multiboot with grub: debian install questions

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multiboot with grub: debian install questions

Postby tuxracer » 2009-12-08 07:44

Hello,
I want to install Debian Squeeze on my laptop hard drive but I want to multiboot with another distro or two and also XP.

I am not sure if this poses a problem since many distros have gone to using Grub 2. What does Debian Squeeze use?

I also am not sure what method or configuration I should use. Is there a universal recommendation here? I am somewhat used to having a dedicated grub partition but perhaps the methods of creating and configuring such a setup is slightly different if using Grub 2 instead of Grub Legacy (aka Grub 1?)?

I could try the standard way and make Debian the last install but somehow I think it might be easier in the end of having a dedicated grub partition. What do you think? I thought it might be an idea to choose my distros and then use the Live CD to create the grub configuration from it (that is, use the Grub 2 from one of them) and then install the operating systems.

If there are already discussions on multi-booting for recent distros (that is, involving using Grub 2 and new ways of doing it?) and/or links with good threads on this, please list or point them out?

Thanks for any ideas or info.
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Re: multiboot with grub: debian install questions

Postby TristanDee » 2009-12-08 08:25

I just did Debian's netinstall last night and then upgraded to Squeeze. Grub had made an entry of Windows7 during netinstall without a problem. With Squeeze, Grub upgraded to Grub Stage 1.5, which I read somewhere is Grub 2. So, I think you should not face much trouble, especially with Windows XP. It's easier with Xp than 7.
BTW, I had my Grub written to MBR rather than a separate/dedicated partition.
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Re: multiboot with grub: debian install questions

Postby bugsbunny » 2009-12-08 15:33

The testing install disks (at least the netinstall) give you the option of installing either legacy-grub or grub2. Either should work, I've used both. legacy-grub is still less problematic at this stage though.
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Re: multiboot with grub: debian install questions

Postby tuxracer » 2009-12-08 19:59

How do I get a testing install disk? Is it installable only (not live CD)? Is it those weekly snapshots?

Second question: which grub should I use then? Is there any general consensus of which one is more recommended? Sounds like legacy-grub until grub2 develops more (i.e. the bugs or issues are worked out)?

Thanks for your reply!
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Re: multiboot with grub: debian install questions

Postby bugsbunny » 2009-12-08 20:32

These are daily builds and as such do break from time to time (example:last time I used one I had to use the text based install - the graphical installer wasn't working). I'm not sure what the current status is.
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Re: multiboot with grub: debian install questions

Postby tuxracer » 2009-12-08 20:52

Oh okay. But, I am wondering what kind of install I should use if I multiboot.

I can think of two options:

Install normally with the last distro to control the boot loading (I assume the grub of that distro) or a separate dedicated grub partition. I have tried both except I'm not sure how Grub 2 fits into either of this situation. I think some of the more recent distributions with later kernels and development use Grub 2. I also wondered if I update Debian to testing or sid, whether that means using Grub 2 or what.

Sorry if I sound especially clueless or ignorant here. I wasn't really adept at the partitioning and grub configuration even when I set things up but I did manage ultimately. I have no idea what the situation would be now though if I tried a similar arrangement. ;-)

The only common intangibles that would remain, however, is using XP, Debian and maybe two other distros. I am also looking into a VirtualBox setup but I believe I can do that no matter what I decide to do.
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Re: multiboot with grub: debian install questions

Postby bugsbunny » 2009-12-09 05:16

As I said either should work - but since you know it better and are more comfortable with it I'd go with legacy grub for now. At least for the moment you still have the option of which way to go. Beyond that it's really up to you. You can always install grub in future distro installs to the partition of that distro rather than the mbr and then chainload to there from the primary grub (this should work with either version of grub. Grub2 should pick this up automatically, at least in theory, when you run update-grub)
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Re: multiboot with grub: debian install questions

Postby miks » 2009-12-09 22:51

This is a very comprehensive tutorial on grub 2. http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub-2.html . I have read through it once but I will need to read some bits again to get my head around it. At the moment, I have grub legacy installed to MBR which came with a remastersys install I am checking out. That is also booting sidux and vista and chainloading to the grub 2 of my squeeze install.
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Re: multiboot with grub: debian install questions

Postby alpha-dog » 2009-12-09 23:15

When I installed grub2 the first time it called windows Vista, Xp. So I installed "os-prober" and ran update-grub2. That fixed the problem.

found this on another forum
run os-prober, grub-mkconfig & then update-grub2
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Re: multiboot with grub: debian install questions

Postby jheaton5 » 2009-12-10 18:03

alpha-dog wrote:When I installed grub2 the first time it called windows Vista, Xp. So I installed "os-prober" and ran update-grub2. That fixed the problem.

found this on another forum
run os-prober, grub-mkconfig & then update-grub2

good to run os-prober. update-grub2 runs grub-mkconfig.
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