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VDQ : Triple Boot Advice?



Let me set up a Very Dumb Question (VDQ). My apologies in advance for
repeating much of this to those who have been of such vast help getting me
this far. (Followup to: is set as gmane.linux.redhat.fedora.general)

I have a testbed machine which currently has /dev/hda1 - 6, according to
qtparted, with sizes 102 MB, 14 GB, 13 GB, 13 GB, 12 GB, and 14 MB
respectively (rounded to nearest whole MB or GB). It actually boots only
Ubuntu, which is on hda5. hda1 is /boot, and hda6 is swap.

I had CentOS alone on the whole hard drive, and found that Ubuntu 6.06
couldn't keep it, by any means I could find, using the GUI installer.
(Dunno if that's anaconda or something else.)

Getting Ubuntu 6.06-alternate instead, I tried to stumble and stagger
through text-install and manual partitioning, both for the first time --
and, not surprisingly, eventually did get Ubuntu installed, only at
the price of hosing CentOS.

(If I were doing it all over, perhaps I should do the partitioning first
and separately, with knoppix or gparted, or with qtparted if that has a
live cd. Maybe I should Dban the whole shebang, and repartition first
anyway ...)

After much help, I concluded that that release of Ubuntu had also been a
mistake : getting my must-have apps onto it cost lots of grief, and the
most essential, Alpine 1.0, never made it at all. That means I can't yet
give Ubuntu a fair test as to filling my needs.

So now I want to install CentOS 5.1 again, Ubuntu 7.10, and Fedora 8.

The VDQ comes in three parts.

First, the sequence : I'd prefer to put the new Ubuntu  onto one of the 13
GB partitions, and make it end up second in boot sequence. 

I *think* I'll be safer to install it first in time, and with the GUI
.iso, *not* with the text-install, which I lack the savvy to use. 

Can I do that? Or does installing it first in time force me to use the
first free partition? (If it does, but lets me keep the rest of the setup,
I'd rather live with it than tackle the text-install again, let alone
re-partition.)

Second, also about the sequence : given that all I've ever really run has
been RedHat or Fedora (but I've been doing that since RH7), will I be any
better off installing one of them before the other?

Third, does anyone know of an example somewhere of a grub.conf, for a
machine running three linuces, which I can manage to clone once I do get
all three installed?

I'm assuming that each OS will have a way of booting itself once I get to
it, and that the first and hardest job will be instructing grub how to get
to each, in a way that enables it to update for itself whenever any of
the three gets a fresh kernel on some update. Is that right?

My experience in the past has been that grub is everywhere dense, as the
mathematicians say. Not in this life will I get my head far enough
around it to have a real grasp of how to configure it -- not and get it
right. Man grub and its ilk wear out my fingernails as I try to climb the
walls.

But I can copy and vary, or follow a recipe if it's explicit enough.

-- 
Beartooth Staffwright, Neo-Redneck, Double Retiree,
Not Quite Clueless Linux Power User : F8, C5.1, U6.06;
I have precious (very precious) little idea where up is.




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