dual boot pclinuxos and ubuntu

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dual boot pclinuxos and ubuntu

Postposted on Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:14 pm

I'm trying to dual boot a machine that currently has Xubuntu on it and put PCLinuxOS on it (actually Tinyme, but essentially it uses the same installer). I get through and select the ext3 partition, select '/' as the mout point and then format and install. However this method brought me directly to Xubuntu without selecting which OS I wanted to boot to. I then tried again and selected '/boot' as the mount point. This brought me to a very strange selector but only for the PCLOS options. But selecting these would only boot to a command line. startx errored out.

I've read two different schools of thought. One is that the grub bootloader can't fit both in and therefore one will need to be repaired from within the other. The other opinion is that linux has no issues dual booting with other linux distros.

My question is how can I do this. The Drakinstaller is less intuitive (to me) than ubuntus, but not overly difficult. What am I missing?

I'm using this machine as a test box so I shouldn't have any issues when I add PCLOS (or Sabayon) to my current Ubuntu install on my main box.

Thanks.
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Re: dual boot pclinuxos and ubuntu

Postposted on Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:27 pm

Out of curiousity, why install 2 different linux-based OSes. Seems redundant and, for the most part, sort of silly.

I'm curious where you've seen claims that grub can't boot more than one distro. Frankly, that's ridiculous. Just configure grub from your existing ubuntu install to have an entry to boot to your new pclinuxos install. There's no need to mess with installers.
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Re: dual boot pclinuxos and ubuntu

Postposted on Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:52 pm

I want to dual boot to become more accustomed to the distro, fully realize its pros and cons and then decide whether or not I want to exchange Ubuntu for it. The LiveCD, although a very powerful and useful tool, does have limitations. With programs such as Wine and others, I suppose I could ask the same question to others who dual boot Mac OS and Ubuntu or XP/Linux... basically because they want to, and because it adds a certain ease of use that some 'emulators' don't offer.

With that said, I just did a quick search and can't find where I found the forum posting explaining the installing of a second grub and the need to repair the original boot grub. Though the bulk of what I've read seems to attest there is no issues multibooting Linuxes... but here I am. If I have to go back to recover the grub, clearly there are some issues with the dual booting of separate distros, hence the need for posts like this: http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=224351

Anyway, I suppose I'll try and recover the menu.lst that I've seen posted, but please any advice/input is welcome.

Thanks
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Re: dual boot pclinuxos and ubuntu

Postposted on Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:48 pm

Ok.

Haven't had time to go back and try to fix the grub yet, but I have another issue that someone might be willing to help with.

I want to try TinyMe on my old 600E laptop (want to compare its performance to my minimal Ubuntu+Xfce install) but I can't get any PCLOS distro to recognize a PCMCIA device on this machine using the LiveCD. If I load it onto my desktop it picks up the onboard NIC with no problems but it doesn't recognize neither the wired or wireless cards on this laptop. Any thoughts?

Thanks.
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Re: dual boot pclinuxos and ubuntu

Postposted on Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:14 pm

I was going to say, you'll have to fix the GRUB menu.lst file to point to the other distro as well.

As for your driver problem, there probably aren't any Linux drivers available for them, or, at least, there aren't any available drivers on the LiveCD you're using. NDISwrapper is your answer.
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Re: dual boot pclinuxos and ubuntu

Postposted on Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:18 pm

Okay

I followed the instructions in the link I had posted before to fix the grub so it would dual boot, and now at boot it only loads to a grub terminal. So my question is: how do I fix this part AND fix the grub menu so I can actually dual boot?

Thanks.

Edit: Just walked back through the HOWTO in the link and made the other partition (hd,0,0) root and now I get back to the Xubuntu Usplash but then it blanks out after a few seconds and if I hit the space bar I get a PCLOS terminal login (but never set a login or password). Again, thanks for any help.
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Re: dual boot pclinuxos and ubuntu

Postposted on Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:26 pm

Alright, we're going to need to see some configuration files now. Let's start with your menu.lst file and fstab for each OS.
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Re: dual boot pclinuxos and ubuntu

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:26 am

That would be difficult unless I could get to them from the LiveCD since neither OS would boot. But, I dumped the TinyMe and installed PCLOS over top of it and that installed without issue and boots properly. I added the Xubuntu to the grub/menu.lst but now after I select it in the grub menu, I get about 5 seconds into the xubuntu usplash before it blanks to a flashing cursor with no errors posted. (When I hadTinyMe installed and would try to boot Xubuntu, I would get the blank screen (after the 5 second usplash) and if I would hit a key I would get a PCLOS command prompt... odd since I was booting Xubuntu)

I am starting to think that the TinyMe discs I have (3 separate ones) have something wrong with the installers since nothing I do can get it to boot. I'm just trying to see if I can salvage the xubuntu install. Its not important, but this whole experience was done to practice dual booting my main box, and if this happens to that, I'd be very upset.
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Re: dual boot pclinuxos and ubuntu

Postposted on Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:15 am

When it comes to dual booting, you need to have a more hands on approach during the install process. You can't expect the installer to just know what you want to have happen. It sounds to me that the /boot/grub/menu.lst isn't set right. I would need to see it in order to help you further. The only thing I can think of is that the kernel can't find it's root directory.

The best I can figure, you have four partitions on your HDD. A boot partition, a swap partition, and two root partitions. The /boot partition can house several different kernels and support several different distributions as well. The swap partition can be used by any distribution. The two root partitions are obviously for each Linux distribution. I'll assume /dev/hda1 is /boot, /dev/hda2 is swap, /dev/hda3 is PCLOS' root partition, and /dev/hda4 is XUbuntu's root partition.

I just whipped up this mini-HOWTO now. Without knowing more about your system, I can't really offer any specific advice. All you can do is check to see if you've setup things right in comparison to what I've laid out here. Also, I don't know much about how either of your distributions expect things to be done. So don't get all uppity if there's something that doesn't conform to the PCLOS or XUbuntu way.

You'll need to run GRUB manually because it may get confused or not see the other distribution. You only need to run grub one time, so you don't have to keep running it every time you install another distribution.
Code: Select all
# grub-install --no-floppy

grub> root (hd0,0)
grub> setup (hd0)
grub> quit


You'll need to edit this for every distribution you install or add. One thing to be sure of is that each Linux distribution has a unique name for the kernel image.
/boot/grub/menu.lst
Code: Select all
# Which listing to boot as default. 0 is the first, 1 the second etc.
default 0
# How many seconds to wait before the default listing is booted.
timeout 30
# Nice, fat splash-image to spice things up :)
# Comment out if you don't have a graphics card installed or if you don't want a splash image
splashimage=(hd0,0)/boot/grub/splash.xpm.gz

title=PCLOS
# This assumes that PCLOS' root directory is on /dev/hda3
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/kernel-pclos root=/dev/hda3

title=XUbuntu
# This assumes that XUbuntu's root directory is on /dev/hda4
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/kernel-xubuntu root=/dev/hda4


You need to be sure that /etc/fstab mounts the correct /dev/hda partition as the root for each distribution.

The only way we'll be able to help you is if you work with us. A LiveCD will certainly be able to read data of your hard drive. You'll even be able to do a copy/paste with the Web browser that's bundled with most LiveCDs.
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