Clean Installation of Vista, XP and Ubuntu

5 pts.
Tags:
Dell laptop
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft Windows XP
OpenSolaris
OS installation
Ubuntu
Ubuntu Linux
Vista compatibility
Windows XP Professional
I have xp, vista 32bit, vista 64bit, ubuntu and opensolaris. I want to install all 5. 1. What should be primary and logical drives 2. What is the order I should install them 3. What is the boot manager, I should use 4. Can I install vista 32bit, and 64bit both

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I would use an open source boot loader like Grub. You’ll have a lot more versatility with Grub than with the Windoze loader. Then find yourself a bootable partitioning tool like G-Parted and create your partitions.

Your first partition will be your boot partition and only needs to be about 100M. You can choose whether you want to create two more primary partitions or just create an extended partition and segment that how you want.

After that, I would decide how big your windoze partitions are going to be because you can use LVM for the other two *nix OS’s (this means you can add space at will underneath your logical partition). At that point, you can use the installers of the OS’s to format your partitions with the respective file systems.

You’re going to have to decide how big your windoze partitions are going to be before hand because AFAIK, there is no LVM equivalent. The *nix partitions can be minimal and just add to the LVM’s when you need it with the rest of the disk(s).

As long as your architecture is 64bit, you won’t have a problem installing all of these OS’s, but obviously you can’t install a 64bit OS on 32bit architecture.

The short answer would be, install xp, vista, vista, solaris and then ubuntu.

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  • mshen
    This involves several different files systems. I think your best bet is virtualization.
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  • carlosdl
    I agree with Mshen. In this scenario, virtualization could be the best option, unless you need to have complete access to the hardware or features that are not available in a virtual machine.
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  • Djeepp
    I'm not sure why he would need virtualization just because of different file systems. File systems don't span partitions and you can put as many different partitions on a disk as you want.
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  • carlosdl
    You are right Djeepp, he may not need virtualization, but if he can achieve what he needs with virtualization, it might be a better option than creating a multi-boot configuration, since he cuold switch from one operating system to another without the need to reboot the machine, and he could even have more than one of his virtual machines running simultaneously. Also, he could create as many virtual machines as he wants, without the need to re-partition the disk, and if he decides to buy a new machine, it would be easier to move the virtual machines to the new host. But, it all depends on details we don't have. Cheers,
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  • Sds9985
    I already see some good suggestions here. You can install many operating systems on the hard drive(s) and use grub to boot any of them. This makes for lots of partitions, lots of tricks with the boot loader and MBR and implies that only one OS will be running at a time. If I wanted all of those OS's available and if I had enough RAM to support it, I'd install Sun's VirtualBox. You could use any of the operating systems as the base OS (although I think I'd use OpenSolaris for that), then create whatever guests you want. You'll need at least 512MB for each running guest, so if you have 1GB, you can have at least OpenSolaris and one other OS up at the same time. Any or all of the guests can be running at the same time, but if you run too many for the RAM you have, performance will degrade when the host OS starts to swap. You can switch back and forth between them instantly and you can share folders between any of them. VirtualBox is free. See www.virtualbox.org. I prefer Fedora for my workstation, but I have the need to test scripts under RHEL 5.3 and 4.7 and SLES 9.4, since that's what the Linux servers here run. So, I have the base OS as Fedora and the others available as guests under VirtualBox. Just for giggles, a colleague here (whose base OS is also Fedora) installed Windows 3.1 and DOS 6.2 as guests the other day. Both ran fine. The "filesystem" for each guest is just a file on the host OS drives, so no actual new partitions are needed. If you don't have the RAM to support the above approach, then you'll have to install all of them and use grub to select one at a time. I'd install the Windows versions first, then Ubuntu, then OpenSolaris. Windows will overwrite grub, so you want to get those in first, before you install Linux.
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  • mshen
    Djeepp, I didn't say you needed to use virtualization for different file systems, it would just make things easier which is why I put the suggestion in the discussion instead of the answer field.
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  • Djeepp
    I use VirtualBox every day to host my Windows OS and a few others. It is very efficient and not overly complicated. If you do decide to virtualize, I would agree with Sds9985 that VirtualBox is the way to go.
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  • WM
    I would like to recommend VirtualBox. I currently have a PC running, Vista, XP, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu and believe it or not a copy of OS/2! Yes! OS/2... :-) Everything appears to be running just great! I used to partition my disks and stuff and it was a real pain in the neck. You have to do all sorts of partitions. So, the best way to go is virtualization. Good luck!
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