Laptop Diaries VIII

What have I learnt?

These entries have been about putting the three operating systems onto my Dell C400. I knew that a problem existed with the cheap video subsystem implementation and I've only suceeded because I have pre-beta code for Solaris 10. (This will be made available sometime soon). Its possible to learn about Solaris on the C400 and installing a triple boot. The key lessons (for me) have been.

The installers do not behave well together, so the installation process is sensitive to the order you choose to install them in. I suggest Windows, then Solaris, then Linux. This is for two reasons,

  • Linux and Solaris use the same partition label for Linux Swap and Solaris, and it would seem that the Solaris installer is the more badly behaved, so running it before Linux is on the system is a good thing.
  • By installing Linux last, you end up with grub as the boot manager, this is good because its pretty, configurable and powerfull. It also recognises the three partitions and sets up its menu to work.

This would not have been possible without a low level disk manager that allowed me to create and shrink the basic partitions. I used Partition Magic. See here..., now seemingly owned by Symantec. I used this to shrink my initial windows partition. See 2 below.

Triple Boot

I also used it to create a partion for the Linux build at the end of the disk. See 3 above. This had the effect of reserving the partition from the Solaris install. (See 4 above). I then installed Red Hat into the space I had reserved. I used Red Hat's disk druid to remove the partition and it installed into 'unassigned space'.

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Comments:

I am trying to do the same with my brand new D610. The first issue is learning about fdisk partitions (primary? extended? boot partitions? diagnostic partitions? huh?) I don't have a floppy, so have tried to use the System Rescue CD (http://www.sysresccd.org/) with some success but I am not all the way there yet. Your information is very helpful and gives me hope.

Posted by John Roman on April 22, 2005 at 07:22 AM PDT #

Glad its helping!

Posted by Dave on April 23, 2005 at 03:35 AM PDT #

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