View Full Version : Multi-Boot

19th November 2005, 11:07 PM
Hi, I would like to install Windows 2000, Fedora Core 4, RedHat 9.0, Debian, and FreeBSD. I have 2 hard drives. One I want to be exclusively for Windows and the other for Linux. In which order should I install the operating systems? Thanks in advance, Matt

20th November 2005, 03:38 AM
you need to install windows 2000 first. MS OS have no idea how to multi-boot to other OS, if you install it last, it will over write the boot manager.
then you can install the other any order you like, but you sould decide which boot manager you use first. I would sugest grub that come with FC4 since it is the latest. so you should install FC4 last (if you don't install it last, you will need to make sure you don't install boot manager from other linux and need to edit grub.conf manually). I am not sure about FreeBSD, but for all the other Linux, you can and should share the /boot and the swap partitions. you will need a / partition for each linux. you can also share data or /home and other optional partitions.

You first install windows on disk0 partition 1. on the next linux os install, manually create /boot ext3 on /dev/hdb1 100mb, create swap at /dev/hdb2, extened partition on /dev/hdb4 then each root on /dev/hdb5 and above on second disk. you can us /dev/hdb3 for boot partition that doesn't use gurb or if you need more than one move the swap to a extened partiton and use /dev/hdb2. I think all the linux can boot from the 2nd disk (with grub intalled on 1st MBR). if that's not the case, you may need to create small boot partition on the first disk just for booting.

install each OS and take note of the grub.conf to see how each OS is entered. you may need to edit manually if some install overwrites it. or if grub is not used, take note of the boot comand so you an added manually into grub. If any Linux is using the LABEL to mount, you need to edit so it point to the physical device since there might be more than one parition with the same label.

This is not something that can be done just by running the installer from each OS. You will need to understand how grub work how to link each boot manager and most likely you will need to re-install grub and edit grub.conf and other boot configuration manually after the install is done.

Here is some idea how boot managers shoud be install
all Linux using grub, share /boot. choose one grub install for all install it in mbr
windows boot manger are installed in /dev/hda1, boot to in using grub chainloader +1 comand
any other os not using grub and can not use grub, intall to its respected / partition and don't share /boot. use the same chainloader +1 command similar for booting windows.
most boot partition will need to be a primary partition.