multiple boot - keep original Grub menu


My first post as I recently acquired both openSUSE 11.1 for i686 and x86-64 bit Live CD’s. I am using the 64 bit disk since I’ve always wanted to try a 64-bit OS on this computer, and I’ve been curious about KDE4 so this is a great opportunity to give both a try.

I currently have a multiple boot set up with:

first hard drive (numbers are approximations)
50GB w XP as NTFS
50BG NTFS for XP as data storage
50GB Linux (main distro, where Grub is installed to first HD of the MBR)

second hard drive:
45GB Linux as ext 3 (didn’t install Grub, but added secondary distro to menu.lst of main distro)
1GB Linux swap
260GB unused space

current fdisk -l output:
Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 6382 51263383+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 6383 13155 54404122+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 13156 19457 50620815 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 13156 19457 50620783+ 83 Linux

Disk /dev/sdb: 320.0 GB
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 1 5998 48178903+ 83 Linux
/dev/sdb2 5999 6186 1510110 82 Linux swap / Solaris

I’m not sure how to install openSUSE as I do not want to overwrite my current Grub menu, but would like to add it to the main distro’s Grub menu.lst
I hand copied this as I could not get dial-up to work, but this is what the output was during yaST install:

“Suggested Partitioning
Create extended partition /dev/sdb3 250GB
Create root partition /dev/sdb5 20GB with ext 3
Create partition /dev/sdb6 230GB for /home with ext3
use /dev/sdb2 as swap
set mount point of /dev/sda1 to /windows/C
set mount point of /dev/sda2 to /windows/D”

I didn’t want /home that large, so I figured out how to edit the size and shrink it down to 50GB. So, I did that. What I wasn’t sure of was the mount points, as in, what are they? Er, newbie alert! But, when I read this I became confused as I’ve never seen these suggestions during a Linux install. Dumb question, but is this in reference to where Grub will be installed? I aborted the install at this spot. I looked at the Help menu and yes, it did explain what mount point was, but still, I don’t understand exactly what these are in reference to. Also, if this has nothing to do with Grub, when does Grub preference occur during the install process? I just wanted to be sure, as I’m unsure of how openSUSE install works. I probably panicked for nothing.

I have read over the some of the many install help guides out there, but obviously, I didn’t get far enough in my reading, or didn’t quite understand.

Thanks for your time and having a look at my questions.
Regards, Orba

The proposal looks OK to me. You can choose grub location during install and have it set to the root partition suse plans to create

Create root partition /dev/sdb5 20GB with ext 3

Personally I always use custom partitioning so I get exactly what I want. With 2HD’s my choice would be to use the non-windows HD for the bootloader setting IT to first boot in the BIOS. But it’s no matter. You may have to make some adjustments in your main distro as the partition table will have changed and you may want to have suse /home mounted in there too, so edit of /etc/fstab would be needed.

The windows mounts are normal, you will see clearly that no format is set for these and yet you may need to edit these in suse fstab to get full rw access.

Install Demo - With Pics and Video - openSUSE Forums

Hi caf4926,

I fumbled through. I don’t know how to correctly multiple boot and fumbled through the original process with xp and the two Linux distros. One how-to stated to load the oldest LINUX os next after windows.

Oh, I did find the boot preference after submitting my user name and password - so I just had to wait for it…there it was in yaST2 installer all explained to me. Since I am a newbie at this kind of thing, I decided to trust openSUSE and let it install Grub to the MBR of the first HD. After all, it was just a preference to have my main distro’s Grub menu appear. I also decided let openSUSE install over the secondary LINUX distro on the second HD as I haven’t been using it much. The install process was fast as it created a swap partition, root partition, and home partition and all the rest.

I turned off the computer, went for a long walk with my dog, came back and booted up and I get a nice green openSUSE Grub menu that included my main distro, as well as Windows. I thought, okay, this is fine, as long as openSUSE installer recognized my other LINUX distro (main) and so I clicked on all of the entries to make sure they brought up the operating systems, and sure enough, it did. The nice surprise is that when I click on SUSE’s Grub entry for the other LINUX os, it brings up the Grub menu for that distro, which includes Windows, so I get the best of both worlds! A Grub within a Grub. I’m happy!

Still, I need to learn how to properly multi-boot. Originally I tried to install Grub to the openSUSE root partition on sdb5. After install, I rebooted and in BIOS had it boot from second hard drive, and all that happened was the word GRUB repeated across the entire screen.

Thanks again for your help! I appreciate it.

Regards, Orba

Hi again,

I did do a re-installation as I had some problems with dial-up, but I had nothing to worry about with whether or not to keep original GRUB screen. Here’s some screen shots of the install preferences. openSUSE gives one many options on this part of the install process, which I found handy. Oh, and I added back in my secondary LINUX distro, as I still like to play with it now and then.

There’s a section, “other” that has “Edit configuration files, Propose new configuration, Start from scratch, and Propose and merge with existing GRUB menus”. So, there’s all kinds of settings here. I decided to keep openSUSE as default Grub menu, since, as I said, I now have a Grub menu within a Grub menu, which means I get to enjoy both. I also decided to enlarge oSU’s /root from 20GB to about 50GB.

Install screenshots

Another solved post. Thanks!