How to triple boot XP, Ubuntu & PCLOS?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by aigle, Nov 5, 2009.

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  1. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    I am trying to triple boot XP, Ubuntu and PCLinuxOS Gnome.
    I installed XP on a primary partition C. Then kept an extended partition for ubuntu. I installed PCLOS next choosing it to use free space after extended partition reserved for ubuntu. I used mostly default settings. Now i was able to dual boot XP and PCLOS fine.
    Next i installed ubuntu in the extended partition. When i booted after it, i was able to boot ubuntu and XP but can't boot PCLOS( Saying some file system erros i think). Tried super grub CD to boot PCLOS but still same.

    Second attempt. I installed xP on C partition. Next installed ubuntu on an extended partition. Dual boot was fine. Next i installed PCLOS using free space option. Again i was able to boot XP and PCLOS but not ubuntu.

    How can i fix this? Dual boot is fine but when i install third OS, i am unable to boot into second OS.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. iSole

    iSole Registered Member

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    I always install grub to each linux OS root partition, then copy to XPs mbr, and editing xp's bootloader,
    but there are other ways..
    (This way is easier to me, when you decide to get rid of your linux OS, or change them up alot.)

    Maybe one of these will shed some light on your prob.

    http://www.brunolinux.com/05-Configuring_Your_System/Multiboot_grub.html

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/ubuntu-help/66704-triple-boot.html

    The paragraphs at the bottom on this one might help you..

    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/li...ence-material/51822-how-triboot-computer.html

    Luck!

    You are putting PCLos in it's own partition, aren't you? Not just in the free space..
    it's got to be on it's own formatted partition, inside the extended partition..I wasn't sure from reading your post..
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  3. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I am getting some idea but still not sure. Seems I need hit n trial.

    I let PCLOS to install itself in the free space with partition automatically by itself. seems I need to do custom partitioning for it also.

    Can same swap partition be shared by two distros?

    Thanks
     
  4. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Yup - no problem. I am sharing a 2GB swap between Ubuntu 8.04 and Karmic 9.10.
    In fact the installer will see that you already have a linux swap partition, and you won't be prompted to create one.
    I reckon this should also be the case if you have two different distros like PCLOS and Ubuntu.
     
  5. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Ok. Thanks.

    How important is to have root and home on two different logical partitions rather than just one?

    Thanks
     
  6. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    As far as I am concerned it doesn't matter at all. When I was still dual booting with Windows, I had all the distro partitions in one extended partition. I do like my /home on a separate partition - as it contains most of the settings I made to apps. that I run. - easy to backup etc. (The ntfs partition shown in screenshot was just for storing images.)

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=204877&d=1229537248
     
  7. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    Why are you using extended partitions instead of primary? What probably is happening is that the partition designations are changing as you create the last partition.

    Try this. Boot the Ubuntu CD and use gparted to delete all but the XP partition. Then create all three remaining partitions at one time. A primary partition for Ubuntu, one for PCLOS and a swap partition. Now install the two Linux distros and all should be fine.
     
  8. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    ok, thanks. I wil try that.
     
  9. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Aigle, the problem that you run into is related to the new grub2 that Ubuntu installs and PClinuxOS doesn't recognize it. The configuration files are different.t

    You should be able to fix the problem by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst in PCLOS, but probably easier is to install the old grub in Ubuntu.
    The old grub has worked fine for decades and is still used by most distro's. You should not have any problems with using that.

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Grub2

    Succes!
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  10. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Stick with Grub legacy, it's production quality. Grub 2 is still beta! You don't want a beta bootloader on your machine, now do you?

    To other questions asked: separate /home, good idea, it's like a data partition, which is what I always do on all OS. swap, sure one swap to rule them all!

    Mrk
     
  11. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    While I am having none of the problems others are having with 9.10, I am wondering why there was such a need to jump to grub2 when no other distro supports it yet. Would a little uniformity across distros be so horrible?
    As far as the triple boot, wouldn't it be easy to install xp, then ubuntu with grub beta in /, then PCLOS with grub installed to mbr. You can then chainload ubuntu from grub.
     
  12. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    The need to jump to grub2 is tied to the adoption of ext4. Legacy grub doesn't recognize ext4 partitions. Lilo doesn't either. If you format the install partition for 9.10 or 9.04 to ext3, you can sitll use legacy grub.

    But I don't think that is the problem the OP is having. If his problem was with grub2, he should have been able to boot the last distro he installed. Grub2 might have missed one of the other OSs, but not the one being installed.
     
  13. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    Didn't know that. I knew there was an ext4 option for 9.04, but I assumed it used legacy.
     
  14. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Another way to get GRUB support for any new file system is by creating a small 100 MB /boot partition, formatted with ext2. Then you can format the rest of the partitions /, /home, etc any way you like.

    Hm, Lewmur makes a point, PCLOS probably won't recognize the ext4 file system. If you reinstall Ubuntu, the installer might find PCLOS and add it to the boot menu.
    Of course it's also possible by modifying the GRUB2 configuration, but it's so new that only few people know what to do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  15. lewmur

    lewmur Registered Member

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    If your boot partition has legacy grub, then you still have to install grub2 in the boot sector of the ext4 partition. Then you chain from grub in the MBR to grub2 in the boot sector of the ext4 partition. Sounds complicated but isn't really difficult once you've done it the first time.
     
