Multi booting with Open SuSE 11? 2X Linux 1X XP

My configuration exists of Mandriva 2007 on the first hard drive of the first IDE Channel and Windows XP on the first SATA Channel. LILO is in the on MBR on the first drive of the first IDE channel. Open SuSE will be going on the second drive of the first IDE channel.

How do I set it up so I can boot all three operating systems?

So if I understand you correctly, you installed lilo with Mandriva to the IDE master and are chainloading from the lilo menu to boot Windows on the SATA drive, right? And you will be installing openSUSE on the IDE slave.

When you install openSUSE, you need to enter the dialog at the Boot Loader step and under the Installation tab check the box for grub to be installed to the root partition boot sector. Make sure no other boxes, especially the MBR, are checked. Then in Mandriva go to your lilo boot menu and add a chainloading section similar to what you have for booting Windows except pointing to the openSUSE root partition. Sorry, been so long since I used lilo that I don’t remember the specific file or its layout. But again you are essentially doing the same thing as with Windows, that is, having lilo find and transfer control to the boot sector of the other OS root partitions.

Well I already have SuSE 11.1 installed at this point. >: (after disconnecting the other two drives) so I have a bootloader for SuSE wherever the default is (which looks like the MBR as the system will not boot with all drives connected). I think I can convert the Mandriva 2007 install to grub. If I can’t I’ll fdisk the MBR on the drive SuSE 11.1 is on and do a reinstall. Can I just “repair” the bootloader from the installation DVD?

Reinstalling SuSE 11.1 will not be a problem. From the little playing with Open SuSE 11.1 and getting all “normal” repositories installed I am pretty well pleased with what I see. I’ll give your suggestion a try when I reinstall. I don’t know Grub or LILO.

The reason that it won’t boot with the other drives connected is because openSUSE has no indication that they exist as you disconnected them during the installation.

You should be able to fix this with the repair utility on the DVD if you do it with all drives connected.
You will probably have to manually accept the mount points.
But you may well be better off reinstalling with all the drives connected. Though try what mingus suggested first



As usual I am bad withmy English. >:(

The situation is two bootloaders trying to do the same job with all drives connected, nothing will boot. The SuSE Grub doesn’t know about the other drives so of course they can be booted by that bootloader. The Mandriva 2007 bootloader (LILO) doesn’t know about the Open SuSE install at all either.

Try booting with the openSUSE dvd with all drives connected.
Choose repair and it should fix the bootloader


I converted the Mandriva LILO in the MBR of “hda” to Grub using the " MCC Mandriva Control Center" (The only place Mandriva still shines besides the installer) and I can boot the computer with all drives connected. So I am thinking Open SuSE 11.1’s bootloader is not in the MBR.

My Question now is am I safe letting Open SuSE 11.1 installer modify the installer on hda ( the Drive with Mandriva 2007? I can’t lose this install yet.

I converted to grub all right but XP on sd1 won’t boot from grub :P. I’ll have to fix that too.

Well the solution was thus; I converted the bootloadaer for Mandriva 2007 to grub then choosing to append Open SuSE 11.1 to grub when doing a clean install of Open SuSE 11.1.

The Open SuSE 11.1 installer took care of everything. This system is triple booting now.

Just one more KDE Rat leaving what seems like a sinking ship. I have been a paying customer with Mandriva/Mandrake since version 6.5. I have bought boxed SuSE several times over the years and installed it. Yast2 is a huge improvement over my past experiences. Looks like I’ll be slowly switching over and dual booting and triple booting several boxes in the future.

Keep in mind that you need to consistently use one distro’s boot loader in the MBR (which now appears will be grub) and that distro’s menu.lst file controls the booting for the other two OS’s; the controlling distro’s grub is the “master”. If you mix the config back and forth you’ll have problems. By the way, YaST Boot Loader under Options has a “propose new configuration” and “propose and merge configurations” will attempt to create the Mandriva boot stanza within the openSUSE menu.lst.

There are several methods in menu.lst for booting from the master to the other distro - you can use the “direct” method which is essentially a stanza just like the master distro’s stanza (with a kernel and initrd lines); the only downside here is that if/when the kernel is changed the openSUSE menu.lst needs to be updated accordingly.

Another method is to chainload the other distro, just as Windows gets chainloaded. That requires grub to be installed to the boot sector of the root partition of the other distro. When you chainload, you go from the master’s menu to the other distro’s menu, and boot it from there.

A third method is to use grub’s “configfile” option (see the manual) which specifies the other distro’s menu.lst should be called by the master’s grub loader. This is the least frequently used method but with some setups, it’s preferable.

I’ll your tips in mind.

I rarely change a kernel. I like keeping a system pretty much as installed for a long time once it is set up unless it is a huge security issue (Local exploits don’t concern me) I will not touch the kernel.

As this is my “toybox” I’ll play games on it and watch some Anime on it. Now I have the Nvidia pre-compiled binary installed I am going to get Quake 3 Arena installed and Neverwinter Nights installed my hope is not to touch that XP install at all if I don’t have too. The only thing I need it for is Guitarport if I get my games playing.

That does simplify things. Just fyi in openSUSE, don’t know if this applies to Mandriva, depending on how you have automatic updates set up, you may take a kernel patch along with other security patches - whenever openSUSE does that (which changes the version) it will automatically update menu.lst accordingly.

it should just do it…
otherwise go into mandriva /boot/grub.conf as root and find the enteries and copy them to suse /boot/grub.conf>:)

Thanks for your help and information folks.

Mandriva quit automatically updating Kernels . You have to manually accept the updated Kernel (you have to review all updates actually but they are selected automatically just the Kernel stuff is excluded). In the update section of the Mandriva Control center. They are presented for your review before they are fetched and installed. A widget in the system tray tells you that updates are available and starts the process when it’s selected. Too many unhappy people with broken video and other issues big issues from automatic kernel updates so they made that change to the updater.

theacerguy I plan on playing with grub on that box at some at some point so I’ll just have one bootloader on that box. I am lucky to have four systems running Linux here so I have a least one to play with. Three of them are Linux only. I will slowly be switching them over to OpenSuSE. When I replace the Wife’s computer (She is still running a 800 mhz Athlon) She will be getting OpenSuSE with KDE 3.5 just as I have the toybox set up. This machine is getting a added SATA drive and OpenSuSE will be installed on it and it will be triple booting too.

Right now I am just happy to have my toybox booting. I am busy playing Neverwinter Nights on the Mandriva 2007 install. I installed Quake 3 Arena on OpenSuSE 11.1 and it played so darned well I tried to get Neverwinter Nights to play too but no joy. There are too many Kernel changes since NWN came out according to the forums Bioware site. Now I am playing NWN so the bootoader learning will have to wait :stuck_out_tongue: