Saturday, November 05, 2011

multiboot, here i come

these past days i've been doing some late autumn cleaning through my pc and laptop and finally settled to use my pc as the main box.
this also gave me an opportunity to do some clean installs and reorganize my disks.

for a long time i've wanted to try other distros. doing that in a virtual machine is kind of ok (with the added benefit that you always have something that works and a web browser at hand to look on the net for answers), but you never get 100% of what the machine can give. it's also the problem that, if you discover that you like more the distro from your VM, than you have to reinstall it again on the hard-drive to use it directly.

after a lot of thinking i've decided to try multibooting.

this is nice, as i always have something that work just a reboot away, but, at least the solution i came with, not without its share of problems. overall, i find it quite acceptable.

for me, these were the main challenges of multiboot:
  • maintain the list of boot-able OS's up-do-date
  • make sure that when installing a new os i don't destroy the booting capability of the existing ones (or i have at least some way to recover that booting capability later)
  • maintain the content of /boot for each linux distro

at the present i have these OS's installed:
in a couple of days fedora 16 is going to be released and i'll put it along the other distros, while keeping fedora 15 for a couple of weeks until fedora 16 stabilizes - no new release is without its share of small problems and i'm sure this will be case, too. having already a multiboot system in place should make this much simpler.

i might also try, at some point, sabayon 7 or ubuntu 11.10.

the hardware for my main box is:
there is no dedicated video card, as the Intel 3000HD from the i5 worked quite ok until now. this allowed me to reduce power consumption, heat and noise to a minimum, and this is always a good thing in my book ;-)

the only driver problem so far was with the network driver from fedora 15 (and archlinux core CD): the driver was a bit finicky and the connection dropped a lot. the best solution was to download the driver sources from realtek support page, compile the driver and install it
bellow is a diagrams with my current partitions. i use one unencrypted lvm2 for linux boot partitions and one encrypted lvm2 for the rest of the linux partions.

in the next couple of days i'll try to post more info on how i've configured the system.

let me know if this is useful to you.

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