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Author Topic: multiboot XP/VL - adding MINT without GRUB [Solved]  (Read 1926 times)
mick12345678
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« on: October 21, 2009, 10:42:49 am »

I have a multiboot system, with XP, VL5 and VL6 using LILO.

I don't use VL5 anymore, so I thought I'd put MINT on there just to see what it's like  Shocked .

Reading the ISO documentation though, it sounds like it will insist on writing GRUB to the boot sector which would mess things up.

Does anyone know how I could just get MINT to overwrite the VL5 partition and then invoke it by editing liloconf, and completely avoid grappling with GRUB  Huh
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 12:21:24 pm by mick12345678 » Logged
Daniel
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 10:50:32 am »

Maybe you could let it install grub and then after the installation, you could boot VL6 (with an installation cd if necessary) and run vliloconf to put lilo back.
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 05:41:15 pm »

I have a multiboot system, with XP, VL5 and VL6 using LILO.

I don't use VL5 anymore, so I thought I'd put MINT on there just to see what it's like  Shocked .

Reading the ISO documentation though, it sounds like it will insist on writing GRUB to the boot sector which would mess things up.

Does anyone know how I could just get MINT to overwrite the VL5 partition and then invoke it by editing liloconf, and completely avoid grappling with GRUB  Huh

I don't know anything about GRUB except that I've never been able to figure it out and therefore won't use it. However, I would refuse to use a distro that does not offer me a choice of where I want the boot loader to be, including not loading a boot manager at all. Plus I would insist that there be an easy way to boot to the system without a boot loader installed, such as the option to boot to an installed system like we get with the VL installation CD.

I have no desire to see what a rude distro is like.  Wink I hope Mint does not fit in this class and that it's simply a question of finding out how to do what you want to do.
--GrannyGeek
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M0E-lnx
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 11:18:07 am »

You'll be surprised at how many of the most common distros actually sneak grub in behind the scenes. Wink
sort of like a la` windows Wink
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mick12345678
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 11:22:23 am »

To be fair, I may have maligned MINT - perhaps there is a grubless option..I'll dig a bit deeper. I would rather not overwrite the MBR as I have done this successfully before and so  my good luck may now be exhausted  Grin
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mick12345678
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2009, 10:29:52 am »

Having actually run the MINT installer now, I realise that I *did* malign it. If you choose the 'manual' option on the partition page, then later on you get an almost hidden 'advanced' button. This allows you to choose where to put the bootloader and also gives an option not to install one at all  Smiley

So thats what I did - no bootloader, and I reused my existing VL5.9 partition for the MINT root partition. I unchecked the 'format' box (since it was already EXT3, I thought this might be ok). The install finished and I rebooted into VL6 and ran VASM to rewrite LILO to the MBR. Rebooted, and the LILO menu now showed XP, VL6 and an extra entry called 'Debian...'. So VASM had detected the MINT O/S and created an entry for it.

Did it work ? Of course not  Wink but at least that was a good start (selecting the Debian entry gave me a few screenfulls of text followed by an obscure error message - somethign about xfce4 not seeing an exec line).

So, I reasoned that maybe I should have formatted the partition after all. SO I went back and redid it and everything seemed to go ok. But, when I reran VASM it no longer saw the Debian partition  Huh (fdisk -l still showed it - or showed that there was such a partition).

Is this something to do with me losing the partition boot flag (there from VL5.9) when I formatted it ?

I tried VASM from text-mode, but same result.
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gamfa
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2009, 04:19:12 am »

Is there some reason you are writing LILO to the mbr instead of installing it to the individual partition and using the NT bootloader in XP? Over the years, for some reason, I have had problems booting when I wrote lilo to the mbr multiple times when adding or changing distros.

Can you boot into the Mint partition using a VL install disk? When I load a distro the does not have lilo, I will boot it from a VL disk and install a Slackware LILO package. Copy a VL lilo.conf to the partition and modify it to boot that partition and install it to that partition. Then, rip the boot sector from that partition and use NT bootloader.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 04:36:30 am by gamfa » Logged

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nightflier
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2009, 04:38:29 am »

You definitely want to format the partition where you install to. Otherwise, it will be mixing old and new files into one huge mess. The boot flag only needs to be set on the partition from which you boot (usually first one).

My experience with some distros using GRUB is that they look for Windows only and ignore others. However, if GRUB does install properly, it is easy to manage afterwards by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst.
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mick12345678
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2009, 12:19:06 pm »

Quote
You definitely want to format the partition where you install to. Otherwise, it will be mixing old and new files into one huge mess.

2nd time around, that's what I did, but no joy.

Quote
The boot flag only needs to be set on the partition from which you boot (usually first one).
hmmm..according to both 'fdisk -l' and gparted NONE of my partitions have the boot flag set !

Quote
My experience with some distros using GRUB is that they look for Windows only and ignore others. However, if GRUB does install properly, it is easy to manage afterwards by editing /boot/grub/menu.lst.
well, the way I ran the MINT install, there should be no grub there at all..

Quote
Is there some reason you are writing LILO to the mbr instead of installing it to the individual partition and using the NT bootloader in XP?
I tried NTLoader before and it worked but I settled on LILO a long time ago.

