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/boot Partition?

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#1
[Solved] /boot Partition?

Ok, I like playing around with multiple operating systems so I tend to have a few installed at a time. My issue is related to the bootloader. Every new Linux OS I install installs its own version of Grub. That's fine until you delete that partition.... :banghead:

I was thinking about creating a small (ie ~50MB) partition that /boot will reside on. This way I can have one copy of Grub that would boot my several OS(s) depending on what they are. I think this is a good idea so I can delete one OS's partition and still be able to boot the other OS(s).

Unfortunately, I am not an expert with bootloaders and I'm not really sure how /boot has to do with booting. Can someone tell me how feasible my idea is? I'm looking for a way to have multiple OS(s) but only one bootloader so when I delete one OS, the bootloader will still be intact.

Any ideas/suggestions/advice is appreciated! :)
 
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#2
Ok, I like playing around with multiple operating systems so I tend to have a few installed at a time. My issue is related to the bootloader. Every new Linux OS I install installs its own version of Grub. That's fine until you delete that partition.... :banghead:

I was thinking about creating a small (ie ~50MB) partition that /boot will reside on. This way I can have one copy of Grub that would boot my several OS(s) depending on what they are. I think this is a good idea so I can delete one OS's partition and still be able to boot the other OS(s).

Unfortunately, I am not an expert with bootloaders and I'm not really sure how /boot has to do with booting. Can someone tell me how feasible my idea is? I'm looking for a way to have multiple OS(s) but only one bootloader so when I delete one OS, the bootloader will still be intact.

Any ideas/suggestions/advice is appreciated! :)

If you have a newer CPU, I would suggest using some Virtualization software.

Virtual machine software that's free like Virtual Box or a "to buy" one like Vmware...

You can install, mess with and even straight up destroy OS's in a nice, safe little sandbox, and it doesn't hamper a thing ;)
 
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#3
+1 for Vmware...never tried Virtual Box though...good luck :)
 
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#4
+1 for Vmware...never tried Virtual Box though...good luck :)
Vmware, Parallels (Not sure about windows availability) and Virtual box should all get the job done.

Virtual box is open source IIRC, and quite free... It should handle linux well.

You know where to find us if you need help :p
 
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#6
If you have a newer CPU, I would suggest using some Virtualization software.

Virtual machine software that's free like Virtual Box or a "to buy" one like Vmware...

You can install, mess with and even straight up destroy OS's in a nice, safe little sandbox, and it doesn't hamper a thing ;)
I'm on a laptop, 2GHz Core Duo. Average performance. Virturalization is an option, but because of the performance hit, I'd rather not virtualize an OS. Virtualization will definately make installing/removing multiple OSs easier, but I'd rather run the OS natively.


I'm doing lots of reading now. I think I've found what I've been looking for. Somehow or another, I ended up at this page, and that's exactly what I want. I want/need a sperate partition for Grub, not a separate /boot partition.

All my OSs need to be reinstalled, so I'll report back with what I do and how it turns out. Thanks for all the input. :)
 
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#7
I'm on a laptop, 2GHz Core Duo. Average performance. Virturalization is an option, but because of the performance hit, I'd rather not virtualize an OS. Virtualization will definately make installing/removing multiple OSs easier, but I'd rather run the OS natively.
....

There is hardly any, IF any performance hit when using VT.

Booting to an OS without actually doing computer intensive tasks (number crunching, compiling, etc) is largely a waste in comparison to the benefits VT brings.

And if you're doing number crunching, compiling, etc, you probably shouldn't be swapping OS's every 5 minutes lol :p

This isn't the old "emulation", its a new technology that gives the OS direct hardware access.

Parallels and Vmware in OS X allow you to play some pretty hardcore games while being virtualized.

CPU wise, I get the exact same superpi times in Parallels as I do in Vista (native) (Because its directly sending instructions to the CPU, afterall.)
 
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#8
....

There is hardly any, IF any performance hit when using VT.

Booting to an OS without actually doing computer intensive tasks (number crunching, compiling, etc) is largely a waste in comparison to the benefits VT brings.

And if you're doing number crunching, compiling, etc, you probably shouldn't be swapping OS's every 5 minutes lol :p

This isn't the old "emulation", its a new technology that gives the OS direct hardware access.

Parallels and Vmware in OS X allow you to play some pretty hardcore games while being virtualized.

CPU wise, I get the exact same superpi times in Parallels as I do in Vista (native) (Because its directly sending instructions to the CPU, afterall.)
Hm. I was unaware of the benefits that VT brings. I thought it was some marketing term. Thanks for that.

Anyways, I solved my issue. I now have a seperate partition dedicated to GRUB. This is the page that I followed. Overall this solution is perfect for what I want. GRUB is now OS independent. Before, the GRUB files were located on the last (Linux) OS that I installed. The problem with that is if I got tired of that OS and deleted that partition, I would also delete GRUB. Now, GRUB has its own partition. So the MBR points to the GRUB partition to boot the system. If I want to install another OS, I just add an entry to the menu.lst file on the Grub partition. This lets me play around with and freely change multiple OSs without worrying about my system becoming unbootable. If you have more than three OSs and/or you uninstall/reinstall OSs frequently, I'd recommend this method.

Now, I'd like to make a few notes.

First, XP is a POS in terms of usability right out of the box. I installed a plain version of XP rather than the Manufacturer's version on my laptop. Now I realize that the manufacturer's version includes all the drivers... So right after the installation, I was missing drivers for nearly everything. XP only comes with enough drivers so that the mouse/keyboard and display will work. Nothing beyond that. Then I realized how important that driver CD that comes with motherboards really is. I don't have one for my laptop so XP only recognizes half of my hardware. Normally, I'd just go to Lenovo's website and download the right drivers, but d'oh! No wireless driver. :cry: So I had to get the files from another computer and transfer them over via flash drive, etc, etc. I'd also like to mention that XP has nearly 0 useful software right out of box. IE6 is prolly the best software it comes with... Ouch.

I only write this because this is the first time I've had to use XP and manually get drivers. I've been spoiled by Linux distros that recognize 95% of my hardware out of box and come with lots of up-to-date software. For example, I just reinstalled Ubuntu on the same laptop I had just installed XP. First boot, I'm on the internet in seconds in Firefox. I can do most basic tasks without installing anything in Ubuntu. XP can do nearly nothing on first boot. I can't tell if Linux distros have surged past XP or is XP lagging?....

And I'm not anti-XP, I'm just saying that XP isn't very usable on first boot.
 
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#9
You could have downloaded from a linux distro and then transferred to xp partition :). XP isn't total POS at times.
 
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#10
You could have downloaded from a linux distro and then transferred to xp partition :). XP isn't total POS at times.
Haha, awesome idea. I hadn't thought of that at all. :eek:

After you get the right drivers and software installed, XP is quite simple to use. I just didn't know how difficult it was to get there. But at least everything is working. That's what I'm happy about.