Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I currently have Windows 7, Ubuntu 12.04, Fedora 17, and open SUSE installed. I currently use BURG boot loader to load up all the systems. However, BURG does not work with windows(I still manage) and it is a little finicky. So, I want to make windows work and have all the other OSes I want all on one boot loader. I already tried easy BCD and for whatever reason Fedora took over and blocked out the other OSes.

share|improve this question
    
which version of Windows7? Win7 Ent/Ultimate allows booting vhd... –  Logman Oct 15 '12 at 21:44
    
windows 7 pro. I don't think that vhds would do much good, I already have partitions on a couple of physical disks. –  Wijagels Oct 15 '12 at 22:08
    
you can keep all the vhds (ubuntu/fedora/suse) on one partition/volume, not on the win7 original c: ... you could if you wanted to but the vhd's should be on another partition/volume. All you need are 2 partitions –  Logman Oct 15 '12 at 23:46
    
Is this confirmed to work with linux distros? I will look into upgrading if I am convinced this solution could work, it just looks too good to be true... –  Wijagels Oct 15 '12 at 23:49
    

2 Answers 2

There are 3 ways of multi booting Windows and Linux descendants:

1. Use Windows boot manager to control the booting.
2. Use GRUB to control the booting
3. Use some other universal boot manager to load all OSs.

I would go either for GRUB or for Windows boot manager.

A. If you choose GRUB it is better to use GRUB2 as it is more recent. You can always reinstall GRUB2 from Ubuntu or Fedora and add OSs which were not automatically recognized by simply adding an entry in boot menu.

B. If you choose Windows boot manager to control the booting you can add boot sector loaders for every Linux descendant using this tutorial for multi booting Linux/Unix with Windows 7.

share|improve this answer

When you are installing a new OS (distro), it will want to install a new bootloader. If you are in the habit of regularly installing several distros, and let them control the bootloader during the setup process, they will mess with the current configuration and may even remove existing entries.

This is true because GRUB from one distro has very little to do with a GRUB from another distro. They don't know about each other (or where the user installs them) and have no idea how to keep the "old settings". Any distro that has tries to automatically merge the settings of GRUB, can only be partially successful, unless everyone agrees on how this should be done.

Often, it will be easier to learn how to configure and install your bootloader manually. It is basically entering a title for a menu entry, where the kernel for that entry is, and whether or not it uses an initramfs. Maintaining three-four lines in a text file for every distro that you have, is not such a huge task, even if I oversimplified the configuration part.

I recommend GRUB 1, because the configuration files for it are easy to read and write and because it supports many different OSes. If it is "too ugly" for you there are options to include .xpm images as a background. I'm not really familiar with all that.

As a reference I offer the setup instructions for GRUB from the Gentoo Handbook because they are short and concise. If you find that lacking, then there is the setup manual of your favorite distro. Look for GRUB info.

share|improve this answer
    
I would actually suggest GRUB 2 only if for the Windows 8 support. –  Ramhound Oct 16 '12 at 11:14
1  
Why would Windows 8 not be supported with the old grub? Please give us some references to docs pointing out the radical changes in the way win8 boots. I was not aware of this! –  Ярослав Рахматуллин Oct 16 '12 at 12:14

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.