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Making a dual-boot RH9 and Fedora Core 3 computer

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Making a dual-boot RH9 and Fedora Core 3 computer
TGodfrey 07-07-05

There are many different ways to configure dual booting Linux and Windows on a computer. There are very few documented methods in configuring a dual booting Linux setup. This write-up (although not perfect), should give the basis of getting Red Hat 9 and Fedora Core 3 working on the same hard drive.

The machine I used is a standard IBM PIII-600, 128mb RAM, with roughly 40gb of hard drive space. It’s a great machine which I’ve had for many flawless years and is about as solid as a mid-1950’s Buick.

My plan is to divide it in half for this installation. I booted from the RH9 CD, configured Disk Druid accordingly:

/boot    ext3    100mb
/        ext3    15000mb (15gb)
       swap    520mb

…then loaded the box in a workstation configuration. The install ran through the three CD’s and rebooted afterward. Other items were finalized when it came back and the installation looked good. I then accessed TERMINAL, changed to /etc, and copied the existing grub.conf file to grub.rh9_1 to make a backup copy. Put Fedora CD#1 in the drive and then do an ‘init 6’ for the reboot.

You will want to do a new installation, not an upgrade to the RH9 system. I decided to do the partitioning very similar as before. When it got to putting together the grub file, I selected it to write a new one. The rest of the install went very well and I rebooted afterwards.

The machine came back and only the Fedora part was in the newly written grub file just like I told it to do. Great….now where is the RH9 install I did earlier? Since the computer was running, it was decided to access TERMINAL, change to /etc, and copy the existing grub.conf to grub.fed_1 since I like working with a safety net. I rebooted with the original RH9 CD, fixed the grub for RH9 to boot, and then rebooted yet again.

I figured all I have to do is update the RH9-made grub with a few lines from the Fedora-made grub and all will be well. This was true and all works very well. Listed below are the steps I did and the final grub.conf file:

1. Go to TERMINAL
2. Type: cd /mnt [ENTER]
3. Type: mkdir Fedora [ENTER]
4. * When I configured the Fedora installation, it saw the ‘/’ as hda5 So….type: mount /dev/hda5 /mnt/Fedora [ENTER]
5. Type: cd /mnt/Fedora [ENTER], then an ‘ls’ to list files
6. Type: cd /etc [ENTER], then type: cat grub.fed_1 [ENTER]
To display the contents of the file
7. Open another TERMINAL
8. Type: cd /etc, then type: vi grub.conf [ENTER]
9. Add the Fedora lines where you would like and how you would like. Make sure the save the file when you are done. My grub.conf file looks like:

default=0
timeout=10
splashimage=(hd0,0)/grub/splash.xpm.gz
title RH Linux 9 (2.4.20-6)
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.20-6 ro
    root=LABEL=/ hdc=ide-scsi
    initrd /initrd-2.4.20-6.img
title Fedora Core 3 (2.6.9-1)
    root (hd0,4)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.9-1.667 ro
    root=LABEL=/12 rhgb quiet
    initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.9-1.667.img

I am sure there is probably a simpler way of getting the same results, but the entire exercise took about 45 minutes and it was kind of fun to do. Hopefully, you can glean what you need from this without doing the extra install of RH9. Just make sure the kernel version and hard drive setup match what you have. It works well and I now have a working knowledge of doing a dual boot Linux setup.

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