multi booting

*I’ve been having a blast playing around with my “guinea pig” PC installing various OSes and setting up multiboot.

So far it will boot FreeDOS, DOS62, Win95_OSR2, Win98SE, WinXP_Pro_SP3, and Linux.


  1. To learn the technology

  2. So I can boot any of my machines to DOS for development of timing-critical apps and/or apps that need exclusive and unimpeded direct access to the bare metal.

  3. To run legacy DOS apps that don’t like emulators.

For you multi-booters out there, what boot manager do you use?

I’ve always liked LILO.


Are you using GRUB right now? Does it do what you need?


Boots logical partitions

Boots disk images

Leaves the partitions unmodified

MBR installed only once

Does not require its own partition

Edit a simple text file to add new boot partitions to the menu

Can manually enter boot commands at boot time if need be

I use WIndows Boot Manager! Yes, I am not the best with advanced things. I currently have two Windows 7 Installations and an Ubuntu installation. I use WUBI for Ubuntu because it is easy to install and uninstall ubuntu with that boot loader! :smiley:

I am a big fan of GRUB and GRUB 2. Personally I find that the original GRUB is a bit easier to work with, but that’s probably because I grew up with it.

Could you give some examples?

Sure–the main thing that comes to my mind is adding new operating system entries to the GRUB boot menu. In the original GRUB, all you needed to do was add an appropriate entry to the /boot/grub/menu.lst file. Maybe something like this:

title Fedora
root (hd0,1)
chainloader +1

Whereas in GRUB 2, you cannot edit the corresponding menu file(which I believe is /boot/grub/grub.cfg) by hand like that. Instead, there are two different places you have to look into: /etc/grub.d/ and /etc/default/grub.

/etc/grub.d contains a set of scripts that represent separate entries in the menu(among other things) which you should edit/add to if you want to add more entries.

/etc/default/grub is a customization script for the GRUB 2 menu, which you can use to change preferences, except when it comes to the actual menu entries themselves.

This is the main reason why I prefer the original GRUB–which one looks more convoluted to you? :stuck_out_tongue:

Me too.

I prefer GRUB2 Too! However, my family likes Windows Boot Mgr, because they aren’t so tech savvy :frowning: . I loved Grub 2 when I had it :smiley: . It, indeed, is quite customizable, and does everything it claims quite well :eek: ! As many people have said before, it is very easy to operate on and get things running smoothly. Corrupting your BSD in Win. Boot Mgr. is hard to fix because you need to reinstall Windows :ahh: . However, GRUB 2 just requires you to edit a text file or so to configure it, meaning you can bring your computer back to life. I also like how it has so many features and how it actually has color, as compared to the Windows Boot Manager.

In short, there are many boot-loaders out there, today, being developed. I use the Windows Boot Manager because I am basically locked into using it. However, I would suggest Grub 2 because, if I understand correctly, you want to multiboot many operating systems.
If you manage to break the bootloader configuration, it is many times easier to fix it in Grub, as compared to Windows. However, I am talking about Win 7. Win 8 Boot manager is completely different!

You need to add many operating systems. That means that you would want to be able to add and remove operating systems with ease, not worrying abouy damaging your MBR!

In short, Go GRUB2!!!

Also, has anyone tried a different boot manager like Burg (Grub Backwards? :confused: )? How was it? Was it easy to use/worth getting?

Guys, this is just my opinion on what I have used before.

I use that when I need features that a BIOS lacks like booting from USB.

I only have one multi-boot machine. I use vitalization, so I have simultaneous access to all OSs, other than access to physical hardware, it works excellent.

I prefer GRUB2 for two reasons - better auto-config (update-grub) and more features (backgrounds, resolution, timing, more support for OSes).

What software do you use for virtualization? I would like to use virtualization instead, but don’t know where to start!

I use virtualbox and it works really well. When our team’s programming laptop broke, I used my linux laptop that was running windows xp in a virtual machine to run the robot.

This is a side track from the original point of this topic, so if it is going to be about virtual machine software we should probably make a new topic for that.

Oracle VirtualBox works great but be aware the keyboard in the virtual machine is a little messed up in the last few versions. It does not always have a noticable effect but the inter-character timing is not quite correct. Resulting in some seemingly random behavior.

Ok. I thought by virtualization, you meant that you switch OSes by using a command or something. There could be some sort of host OS that requires a few MB of RAM, and barely any CPU. The RAM could be rationed and divided, or maybe even dynamic (One OS requires more RAM than other, so the one requiring more get’s more)!

I use virtualbox. However, I haven’t been able to boot Ubuntu on Virtualbox. My Processor is an i3-2367, so it isn’t ideal for virtualization (lowest end processor that Intel manufactures, except celerons). My BIOS says that it supports virtualization. However, I am only able to boot 32-bit Debian! I should be able to install 64-bit Debian. I want to install Ubuntu, however, it always says that I have an i686 processor, so I am using the wrong kernel! What do I do?

Thank you. Please do that.

I use Hyper-V (part of server 2008), and VMware.