openSUSE Multi Boot System : openSUSE, Fedora, LinuxMint, Ubuntu & Free DOS/Windows

mediumI’m currently using 5 OS in my Laptop, HP 4421s : FreeDOS/Windows, openSUSE, LinuxMint, Fedora & Ubuntu. The main goals are for testing purpose only but I would prefer to install all of those OS in physical instead of virtual because I’m trying to use different OS for work and daily usage. Our client has various Linux system and I must support them for managing their system. Using multiple Linux OS keep me open minds (:-D ) with the features and native command of each OS.

Free DOS bundled and installed automatically with laptop while the others installed manually. openSUSE 11.4 “Celadon” is my first choice, then LinuxMint 10 “Julia”, follows by Fedora 14 “Laughlin” and last (but my be not least :-) ) is Ubuntu LTS 10.04.2 Lucid Lynx. Among the installed OS, LinuxMint and Ubuntu is the winner for setting up grub bootloader. LinuxMint and Ubuntu detected all of OS and added the OS choice into bootloader successfully. openSUSE was only successful for FreeDOS/Windows and Fedora but it fails to detect LinuxMint and Ubuntu, similar thing with Fedora bootloader.

If you have similar problem : multiple boot between openSUSE and Ubuntu varians but openSUSE could not verify the Ubuntu Varians OS choice in bootloader, below is a guide to added them manually :

  1. Check partition with  fdisk -l
    server:/home/vavai # fdisk -l
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x1a18fb65
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1            2048     1845247      921600    b  W95 FAT32
    /dev/sda2         1847294   215769087   106960897    f  W95 Ext'd (LBA)
    /dev/sda3   *   215769088   415768575    99999744   83  Linux
    /dev/sda4       415768576   518168575    51200000   83  Linux
    /dev/sda5         1847296     6055935     2104320   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sda6         6057984   171094479    82518248   83  Linux
    /dev/sda7       171096064   213821439    21362688   83  Linux

    As described on the above command, I have multiple partition, e.g : sda1 for FreeDOS/Windows, sda3 for openSUSE, sda4 for LinuxMint and so on.

  2. Check harddisk mapping on /boot/grub/device.map
    server:/home/vavai # cat /boot/grub/device.map
    (hd0)   /dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD3200BEKT-60V5T1_WD-WXM1A50N1137
    (fd0)   /dev/fd0

    I have  1 harddisk only,  320 GB, known as hd0 by openSUSE

  3. Based on the above info, we may add OS choice into grub/bootloader choice by make a small changes to file  /boot/grub/menu.lst. Save a backup copy of your /boot/grub/menu.lst and Look at my menu.lst, contains an entry for LinuxMint and Ubuntu :
    server:/home/vavai # cat /boot/grub/menu.lst
    # Modified by YaST2. Last modification on Mon Jan 31 11:21:08 WIT 2011
    # THIS FILE WILL BE PARTIALLY OVERWRITTEN by perl-Bootloader
    # Configure custom boot parameters for updated kernels in /etc/sysconfig/bootloader
    
    default 4
    timeout 8
    ##YaST - generic_mbr
    gfxmenu (hd0,2)/boot/message
    ##YaST - activate
    
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
    title openSUSE 11.4
    root (hd0,2)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD3200BEKT-60V5T1_WD-WXM1A50N1137-part3 resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD3200BEKT-60V5T1_WD-WXM1A50N1137-part5 splash=silent quiet showopts vga=0x317
    initrd /boot/initrd
    
    #Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: none#
    title Linux Mint 10
    root (hd0,5)
    kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda6 ro quiet splash
    initrd /initrd.img
    
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name:  Fedora (2.6.35.6-45.fc14.x86_64) (/dev/sda4)###
    title Fedora (2.6.35.6-45.fc14.x86_64) (/dev/sda4)
    root (hd0,3)
    configfile /boot/grub/menu.lst
    
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows###
    title Windows
    rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    chainloader +1
    
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: floppy###
    ##title Floppy
    #    rootnoverify (fd0)
    3    chainloader +1
    
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
    title Failsafe -- openSUSE 11.4
    root (hd0,2)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD3200BEKT-60V5T1_WD-WXM1A50N1137-part3 showopts apm=off noresume edd=off powersaved=off nohz=off highres=off processor.max_cstate=1 nomodeset  x11failsafe vga=0x317
    initrd /boot/initrd
    
    ###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
    title Kernel-xen
    root (hd0,2)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-xen root=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD3200BEKT-60V5T1_WD-WXM1A50N1137-part3 resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-WDC_WD3200BEKT-60V5T1_WD-WXM1A50N1137-part5 splash=silent quiet showopts vga=0x317
    initrd /boot/initrd-xen
    
    #Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: none#
    title      Ubuntu 10.04
    root       (hd0,6)
    kernel     /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda7 ro quiet splash
    initrd     /initrd.img
  4. Modify your /boot/grub/menu.lst to include Ubuntu varians OS choice into bootloader by using the above menu.lst as an example. Restart your computer to see whether your modification works or not

Note :  /boot/grub/menu.lst will be changes each kernel upgrade, so make a backup copy for your working bootloader so you can restore it after kernel upgrade.

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