Dual boot opensuse 11.1 and opensuse 11.1

I want two opensuse installations on one hard disk.

More detail - I have one hard disk devoted solely to opensuse with the following partitions.

2000 MB LINUX SWAP PRIMARY seen as /dev/sda1 in linux
20000 MB LINUX EXT3 PRIMARY seen as /dev/sda2/ in linux
153000 MB LINUX EXT3 PRIMARY seen as /dev/sda3/home in linux
300000 MB EXTENDED PARTITION seen as /dev/sda4 in linux, this contains sda5 and sda6
154000 MB LINUX EXT3 LOGICAL seen as /dev/sda5 in linux installation process
147000 MB LINUX EXT3 LOGICAL seen as /dev/sda6 in linux installation process

I have a working Gnome desktop, but have the urge to be able to dual boot into a KDE faced installation which I want to install on the partition referred above as sda5.

I have restarted the installation DVD but do not want to squeeze anything and there are so many options I need a pointer from someone more knowledgable. Any help as to what I should do or where I should look would be appreciated.

Please note that my Linux experience is “aspiring noob”.
Thanks in advance…

Did you know you can install KDE in the same installation as Gnome? You don’t have to have two installations. You can do that with Yast → Software → Software management. In the Filter select Patterns → KDE4 environment + KDE4 Base.

You select which to open at boot time on the login screen. If you make no selection on that screen each time, then you default to the last one that you used.

I understand your reply was the simplest way of getting a KDE desktop and thanks for that. However my real intention was to achieve dual boot 11.1 and 11.1 and to make sure as a novice that I could distinguish between the two, so I thought Gnome and KDE.

DLChapman, in response to your request:

As Swerdna says, you can have kde, gnome and other window managers all installed on the same system. To make it easier to change/choose which one you use for yor session, set your system to require a login. You can choose the session type on the login screen. Alternately, use a non graphic/terminal boot setting.

Installing different distros for multiboot is also easy.
If you plan to use the system, it’s best to create a separate partition to store your data files. (Whether this is a /home partition or a partition mounted say at /mnt/userdata, makes no difference, but it is a good idea to have a separate /home.)
When you install the first system, choose the custom partition setup and create a 10-15 GB root partition, a swap partition (2gb say) and the /home or data partition. This should be as big as you need for your data files you want to always keep (letters, d/loaded software, pictures, etc).
When you install the next distro, once again use the custom setup and create a new root partition. Tell it to use the same swap partition and mount the data partiton - don’t format this partiton!
One last thing, if you are using the same version of suse (eg 11.1 32 and 64 bit), you will probably be fine having the same username/login on each, if the distros or versions are different, you will get bits of the menu system peculiar to each installed on your menu items. Avoid this by using a different user name.
You can change permissions to allow access to the common files if needed.

Using a separate /home and data partition allows you to do a fresh install, or uprgrade without losing your data.

In the old days, redhat and others gave a partioning guideline for the various sections - ie root, /home, /var and so on. (If you are running a server system, it is probably a good idea to have a separate /var partition as well).

I am sure there is something about this in the how-to’s somewhere. Have a look at tldp.org.

Most distros will find the other root partitions and add them to the boot manager automatically when you install, and don’t worry, you won’t lose any data. Also, if you hash things up, you can reinstall without too much pain.

Welcome to linux and have fun. Linux is not only for fun but is for serious work too, it’s just that if it’s not fun reading and playing around, it’s probably not for you. Each distro gives a bit of the developers’ own value added items and perhaps does some things a bit better than another, but overall, they all use a common base and once you have learned your way around one, others are very similar.
As a new user look at the bottom of the forum list for the newbie help section.
Also do a search for some command line references. Unlike windows, most things in *nix can be run from a command line and in many cases it’s often easier than using a gui.

Have a look at this for command line reference:
A beginner’s introduction to the GNU/Linux command line

First, many thanks for your lengthy reply, I know it takes a lot of time and effort.
In the following 32 refers to 32 bit and 64 to 64 bit all OpenSuse 11.1.

How do I do that with GUI? I have been researching since 3am, but have not got any closer.
I managed to get a dual boot Gnome32 and KDE32 using your advice, I used the same user name and password for each. On the Gnome system, how can I force that I have to enter a password. I assume that the password must be entered after the relevant system has been selected.

Maybe slightly Off Topic, but someway relavent, are user data files produced under 64bit distros unreadable if attempted to be opened with a 32bit distro? If so it would be good to have a /home32 and a /home 64.

I actually have no data to lose at the moment, I want to get the installation correct before I start working in earnest. I had Gnome32 working, I installed KDE32 on another partition, on a reboot it replied “no operating system” meaning the gnome partition had suffered in some way, I re-installed Gnome32 in it’s original place, messed with the boot loader in YaST and got both working in a fashion. Gnome loads in text from the menu splash screen, whilst KDE loads in GUI from the splash screen. Screen resolutions keep changing. At the moment all is no problem as I will completely reinstall Gnome32, KDE32 along with Gnome64, starting in reverse order, on say partitions 8,7,and finally 6. So I end up with Gnome32 closer to the start of the drive, hopefully to bypass the “no operating system” problem. I know it should make no difference but better safe etc.

Once again thanks.

To run multiple window managers, simply choose them when you install, or if you have already installed, add them in yast>software (filter on patterns and not search string).
To force users to login, go to yast>sec and users>user and grp management and click the expert tab at the bottom right. It brings up the login settings. Of course, if you have multiple users, the will have to log in each time.
The other way is to check the login box when you create the user during install.
When you boot, you will be presented with the login screen (there are screenshots on the opensuse site). At the bottom of the screen ist gives the option of session type.
Unlike windows that has an integrated gui, linux can run with or without a graphical screen. The xwindow system is an add on and the window manager is also an add on. You don’t install them on separate partitions, since in doing so you are unnecessarily duplicating the X11 directory.

Linux will allow you to run multiple users with different window managers simultaneously. (Use the switch user option on the start menu)

If you know you have a working install and cannot boot, either use a live cd or the install disk and choose the repair option. It should find and repair the boot loader entries.

Have a look at this thread for login:

For the ‘no os’ search the forum for ‘grub boot’ for other threads.

Also, have a read of the suse install and admin guides. They’re well written and will answer most of your questions.

I have learnt so much over the last 48 hours, but not enough to make a solid dual (or more) boot system with 11.1. I keep losing the booting and the OS (the OS is really available just cannot access). The repair function (I have tried various options) but not once has it been sucessful and therefore forced me to reload again. Today from 6am till now 8pm has been battling with GRUB, not being able to access the floppy, cannot get a floppy boot disk etc etc. So I have temporarily given up. There must be something else wrong but I don’t know what. Whilst on a separate hard disk (when I plug it) in I have 5 instances of XP, on another hard disk when that is plugged in 1 Ubuntu, I wanted two Opensuse on this third disk before I load Vista on the fourth. I just cannot believe it is so difficult to keep two Opensuse 11.1 functioning, even more so as there is no conflict with windows of any variety. I will work with a single opensuse till I pluck up courage to try again.