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I want to test out a few distros of linux at the same time. right now i'm using zenwalk 6 what steps do i need to take so i have ...
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  1. #1
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    how to set up multi boot


    I want to test out a few distros of linux at the same time.

    right now i'm using zenwalk 6

    what steps do i need to take so i have have multiple o.s. installed on one computer?

  2. #2
    oz
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    If you are just starting out with Linux, I personally think that you can learn and understand Linux quicker by dealing with one distribution at a time, but if you really want to boot multiple distros, here's a PDF HowTo that you can download and use to set it all up:

    http://www.hentzenwerke.com/wp/insta...asinglebox.pdf

    Let us know how it goes.
    oz

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhythmiccycle View Post
    I want to test out a few distros of linux at the same time.

    right now i'm using zenwalk 6

    what steps do i need to take so i have have multiple o.s. installed on one computer?

    You do also have the chance to test most distros without installing with a LiveCD.
    Also important is if you really want multiboot if you have already an existing OS on the computer or if you start from zero - also if all OSes are Linux or if there will be also Windows on the computer.
    If you really want I am willing to help you if necessary.

  4. #4
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    to answer the question (although I agree with the other comments). To install another distro it's really easy, just create a new partition (you can use something like gparted, or a live cd such as Ubuntu that has gparted). Resize your current partition, then just install the new distro on the new partition and grub will auto setup to where you can go between the OS's.

    One note, you can only have 4 physical partitions, you can create a logical partition but that's just to keep in mind. Swap counts as one of them. You don't have to create new SWAP for each distro, they can share the same swap space.
    Bodhi 1.3 & Bodhi 1.4 using E17
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  5. #5
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    Multiboot

    You do also have the chance to test most distros without installing with a LiveCD.

    To install various distros it's really easy, just create new partitions (you can use something like GParted, most liveCDs have GParted). Resize your current partition, then just install the new distro on the new partition and grub will auto setup to where you can go between the OS's.

    One note, you can only have 4 physical partitions, you can create a logical partition but that's just to keep in mind. Swap counts as one of them. You don't have to create new SWAP for each distro, they can share the same swap space.

    So it would be step by step assuming you have already a WindowsOS on Partition C:/

    1) Backup of most important data (everything should go OK but problems might ocure)
    2) Defragmentate your Windows Partition
    3) Start Gparted via LiveCD
    4) Snip away from the unused space of the Window-Partition to create others.
    5) Create 2 physical partitions: One for virtual partitions (as big as possible)
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and one for Swap (2x RAM or 1GB)
    6) Create your virtual partitions: One for Data (ntfs formated so every OS will be able to read it)
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . At least one for each Linux-Distribution (5-10GB,ext3)
    7) Start Linux installers and read carefully. So you install where you want to install.


    Grub will usually install automatically into MBR so there is no difficulty in booting.

    But you can use also the more secure but a bit more difficult way:

    a) Grubinstaller > into rootdirectory of linuxpartition
    b) Console: dd if=/dev/hdaX of=/tmp/bootsecX.lin bs=512 count=1
    c) copy bootsecX.lin from Temp-directory into C:/
    d) change C:/boot.ini: c:\bootsecX.lin="Grub > Linux"
    e) adapt menue.lst at linuxpartition in Boot/Grub/..


    X.... number of partition
    It might be hda or sda for harddisk
    a is the first harddisk , b the second and so on
    Grub and Linux not always see partitions the same way: instead of a and b there might be a number (started from 0 and separated with a comma from the number of the partition)

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    I'm using multiple drives. Is it 4 partitions per drive or 4 altogether? I want to have windows vista/xp/7 on one drive and linux distros on the other.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliag View Post
    I'm using multiple drives. Is it 4 partitions per drive or 4 altogether? I want to have windows vista/xp/7 on one drive and linux distros on the other.
    It is 4 primary Partitions per drive
    But I would consider
    to use on the first (for windows) 2 Primary
    One for boot including the oldest windows (XP)
    and Vista and W7 and a datapartition on virtual partitions in the second one.

    to use 3 Primary at the second hd.
    one boot partition again with one Linux
    a second with virtual partitions for the other distros and datapartition(s)
    and the third one Linux-Swap.

  8. #8
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    I'm primarily using vista for general use. Would it make a difference if I used to that to boot and put xp and 7 on virtual partitions?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliag View Post
    I'm primarily using vista for general use. Would it make a difference if I used to that to boot and put xp and 7 on virtual partitions?
    It should be possible but it is easier to start with XP.
    It will not make difference in the using because you can change the bootpreference in the boot.ini and so for you doesn't matter if XP is at the beginning of the harddisk.

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