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Can i run 2 linux distros and a windows distro all togethor as a multi boot?

(10 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by bbno
  • Latest reply from AdrianK-IT
  • Topic Viewed 3102 times

bbno
Posts: 135

For example, i would like to run ubuntu, another linux distro(any one) and a windows distro all in one.

Posted 2 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

In principle yes, but there is always a mess with the Grup bootloader. I run my Linux in Virtual Box. That is perfect. Another option is to install the Linux on a completely different disk and unplug the Windows disk during the installation.

Posted 2 years ago
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owen123
Posts: 800

whs, could you not run windows, with wubi ubuntu built in dual boot, then install another distro on a separate partition. My setup is; Windows 7, Windows 8 (Dual boot) Wubi Ubuntu, and then Ubuntu, puppy racy (not currently working), and zorin (not currently working), in virtual box.

Posted 2 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

You could I guess. But you get an awful mess with the 3 completely different bootmgrs - NTFS, Uefi and Grub. I would rather not venture into such a setup. But why don't you try and report back how it works. Then we have all learned something.

Posted 2 years ago
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owen123
Posts: 800

In the end, it is your risk, you can use easy BCD to edit the boot menu (i think there is a free version

Posted 2 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Easy BCD has always been free.
maybe,
http://gag.sourceforge.net/
I haven't tried it.

Posted 2 years ago
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owen123
Posts: 800

There is a premium version i think, i used it to change my boot menu to say

Windows 7
Windows 8
Ubuntu 11.10

instead of

Windows 7
Windows Developer Preview
Ubuntu

Posted 2 years ago
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waterpump
Posts: 1

Currently running 3 OS - ArtistX, Linux Mint and Windows XP between 2 disks as multiboot options on startup. Works fine so far, only problem is that Windows XP can't read the Linux format partitions / disks, but this is normal. Linux sees all partitions / disks.

Posted 2 years ago
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hArLtRoN
Posts: 766

I know from experience that GRUB overwrites the Windows 7 loader. What I did was installed my Linux distro, then put in my repair disc for Windows 7 to get the Windows 7 boot loader back. Once I was back in Windows 7 I downloaded EasyBCD and re-wrote the Master Boot Record with the Linux distro included. Now you don't have to mess around with GRUB. It worked for me!

Posted 2 years ago
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AdrianK-IT
Posts: 107

Well, you can certainly install and run two Windows OSs and a Linux distro without any problems, 'cos I do! No issue in principle why you couldn't have a dozen flavours of Linux happily co-existing, if you've a hard disk big enough, since they can be installed to logical partitions.

As I've just posted elsewhere on this forum, I simply don't get the 'it's too hard' responses that queries about dual-booting Windows and Linux always evoke on this forum. Wake up and smell the coffee, guys and gals, it's really quite easy nowadays! Many modern Linux distros eg LinuxMint12 are 'other OS friendly', because they include the os-prober utility (http://joeyh.name/code/os-prober/) so that all pre-existing OSs are detected and added to GRUB as possible choices.

Alternatively, it is easy enough to choose to install Grub to the root of the newly created Linux partition, mount the Windows partition, 'dd' the linux boot sector to a file called eg linux, then run bcdedit (which isn't hard to understand, run bcdedit /? a few times to learn the syntax) and add that file as a possible boot option to the Windows boot menu. (Then, when you boot Linux, you'll find you can boot back to Windows from the Grub menu, 'cos os-prober has done its work!)

Needless to say, make sure you have a foolproof way of restoring your system to its pre-existing state before you attempt this sort of thing (it's irrelevant whether you're new to it or not, I'm an old hand but always backup first! It's easy to backup/restore the Windows boot aka bcd store before tinkering, using the export/import commands.)

I'll post more details of the specific commands to use if anyone is interested, based on LinuxMint12, and bcdedit on Vista/Seven.

Posted 2 years ago
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