dual boot and grub?

Tony Baechler tony at baechler.net
Tue May 13 16:21:27 UTC 2008


Daniel Dalton wrote:
> - Is the grub configuration that is used on the last installed linux? 
> So if I install ubuntu last will the /boot/grub/menu.lst file that is 
> used by the system be there or on the debian partition?
> If so why is this and should I do something to only have one grub 
> configuration through out all my partitions?

I don't use grub but I can say this from practical experience installing 
Linux and Windows.  The boot manager needs to be installed in the MBR, 
regardless of what OS you use or which boot manager.  I think you said 
you have Windows installed so it probably put its own boot sector in the 
MBR but not necessarily so.  Also, each bootable Linux partition needs a 
boot loader such as lilo or presumably grub.  Therefore, my guess would 
be that all your Linux partitions need grub installed because grub 
actually boots the kernel once the boot manager calls it from the MBR.

This is just a suggestion, but I would look at the mbr package.  If you 
run install-mbr from Debian or another linux partition, it will install 
its own MBR code which doesn't need grub or lilo but will call the boot 
loader for the partition you specify at boot.  In other words, I have my 
system set as follows:  hda1 is Windows, hda2 is Linux, hda3 is swap and 
hda4 is an extra FAT32 drive to exchange files between the two OSes.  To 
boot Windows, I just turn on the computer and do nothing because it's 
already the default active partition.  To boot Linux, I press the letter 
"a" for advanced and the number 2 for the second partition as soon as I 
hear the second beep but before the actual boot process starts.  The 
reason for pressing the "a" first is because hda2 isn't marked active 
and Windows and/or the BIOS is limited to only one active partition.  
Linux doesn't care if it's active or not but it won't boot an inactive 
partition unless you go into advanced mode.  From there, either the 
standard Windows boot loader takes over or lilo runs, depending on what 
OS i'm booting.

As always, there are several howto documents on multiboot setups.  I 
suggest you read them, at least two were for grub.

You asked about deleting Ubuntu.  I can't help you there but I would 
just delete the partition.  However, with that many distros installed, I 
would probably set aside another small partition for /home.  Otherwise 
you'll have to backup your /home dir for every distro separately.

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