Story: Dual-booting multiple Linux distrosTotal Replies: 6
Author Content

Dec 28, 2004
1:58 PM EDT
This article requires copying of kernel and initrd images to a /boot of the primary installation, which is NOT necessary using grub. I use grub to multiboot Slackware, Ubuntu, SuSE (wife's distro) and FreeBSD. Some "newbie" Linux systems (Lindows comes to mind) simply trash whatever bootloader you have by writing their own to the MBR of the primary drive, so care is necessary when/if you try dual booting any of these.

Dec 29, 2004
8:04 PM EDT
Ahh the joys of multi-booting -- but this is childs play.

I remember back about 10 years ago, when I had a soundblaster card that came with an integrated adaptek controller (that didn't do boot-bios stuff), an IDE board (yes, there was a time when there was no integrated IDE, believe it or not) and an RLL controller (made by, of all manufacturers, Seagate).

3 disk controllers, in other words. I booted 2 versions of Linux, OS2/warp, a copy of MS DOS/Windows (it was all legitimate, I swear) -- and DR-DOS. It was mostly an exersize to prove it could be done. The RLL controller was connected to a Rhodime (sic?) drive that was whisper quiet, and a MiniScribe to balance that. It (the Miniscribe) was so loud sometimes the neighbors would duck thinking that a drive-by shooting was in progress (ok, it wasn't quite that bad, but you'd be surprised at how loud it really was). The IDE drive was a whopping 512 meg, and the SCSI CD-ROM rounded it all out. Cabling was a nightmare -- I had extra long ones.

Linux was the only OS that tamed all of them. True, getting Slack to work with it wasn't exactly childs play, but where's the fun in plug and play after all? Certainly doesn't impress the girls. I know, I know, not like this did either...

Cheers, --FeriCyde

Dec 30, 2004
5:06 AM EDT
Oh, indeed, no need to tell me about the old days. Who can forget the joys of debug to enter bad sectors in the drive bios. And Seagate started out as Shugart (remember THOSE?) But either LILO or Grub these days make it easier by far, as I mentioned in my OP.

Dec 30, 2004
5:52 AM EDT
Grub rules!

Shugart -- definitely a trip down memory lane :) (pun intentional).


Dec 30, 2004
8:46 AM EDT
I don't quite remember Shugart, though the name seems vaguely familiar. You guys must be really old. ;-)

At any rate, there is definitely something to be said for being able to make just about any mistake in the bootloader configuration, and actually *recover* from it.


Dec 30, 2004
8:58 AM EDT
Who needs bootloaders when you've got the separate versions loaded on 8" floppy and paper tape?

Dec 30, 2004
9:22 AM EDT
Back in 1978 when I was in high school, our school was fortunate enough to have an Altair (8080, was it?) which ran a timesharing BASIC OS off an 8 inch floppy. (Many years later, I found out that the OS had been written by someone who is not very popular around here, but is quite well known, generally.) Upstairs, there was an old Data General Nova, but it didn't work anymore. We had some CRT's. Can't remember the brand. Cyan colored things with the screen and keyboard in one chassis. One of the more tech savvy guys in class (who, incidentally, later introduced me to UNIX) upped the speed to 9600, which seemed lightning fast. We also had a Decwriter terminal/printer. And several teletype units which, even at the time, were considered obsolete. I have a peculiar affinity for technology which is old, but still quite functional, and those were what I used, mostly. (My current vehicle is a 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, so hey. :-) One of the units had a paper tape reader/writer, and although I would save my programs to the 8 inch disk (which we all shared, much as people share hard disks today) I would also back my stuff up to paper tape. I remember some of the other students laughed at me, good naturedly.

I moved away from computers as an interest for many years and got back in about '87 and made it my profession. So I guess that's how I missed the Shugart thing.

What does all this have to do with the article? I'm not sure. But it was a fun little excursion. ;-)

Posting in this forum is limited to members of the group: [ForumMods, SITEADMINS, MEMBERS.]

Becoming a member of LXer is easy and free. Join Us!