Triple booting Windows, Fedora and Knoppix
Q I have a 40GB hard drive split into two 20GB partitions for Windows XP and Knoppix. I made a new 10GB partition and installed Fedora, wanting a triple boot so I could choose Windows, Knoppix or Fedora. When I rebooted after installation, only Fedora and Windows were on the boot menu, not Knoppix. I went into Fedora, and Knoppix is still there on hda6. I installed Knoppix again hoping that it would add Fedora to the boot menu, but it did not. Now it only shows Windows XP or Knoppix. Is there a way to add Fedora to the boot menu so I can pick XP, Knoppix, or Fedora? My setup is as follows:
hda1 Windows XP
A This is a fairly common situation when installing a second Linux distro. The installers are good at detecting an existing Windows system and adding the relevant option to the boot menu, but very few will pick up on other Linux installations. The result, as you have already discovered, is that your previous distro is still installed, but there appears to be no way to boot into it. As a short- term solution, you can usually use the installation disc in rescue mode to boot your installation. Pressing F1 after booting from the disc usually shows the options. The long-term solution is to add an entry to your current boot menu for the hidden distro. This is made easier here because both Knoppix and Fedora use the Grub bootloader. You need to load the Grub configuration files from the two distros into a text editor. First you will need to mount the other distro's partition with
mkdir -p /mnt/fedora
mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/fedora
Then select System > More Applications >File Manager -Superuser Mode from the KDE menu, navigate to /boot/grub and load grub.conf. Now go to the same directory in your Fedora setup and do the same. Highlight the three lines in the Fedora file starting with 'title Fedora' and copy them to the Knoppix file. Save and reboot and you should get your three way choice. If the Fedora installer used LVM (Linux Volume Manager) when partitioning the disk, you might not be able to access your Fedora files from within Knoppix, as Knoppix doesn't support LVM. In this case, you need to perform the process from Fedora, so you'll need to first reinstall the Fedora boot loader from the installation disc. Start the installer as before and select the Upgrade An Existing Installation option. Select the Update Bootloader Configuration option to reinstall the Fedora bootloader. Now let the update finish, boot into Fedora and copy the relevant section of the Knoppix boot menu to that of Fedora core. If you are interested in the various options for triple (and more) booting with Linux, there is an excellent reference at http://home.planet.nl/~elst0093/motub/multboot.html.
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