Dual boot, but with two Linuxes

Derek Broughton news at pointerstop.ca
Mon Jan 29 14:21:53 UTC 2007

Duncan Lithgow wrote:

> 1. Because several distros (I only know of Ubuntu and Fedora) like to
> make automatic edits of the menu.lst file when they get new kernels.
> But if the menu.lst file is expected to keep track of several distros
> and which kernel is newest then I'm not sure I would trust the
> automatic editing mechanism. With GAG I have one thing for managing
> the boot (GAG) and another (GRUB) for managing the kernels _for each
> distro_. So here's the question:
> Q: Can GRUB be have 'automagick' edits for new kernels to menu.lst for
> several distros without getting messed up?
> A: (responses please)

That answer is either "probably not", or "not easily".  However, that
doesn't excuse suggesting people use something that's not part of Ubuntu to
do something that grub does equally well.  If you want to keep each distro
(NOT kernel) completely separate, you install grub to the MBR with each
bootable partition specified as a chainloader, and you install grub on each
partition (or Windows bootloader, or any other bootloader you want).  This
is just exactly what gag does.  I see the attraction, though personally I
hate the thought of having to go through TWO boot menus every time I start
> Q: How do I make GRUB be my friend once I've deleted the distro which
> originally installed it?
> A: (responses please)

Answered above...
> 3. Having to reinstall windows is not uncommon for many people. But if
> you reinstall windows after Linux, it wipes GRUB off the MBR.
> Reinstalling and setting up GRUB again is not a simple intuitive
> process.

Yes, it is.  (OK, only if your intuition includes googling, but it's a
pretty darn simple step to boot into the live cd, and run grub-install). 
How is the situation solved with gag? - you have IT installed to the MBR,
and Windows will delete it too.  Don't suggest that you have a gag floppy,
because you can have a grub floppy, too.

> With GRUB installed anywhere but the MBR it's still there 
> after a windows install - and with GAG managing the bootloading, and
> being easy to install off a floppy or CD,

Ooh, you just had to do it, didn't you.  Same as grub!

> Q: What's the most effective way for your grandmother to fix her dual
> boot system after reinstalling windows?
> A: (responses please)

Same as with gag.  Anyway, if your grandmother can install Windows, I
imagine _she_ can google.  Plus she's going to have to install gag, from

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list