Quote
Can you boot into the Mint partition using a VL install disk?
I don't know ..I've never tried that. Will see if I can give it a go.
(update 10 mins later)
Some sort of progress..I booted off the VL6 installation disk and entered
Quote
linux root=/dev/sda2 ro
at the "boot" prompt. I then got many pages of stuff (too fast to read) and finally...a MINT desktop cum welcome message ! That was as good as it got though, as the system was locked up and the mouse and keyboard didnt seem to be recognised.

Thanks for the replies  Grin
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 12:55:19 pm by mick12345678 » Logged
nightflier
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2009, 06:58:50 pm »

Using the VL disc to boot Mint will cause problems, as the kernel will not be correct.

You may need to manually edit lilo.conf to add the new entry.
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brokndodge
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2009, 05:52:26 am »

i don't know if it's right or not, but personally i will flag every partition that has an operating system on it as bootable.  currently have vista and vl6 installed.  generally vl6 will be the last thing i install, but it should be ok just to replace the os in partition.  let it do it's normal thing.  don't change any of the boot options.  go ahead and let it install to the mbr.  then boot the vl6 install cd and use it to repair the mbr.  every thing should work then.

and yes, every time you replace the os on a partition is has to be formated.
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brokndodge
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mick12345678
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2009, 12:40:02 pm »

Quote
You may need to manually edit lilo.conf to add the new entry.
I was afraid someone might say that  Shocked ...

Quote
go ahead and let it install to the mbr.  then boot the vl6 install cd and use it to repair the mbr
I'm sure I've seen posts where people report problems caused by mixing LILO and GRUB (one overwriting the other - not sure of the order) on the same MBR. I might try this if I can't work out how to edit lilo.conf, but why would LILO be able to spot the install then when it can't at the moment ?
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newt
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2009, 02:30:13 pm »

In a virtual environment the following has worked for me:
-mount your mint root partition somewhere (e.g. mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/tmp)
-edit lilo and add the following (this example uses the device and mount point mentioned above - sda2 and /mnt/tmp, respectively):
Code:
image = /mnt/tmp/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-11-generic
    root = /dev/sda2
    label = LinuxMint
    append = " "
    read-only
    initrd = /mnt/tmp/boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-11-generic
-rewrite lilo paying attention to any error messages - warnings are okay (e.g. lilo -v)

I received a verbose warning that the initrd image was larger than the kernel space and the hole between 15-16M, but it does not seem to have affected functionality. Mint was added and boots successfully.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2009, 02:32:02 pm by newt » Logged
mick12345678
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Posts: 140


« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2009, 12:39:27 pm »

Quote
-mount your mint root partition somewhere (e.g. mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/tmp)
wouldn't I have to have some way of mounting /dev/sda2 prior to booting for this to work ? On 2nd thoughts, I can see how that would be do-able if you were in a Virtual environment, but how can I adapt that to a non-virtual setup, where nothing is mounted at bootup ?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 02:35:24 pm by mick12345678 » Logged
mick12345678
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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2009, 10:51:16 am »

decided to try it anyway..
Code:
root:# lilo -v
LILO version 22.8, Copyright (C) 1992-1998 Werner Almesberger
Development beyond version 21 Copyright (C) 1999-2006 John Coffman
Released 19-Feb-2007 and compiled at 02:39:03 on Apr  1 2008.

Warning: LBA32 addressing assumed
Reading boot sector from /dev/sda
Using BITMAP secondary loader
Calling map_insert_data
Mapping bitmap file /boot/bitmap/boot.bmp -> std.bmp
Calling map_insert_file

Boot other: /dev/sda1, on /dev/sda, loader CHAIN
Added Win

Boot image: /boot/vmlinuz -> vmlinuz-2.6.27.12
Mapping RAM disk /boot/initrd
Added linux *

Boot image: /boot/vmlinuz -> vmlinuz-2.6.27.12
Mapping RAM disk /boot/initrd
Added linux-tui

Boot image: /mnt/tmp/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-11-generic
Mapping RAM disk /mnt/tmp/boot/initrd.img-2.6.28-11-generic
Warning: The initial RAM disk is too big to fit between the kernel and
   the 15M-16M memory hole.  It will be loaded in the highest memory as
   though the configuration file specified "large-memory" and it will
   be assumed that the BIOS supports memory moves above 16M.
Added LinuxMint ?

Writing boot sector.
/boot/boot.0800 exists - no boot sector backup copy made.
2 warnings were issued.

which looks like it might be ok  Wink so I'll reboot now & see what happens  Undecided

UPDATE - 5mins later..

It worked !! I am writing this from MINT Smiley Thanks for all the help - especially Newt.

To attempt to answer my own last  question
Quote
wouldn't I have to have some way of mounting /dev/sda2 prior to booting for this to work ? On 2nd thoughts, I can see how that would be do-able if you were in a Virtual environment, but how can I adapt that to a non-virtual setup, where nothing is mounted at bootup ?
when you run 'lilo -v', Lilo resolves any temporary references and presumably translates them into something the Bios can use.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 11:44:35 am by mick12345678 » Logged
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