in over my head with triple-boot

Christer Edwards christer.edwards at
Sun Oct 29 23:27:51 MST 2006

On 10/29/06, Bart Whiteley <bart.plug at> wrote:
> On 10/29/06, Michael Torrie <torriem at> wrote:
> >
> > On Sun, 2006-10-29 at 21:35 -0700, Shane Hathaway wrote:
> > > So LVM on the root partition is working for you?  I've heard that's
> > > problematic.  It should be possible using initramfs, but have the
> > > distros actually finished the work required?
> > >
> > > You might try installing without LVM.  Then you could use gparted from a
> > > CD to reclaim the wasted space.
> >
> > One multi-boot tip I have with grub is to install each distro's grup
> > config to the partition itself, rather than the MBR. Then have one
> > distro in charge of the MBR.  Set up grub entries to chainload the other
> > grubs on the partitions.  This is what I do to dual-boot solaris and
> > fedora.  The reason I do this is so that respective kernel upgrades can
> > add entries to their respective grub.conf files.  If you boot all
> > distros from the same grub you'll have to always remember to change the
> > one grub.conf file.
> Yeah.  What he said.  I have _all_ of my distros install grub into the
> boot sector of the root partition, rather than the MBR.  Then I have
> another GRUB (stage{1,2} and menu.list) on another non-system partition
> (such as /home) that is installed into the MBR.
> For example, assume you have the following:
> hda1: Windows
> hda2: swap
> hda3: extended
> hda5: SUSE
> hda6: Fedora
> hda7: Ubuntu
> hda8: /home
> In such a situation, you'd probably want to install Windows first.  Then
> install one of the linux distros, say SUSE.  Install with root partition at
> hda5 and /home at hda8.  Install GRUB into the MBR just this one time
> only.  Then, after you boot into the SUSE system the first time, do the
> following:
> - cp -a /boot /home/
> - grub-install --root-directory=/home /dev/hda
> - grub-install /dev/hda5
> This installs the grub files from /home/boot/grub into the MBR, and the
> files from /boot/grub into the boot sector of /dev/hda5.
> Next, edit /home/boot/grub/menu.lst.  Change all of the entries to
> chainloader directives.  Like this:
> default 1
> timeout 8
> title Legacy OS
>     chainloader (hd0,0)+1
> title SUSE
>     chainloader (hd0,4)+1
> title Fedora
>     chainloader (hd0,5)+1
> title Ubuntu
>     chainloader (hd0,6)+1
> Now, whenever you install a Linux distro, make sure you
> install grub into the boot sector of the root partition, rather than
> the MBR.  If you forget to do this, or if the distro's installer doesn't
> allow this (I think Ubuntu does not), no big deal.  It's easy to fix.
> After booting into the distro that clobbered the MBR, repeat these
> commands:
> - grub-install --root-directory=/home /dev/hda
> - grub-install /dev/<root_dev>
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I think I've finally got everything together with some amount of
functionality.  For the time being I'm using one central menu.lst (I
will try & match your steps above soon).

The trouble I'm running into now is with file permissions.  Again, I'm
trying to share a /home between each distro (in an attempt to keep my
settings & profiles mobile between distros).  I find that when I login
I get permission denied errors & GDM craps out on me.

>From what I can find it looks like each distro handles the user/group
a bit differently.  What suggestions do you have for allowing each
distro to share the /home and allow settings & profiles to be loaded
on each?  The only solution I've used so far is to simply login as
root.. not the best.

Christer Edwards
Internet Marketing Consultant
chedwards at
800-743-9833 ext. 6040

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