Some individuals may want to have several Linux distributions on a single hard disk. By using a boot manager it is now possible to create the links in different partitions. The precautionary measure would be to keep the boot loaders at the top of the partitions. The user can easily get a safe and secure multiboot with the help of the boot manager. With this, the user will be able to add or replace Linux distributions without editing the configuration files.
GAG is a tool for new users who wish to have several Linux distributions on the same hard disk. This boot manager allows you to graphically create the links to the different partitions and this, without having to edit the configuration file of your bootloader /boot/grub/menu.lst for GRUB or /etc/lilo.conf for LILO
The only precaution is to place each of the bootloaders at the top of the partition on which the corresponding OS is installed.
- By using this graphical boot manager you create a secure and stable multiboot.
- In case of crash of another bootloader the computer does not become unusable.
- In addition to offering the opportunity to remove and restore the MBR, it comes in handy in case of abandonment of multiboot for users with no Windows CD.
- And finally, it offers the possibility to add, replace Linux distributions without having to edit configuration files.
You can download GAG here: http://gag.sourceforge.net/download.html
How to install GAG
Here is a screenshot of GParted on a hard disk where three OS have been installed:
It is this configuration that we use for this tutorial.
Windows is found on the first partition on the second Mandriva, and Ubuntu on the third.
A version of GRUB is installed at the beginning of each Linux partition, and it is the Windows partition which is the boot partition.
For now, the disc has three systems, but Windows is only accessible from the MBR.
- You must boot from the CD ISO image containing the GAG - here is the first screen:
- Select the line 4 and validate
- Then, choose your keyboard configuration:
- At the main screen, press "C" to configure GAG:
- Press J to add a new OS:
- Then appears a list of partitions on the disk 1:
In this example:
The "B" is the Windows partition (formatted NTFS)
The "C" is Mandriva 2008 (formatted ext2)
The "E" is Ubuntu (formatted EXT2)
The "D" is the swap partition; "swap" is recognizable by the word "82H"
Now select the Windows partition by pressing "B" and name the shortcut "Windows XP":
- You can assign a password
- You can assign an icon to be visible to the main screen.
- It is now repeated for partitions "C" and "E".
Finalising the installation
- When all links are created, it must be saved on the hard drive; press the "D" key.
- Validate and press "R" to return to the home screen or you find your three links to your three partitions.
- It should be Ok.
By selecting for example "Mandriva 2008" the link will be to install the GRUB on the partition of Mandriva and provide access to options specific to the OS such as memtest and the different cores.