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  #1  
Old 17th December 2008, 04:43 PM
Mr. Steve Offline
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I want to run 6 different GNU/Linux distros

I'm wondering how I'd go about doing that. Presumably I would use GRUB.

I'm just trying to find your input on the best way to successfully do this.

Thanks for your help
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  #2  
Old 17th December 2008, 05:24 PM
Jake Offline
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Well it depends, really. it can be "quicker & safer" to use virtual machines. but then again can be more useful having them physically installed

But virtual machines are out the window if you don't have a computer that can handle them.

With grub it would be as simple as adding another grub entry. (You could search forums, there are tons of threads on this)
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  #3  
Old 17th December 2008, 05:40 PM
Mr. Steve Offline
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Yes thanks for the response. I just wasn't confident that running 6 OSs would be good.

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 17th December 2008, 06:25 PM
stoat Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Steve

I just wasn't confident that running 6 OSs would be good.
Hello Mr. Steve,

Good. Bad. That's for you to decide anyway. But just so you'll know, there are many people around here who maintain way more than six systems in a single machine. You might be amused by this...
A simple Howto for installing and booting 145 operating systems in a PC
But don't use that for anything other than amusement. Seriously. It can't be done these days anyway with the new libata driver code that limits partitions to fifteen (but the concept can still be used to install a whole lot more than fifteen systems even today).

P.S.: How I would do what you are comtemplating (just for consideration only)...

After you install the first Linux system and have it booting directly from BIOS and working normally, I recommend that each subsequent one be installed by choosing the boot loader option to install its GRUB boot loader in the first sector its boot partition. It will not boot or appear in the first system's GRUB menu at first. But it will when you add a section similar this to the first system's menu.lst (or grub.conf)...
Code:
title Whatever Linux
chainloader (hdx,y)+1
You change x & y to the drive & partition of the new system's boot partition (where you installed its GRUB in the first sector).
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  #5  
Old 17th December 2008, 08:17 PM
pwca Offline
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Okay.. now that M$ is Linux that means you want to install:

Win95SE
XP
Vista
Novell Suse
and two versions of Ubuntu.

Is that about right? :-)
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  #6  
Old 17th December 2008, 08:35 PM
bob Online
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I've got at least 8 distros running on a couple of drives and frankly there's little use to it, but I've done it for years, just playing around.

Basically, I use ext3 for each distro, rather than LVM, so that I can simply use one swap partition for them all. Mostly, I use a Debian distro to control grub, since it's excellent at detecting other distros, however any new distro that I add, I make sure to put it's grub on the root partition, rather than overwriting the mbr. That way, I can simply add a configfile (search the Forum for that term to see how it's done) for each new entry.

Okay, some negatives: Ext3 wants to fsck anything that has been booted 30 or more times, so if you've stayed out of a few distros, be prepared to have a wait now and then. Also, updates are a bit of a pain, since some distros may only get a glance once every two weeks.
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  #7  
Old 18th December 2008, 05:39 AM
Mr. Steve Offline
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Well, after thinking about it all, I think I'm going to want to run Fedora, eeeUbuntu, and one other Linux distro, thinking maybe Debian.

When I get back to the states I will buy me, or make me a decent dekstop to use as a server (just for my own use). Theres also a possibility of just using one distro per laptop (I have three now).
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  #8  
Old 18th December 2008, 11:25 AM
scottro Offline
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One other thing to watch for is that with the new UUID system, you can run into minor issues sharing swap between distros. For example, you install Fedora first It gives the swap partition a UUID of <some long number>.
Then, you install Ubuntu. It too gives the swap partition a UUID of <insert different long number>.
Now, when you boot into Fedora, you will find that swap isn't mounting, because it seems it's gotten relabled and Fedora can't find the partition.

I've found the easiest work around is to edit /etc/fstab on each distribution Say your swap is on /dev/sda3. Change the line indicating swap from the labeling with the long id number to something like (again, assuming it's on /dev/sda3)

/dev/sda3 swap swap defaults 0 0

Do that on all installed distributions if they've given it a UUID.

On the other hand, if you're using the EEE with the SSD drive, I think that the usual advice is to not create a swap partition. (I haven't used one of the SSDs in awhile, and I'm not positive that I'm correct about that.)
At any rate, if you have a shared partition, such as swap, that relabeling in /etc/fstab is usually necessary. (Not sure how it would or wouldn't work on a shared /home partition, as swap is the only thing I share.)
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  #9  
Old 18th December 2008, 11:33 AM
Jake Offline
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Location: England, Lincolnshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwca View Post
Okay.. now that M$ is Linux that means you want to install:

Win95SE
XP
Vista
Novell Suse
and two versions of Ubuntu.

Is that about right? :-)
This one is for you pwca
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