you can do all the partitioning before installing anything, then direct each installer to use the partitions that you've already created.

    Install the distro that you want to handle GRUB last.

    You'll probably need about 5 to 10 GB for the root partition on each distribution that you want to install.

    You can share a common SWAP partition between all the Linux distros.

    You can share a /home partition if you use a different username for each distro, but that might become confusing to you, and other problems can eventually present themselves. The size for the /home partitions would depend on how much data you plan to store on them.

    You'll need to decide whether or not you want any miscellaneous partitions such as /boot, /var, etc.

    Once you get the last distro installed, enter the relevant lines and partition info for each distribution in the grub configuration file.

    Check the web for GRUB Multiboot HowTos for more info, or maybe someone that's currently into multibooting will chime in with more info.

  6. #5
    Virtual box installs in an operating system, either Windows or Linux.
    There are at least two things to consider before using it.
    1. it will take a portion of your main memory (RAM) from the host OS and give it to the virtual machine (guest) when you start it. 1GB RAM with a Linux host is the minimum I would recommend.
    2. you will need to create a file for each virtual hard drive large enough to contain the guest OS. Leave enough space on your partition for this. I would recommend 20GB. This will allow you to install 2 to 3 guests.

    In most major Linux systems you can find VirtualBox in the repository just be aware that it is the OSE (Open Source Edition) and USB sharing dos not work To get that you can download it from Virtual Box.
    I have read that Ubuntu is going to Grub 2 by default with 9.10. I don't know if this is true but there is documentation on it on the Ubuntu forums.

    good luck

  7. #6

    Smile Multibooting with editing GRUB

    I think it will be better not to confuse much about GRUB legacy and GRUB 2. You can do the following. First you install Windows XP, leaving some space for other OS's in the HDD. Next you install a latest Linux OS that you have with you. You have to make partitions for root and swap only. It will be better to make /home partition only for one OS which you like to spend more time in. All other OS will have a /home partition within the root partition. Install GRUB of the first OS to MBR. From the next OS onwards install GRUB on the same partition of that OS.
    ie.(hd0,5),(hd0,6) etc... For other installations swap partition can shared by the first one. Only a root partition is enough for all of them.
    After each installation of new OS you boot into the first linux installation and edit its GRUB.
    Add the following after other boot options.

    title <Name of the new OS>
    root (hdX,Y) where X is the HDD No. (0,1 etc.) and Y is the No. of the partition of new OS (5,6,7 etc.)
    chainloader +1

    Now reboot the system. You can see the new OS's option in the GRUB and You can get into the GRUB of new OS.
    I didn't worked with Virtual Box. So I can't comment on this. Sorry....


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