Quick Linux Setup Question...

Quick Linux Setup Question...

Post by carpet%s » Sat, 05 Aug 1995 04:00:00

I have to hard drives in my system. Do I have to install LINUX on my first hard
drive (my boot drive) or can I install it on my second hard drive? Do I have to keep
a dos partition on that drive? And will I still get the option upon bootup for DOS
or Unix?



Quick Linux Setup Question...

Post by Adam Carpe » Sat, 05 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Hi! I have 2 hard drives in my system. Do I have to install linux on my boot hard
drive or can i install it on my second hard drive? Do I have to leave a dos
partition on the 2nd hard drive if I install it there? And will dos6 give me the
option to boot to linux?



Quick Linux Setup Question...

Post by Mike Hoskin » Sat, 05 Aug 1995 04:00:00

The best way I know how is to put Linux on the second hard drive.

Then, either make LILO (OS/2 boot manager is better) boot it or use a boot

The boot floppy is an EXCELLENT way to have multiple OS'es on 1 or more HD's!

The boot floppy can be labeled and write protected.  You can upgrade your
kernel easily with no fear of having a bad kernel upgrade, since a good kernel
may always be put on another floppy, etc.  Floppies are actually safer,
easier, and much more convenient.  They're also not much slower at bootup
time, and depending on your configuration, it can actually be slightly faster
(rare but possible).  Also, it secures your system more and doesn't make you
backup, repartition, reformat, install lilo, and restore your dos partition.

In short, I use a boot floppy for all of the above reasons, especially for the
above reason of making kernel backups (most important).

Let me give you one example:  I had first installed 1.1.59 and upgraded the HD
to 1.1.68.  Later I installed 1.2.1.  I then added another hard drive with dos
and windows on it and placed it in another machine.  NO PROBLEM, I created a
boot diskette designed for /dev/hdb1 (my second drive).  Then I compiled
1.3.11 and had severe problems with compatibility.  It would not compile very
much, including 1.2.8 (a stable kernel).  No big deal, I had a 1.2.1 boot
floppy still.  I booted it, and after a few days, I downloaded 1.2.12 and
compiled it and stored it on another floppy.  I now boot off of it.  I'm
getting ready to compile 1.2.13 and I have no worries, even if it screws up
the kernel on the HD!  BIG DEAL, so what if it does.  I never use /vmlinuz.  I
can ALWAYS go back to a write protected boot floppy (I have several backups).
AND, if I leave the floppy out at bootup, I, of course, get MSDOS, instead.

So, I strongly recommend a boot floppy to boot Linux to your second drive,
which stores Linux.

Others out there claim that booting off the hard drive is faster.  OK, you
save 1-5 seconds at boot up time, but you also RISK ALOT!  IF you can get LILO
to work, after wasting more time than you'll ever save booting up, you'll have
to have a boot up diskette with a stable kernel on it anyway, if you ever make
a kernel upgrade mistake (or if the kernel is not fully compatible with your
hardware, then...)  BTW, you still have to (normally) wait a few seconds for
LILO to boot your OS anyway, so maybe the floppy is faster (and ALWAYS safer)!

Well, I hope this helps.  If you need to know how to make a boot floppy, just
send me some email.

Mike Hoskins...


Quick Linux Setup Question...

Post by Paul Kerrig » Wed, 09 Aug 1995 04:00:00

On 4 Aug 1995 15:27:10 GMT, in comp.os.linux.setup, you seem to have
written :

Quote:>Hi! I have 2 hard drives in my system. Do I have to install linux on my boot hard
>drive or can i install it on my second hard drive? Do I have to leave a dos
>partition on the 2nd hard drive if I install it there? And will dos6 give me the
>option to boot to linux?

Firstly, I'm no expert, I'm replying only 'cos it sounds like you want
to do what I did last night (yes, I'm _that_ new to Linux).
You don't have to install LINUX on the "boot" hard drive. What I did
is installed Linux on my 2nd (smaller) HD, dedicating the entire HD
(230Mb,; split into a 16Mb Swap partition and the remainder as the
main Linux partition) to Linux. The is _no_ DOS partition on that disk
anymore !

I then installed LILO (A boot manager which came with my copy of
Linux) into the MBR of my first HD. This allows me to choose at
boot-up time, whether to Boot DOS or Linux; currently, If I don't
answer within 5 seconds, I've got it set to auto-boot DOS. Note that
your DOS ant-virus software (you do have some, don't you - and I don't
count MSAV) may object to the boot record changes. (Possibly at every
bootup, although that will depend on configurations).

By the way, I'd strongly recommend that you backup your entire HDD
system and create a boot floppy with all necessary tools in case you
have a disaster.


No problems. !  

PS: I'm using the Slackware release of Unix from InfoMagic
Distributions as supplied with teh "Using Linux - Special Edition"
published by QUE (ISBN: 0-7897-0100-6) (No, I'm not linked to this in
any way, but so far the book has saved me from trouble and it seems
readable. (I'm only in the early chapters).

Oh, just to give you my system spec in case it's relevant:
Dell 466/T (onboard Local-bus Video (S3 86c801/805), 8mb, 2 IDE HDD,
Floppy, Panasonic CR562-x CD-ROM using SoundBlaster 16 as interface.
Also, Conner TapeStor TBU.  

All of the above seem to be supported by Linux - except possibly the
Tape unit - I haven't tried it, but it's a QIC-WIDE device and there's
no mention of that format in the book. Looks like I'll get to test
Conners' "QIC-80 backwards compatible" claims  (((-:

PPS: I tried to email this to you directly at

this address didn't exist (Nameserver not found....)
Paul Kerrigan    | He said:"Smile & be happy, for things

                 | ...and things _were_ worse !
PGP Key at       |ftp.iol.ie/users/pkerrign/pgp-key
PGP Public Key Fingerprint = 8638B4DB7DEB08EFF2FC519D8A68FB6A


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