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How hard is it to Multi-Boot 2-3 Linux Distros with XP?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by G22-Joe, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. G22-Joe

    G22-Joe I C Red People

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    I was just going to reformat my HDD yet again this week, as I have decided to dump W2K.

    I plan on installing XP back into the first partition of the HDD, and Fedora Core 3 on the next. I have 120GB of space total on that first drive, and have a 2nd HDD of also 120GB, that is formated FAT32 and used for storage (may change it to NTFS later due to the file limits of FAT32).

    I was wondering how hard it would be to boot another distro of Linux on my primary drive. I was thinking of doing that with Mandrake. I am just a few months into being a nOOb with Linux, and wonder how involved it would be, let alone worth it. If it is easy, I may just try and go for 3 distros of Linux (FC3, Mandrake 10.1, Slackware???).

    Thanks for any and all information.
     
  2. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    IMHO it is best to do the Linux thing with a secondary disk, although that is more a matter of personal preference than anything; it is certainly possible to set up a kernel or two on the primary drive.

    As my sig shows, I have a RAID0 set up for my XP Pro, then I use an 80GB drive for my secondary...I divided the 80GB into an even dozen partitions.

    It looks like this:

    Partition 1,2,3,4,5 & 6: 8GB each, non-formatted. Done with my XP installation disk and formatted with Debian to EXT2(1,3,&5-for the Root directories) or EXT3.

    Partition 7: 15GB FAT32 -- for *Nix storage and archives.

    Partition 8,9,10: 512MB each...Linux swap file spaces.

    Partition 11: 7GB NTFS. A little extra storage to archive pics, data files and other important data from XP Pro.

    Partition 12: 1GB NTFS, used for XP Pro's Virtual RAM paging file.

    I boot them with GAG Bootloader, which doesn't hurt the MBR on the Primary by being loaded there; the Boot blocks are set into each primary Linux partition and the MBR returns to its original config when/if GAG is uninstalled.

    I split up the /root and /home directories in the Linux distros for several reasons; that's why there are six EXT3 partitions but only three actual operating systems installed on them. (Debian installs itself to EXT2 partitions, but makes them EXT3 when the install process is underway.)

    I then put the /home partitions into separate folders on the FAT32 storage area for safekeeping.

    Best of all, I also get far better performance in 3D games since my XP's paging file is on a separate HDD and in its own unfragmentable partition...

    Good luck, and I hope this helps out.
     

  3. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    i have 3 or 4 linux distros, xp pro, and free dos.

    make sure you install xp on a primary partition. linux can be put on extended partitions, but you probably won't need to if you only have a couple of OSes. more than 4 operating systems, and you'll need extended partitions.

    make sure you install windows first if you have the option. :)
     
  4. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    why not use just 1 partition?
     
  5. Washington D.C.

    Washington D.C.

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    With todays large cheap hard drives I use one gig of Linux swap partition.You only need one swap partition for any number of Linux's.I keep the bootloaders for each Linux on floppy's.