  16. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    There is no problem with legacy grub and ext4. Whatsoever.
    Besides, grub2 + upstart makes ubuntu the strangest bird in the linux crowd.
    Mrk
     
  17. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    If I understand the configuration right, then Ubuntu and PCLOS are both installed in logical partitions, not in a bootable primary partition. Which makes MBR the only location available for GRUB.
    Things are much easier when you have a 100 MB primary partition for /boot.
     
  18. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    I think I would do it very similarly.
    Install XP
    Install PCLOS (ext3; legacy grub) to mbr - it's in extended partition but that shouldn't matter).
    Lastly install Ubuntu (ext4; grub2) in the free space of extended part. to /

    Then edit PCLOS menu.lst to chainload the Ubuntu.

    Why should that not work - maybe I'm missing something obvious ?
     
  19. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    PCLinuxOS 2009.2 supports Linux kernel 2.6.26, ext4 won't be accessible from it.
    First you need to reinstall Ubuntu and make sure that you select a different file system, like ext3.

    Aigle's problem is caused because Ubuntu is running in front of the other distro's with a new file system and a new GRUB release.
    Current Mandriva, OpenSUSE and Fedora releases do support ext4, with other distro's you have a risk of incompatible configurations that don't recognize each other.

    Been there, done that.
     
  20. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Yes, but I am chainloading from ext 3 Ubuntu 8.04 (old grub .97) to Karmic 9.10 (grub2) ext 4. It's fine, with of course the exception that I can't mount ext 4 from ext 3 - only vice versa.
    o_O
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  21. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    It,s a lot of hot discussion going on, i can,t grab all for sure but I am getting some idea atleast.

    Ok, I tried it from scratch now on a VM, after i succedd I wil do it on my real laptop. I don,t have a second licence for XP, so I will be using Windows7 RC in VBox alongwith Ubuntu and PCLOS-Gnome. I just want a triple boot, I don,t care if it is done with Grub 2 or legacy Grub.

    Here is how I did now.

    1- Installed windows 7 first, it made two primary partitions( hda1 and hda2).
    2- Made an extended partition hda3 for ubuntu and PCLOS.
    3- Made a primary partition FAT32( hda4).
    4- Made three logical partitions(hda5, 6 and 7) in the extended partition hda3.
    5- installed ubuntu with default settings nad Grub2, with swap in hda5 and root in hda6
    6- Rebooted and I can boot into Win 7 and Ubuntu fine with grub2, no problems at all.
    7- Now installed PCLOS with swap on hda5 and root on hda7, all default settings.
    8- Rebooted the VM and I can,t find any entery for Ubuntu. Only PCLOS and Win7. Both are booting fine. I think I need to chianload Ubntu in PCLOS Grun manue. Am I right? I so, how to do that.

    My PCLOS menu.lst and partition set up is here.

    I am willing to change anything in the setup, partitions, OS arrangement etc.

    View attachment menu.txt
    snapshot4.png
    snapshot5.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  22. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Aigle, here is my partitioning:

    fdisk.png

    /dev/sda1 is a primary partition with Windows XP (in your VM you could even install FreeDOS, just for the heck of it. No worry about licensing.
    /dev/sda2 is a primary partition with /boot formatted in ext2
    /dev/sda3 is the extended partition
    /dev/sda5 is fat32 data partition for Windows XP.
    /dev/sda6 is linux / formatted in XFS
    /dev/sda7 is linux swap
    /dev sda8 is linux /home formatted in XFS

    The idea is that /dev/sda2 is bootable and that you install legacy grub there.
    and because it's formatted with ext2, you won't risk that it won't boot.
    First you install PCLOS, with grub in /dev/sda2.
    Then you install Ubuntu with grub in MBR, it should find the bootcode in /dev/sda2 and create a menu enrty for it.
    During the boot process, you probably will get two menu's when you want to boot PCLOS, first the menu of grub2 and then another menu for grub legacy.
    But ala, it should work.

    I have one distro installed in this picture. For your system, you need to add /dev/sda9 for your second distro.
     
  23. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Hi wilbertnl, thanks a lot. I will try that.

    I guess that sda5, 6, 7 and 8 are logical partitions within sda3. Am I right?

    BTW where is sda4?
     
  24. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    It did not work too. :mad: o_O

    Installed Win 7. Made sda3 as boot and installed PCLOS with grub in sda3, swap in sda4 and root in sda6.
    Installed Ubuntu with root in sda7. Ubuntu and Win7 will work but i get error when I try to boot PCLOS on dev/sda6.

    1.png
    2.png
    3.png
     
  25. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Correct, and sda4 is reserved for another primary partition.

    This is how it works: sda1,2,3,4 are all primary partitions, sda5 and more are logical partitions.
    A disk can have a maximum of 4 primary partitions.
    The extended partition is actually also a primary parttion, but with a special purpose: containing logical partitions.
    Logical partitions always start numbering from 5 up, so you might see sda1 (primary), sda2 (extended) and then sda5 (logical), or even this:
    sda1 (extended) sda5 (logical).

    You should experiment with a new empty disk in your VM: create 4 primary partitions and see if you can add extended/logical partitions. And also create 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition and see if you can add a primary partition.
     
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