My multiboot project on my laptop is soon going to take shape. I am getting a great support from the community thanks.
You guys advised me on deciding 64bit OpenSUSE, swap partition etc., now I am on my final step of installing OS’s.
So here’s the present scenario: Sony VAIO laptop (Core2Duo, 250GB HDD, 2GB RAM) having recovery partition and a Vista’s primary partition (C drive).
Want to make it: Vista(32bit)+Ubuntu(32bit)+OpenSUSE(64bit).
I’m planning to create a separate primary partition to manage all the data which I’ll be needing in all distros.
1a. Should I install the GRUB (Ubuntu/OpenSUSE) in the MBR and make it as the default boot manager, or
1b. Should I let Vista boot loader as the default boot manager and use EasyBCD to manage all the distro’s.
2. If I later upgrade my distro’s (from Intrepid to jaunty or 11.1 to 11.2)then apart from setting grub menu.lst will there be anything else?
3. I am planning to share “boot” and “swap” sector for all linux distros coz at a time only one will boot.
I suggest to let every boot loader to boot it’s own os. So put the Ubuntu grub in it’s own boot partition and the same for opensuse. Then use a boot manager like gag to perform the choosing process at boot time. Google gag if you are interested. I use this scheme on every machine i manage. It helps me to reconfigure the boot sequence without the need to boot any os.
I did some Google-ing on “gag” and went to sourceforge page too. I didn’t find good community support for it compared to GRUB or EasyBCD. Since Vista is famous for causing problems to multi-boot system, I don’t want to take risk with gag and would prefer sticking to GRUB/EasyBSD as these are the most preferred boot managers on Linux and Windows(Vista) resp.
1a & 1b: Either method works. I have GRUB on the MBR and it works fine. Be aware, however, that if you have GRUB on the MBR you cannot install Microsoft Service packs 1 & 2. So if you need these service packs, install them before grub.
3: Best to let each Linux distro have its own /boot to avoid trouble. They can all share the same swap. My system uses shared swap. No problems so far.
Since I’ll be having only Windows Vista but multiple *unix so I think I should prefer GRUB. I’ve SP2 installed. But I guess later next yr they’ll release SP3. What to do then? I guess there’s a way to put Vista Boot looader back to MBR without affecting linux distro’s.
Thanks for sharing that. I read few more articles and decided to follow your advice.
1: If Service Pack 3 is released, you can use EasyBCD to replace the Vista boot loader to the MBR. I have used this program myself and found that it works very well. Then you can use the openSUSE DVD in rescue mode to reinstall GRUB on the MBR.
Personally, I prefer to use the KNOPPIX live CD to reinstall GRUB on the MBR. But the experts on this forum usually recommend the openSUSE DVD. You can follow their recipe.