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I would like to create a dual boot system with CentOS 5.5 (though it doesn't really matter what Linux flavor we are talking about). The idea being that I would be able to upgrade one system and then always be able to fall back to the previous set up in case something is malfunctioning on the upgraded system.

/home, /root and /var should be mounted separately on the system because I would want my users and programs to have access the the data on both systems.

I'm willing to experiment, but it would be great if there is an industry standard how to do this.

The purpose of this is to be able to reverse a system to a state that did boot before or possibly test exotic setups during production time with a possibility to quickly revert to the original state.

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migrated from serverfault.com Mar 17 '11 at 17:11

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2 Answers 2

There isn't an industry standard for dual booting that I've ever heard of.

I'd suggest just using Grub to give you a choice between two / partitions for booting. You could give them different names and have one be your default. Of course, set up the /home, /var, and /root partitions separately and mount them in both OSs.

There's a very good Grub guide, though Ubuntu-centric, here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1195275

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Have you thought of making hot backups to another disk and then revert if necessary?

I have a little different setup using ESXi. I have snapshots for my CentOS web servers so I can snapshot before I install an update. That way if it hits the fan I can rollback fairly quickly.

I think you would have an incredibly hard time keeping both in sync if you try to dual boot.

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