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riscphree

dual boot linux

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would it be possible to dual boot with another distro on the same partition and not lose data and have them both work?

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i've never done it, but it doesn't seem impossible

i'm sure there's some argument that grub or lilo can call to chose which kernel to load. but you'd have to actually get the kernels from the distros you want on there. some distros may not live in peace and harmony, but again, doesn't seem impossible.

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since i dont really want to go through all that throuble, and i dont want to reformat, and i have no where else to store my data, is there a way i can just delete my current linux install without losiing everything?

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if you only have one big "/" partition, what you could do is put all the data you want to keep in /home, delete everything else, and then install the new distro.

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No. It is not possible, you need to have 2 seperate partitions.

When I had to do this, I set it up to have 3 partitions: One for Redhat, One for Debian, and a common parition that contained my /home.

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Depending on the ammount of free space you have on your disk, you can resize your main partition, and give yourself a second to store your data on. When you recreat your / and swap leave free space on the drive to expand that new partition into, and you'll be able to keep all of your data and switch distro's. If you are using reiserfs you can use the reiser resizer tools, this I have personally done, but I'm sure there is something similar for the other major file systems. In the future always use another partition for your home directory.

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If your going to share the /home partition, you need to make sure that the uid's and gid's are the same for users. You dont necessarily have to have the same user names ... but just remember which responds to which. I dont recommend sharing the home partition w/ the same names, as different versions of software on the different distros may overwrite each other's configurations. Then again, if you had different names on the systems, then you wouldnt really be sharing now would you :blush:

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