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Back in the day I used to tinker with the kernel a bit, so I got into the groove of creating a separate /boot partition to make it easy to fix when I invariably broke something. Right now, I'm in the process of reformatting, but I've hit a snag and I'd like to ask a question before I proceed any further.

So far, I've installed Windows and the first of two Linux distros.

Here's how my disk looks right now:

/dev/sda1 - Win - already installed.

/dev/sda2 - /boot for first (and second?) Linux which is already installed.

/dev/sda5 - / - for first Linux which is already installed.

/dev/sda6 - /home - to share between distros.

/dev/sda7 - / - for second Linux which is yet to be installed.

/dev/sda7 - swap

I realize this arrangement is a bit stupid, but before I get rid of most of those partitions and start over, how would Grub2/Linux behave if I set /dev/sda2 as the /boot mountpoint for two different Linux distros? Are kernel stuffs allowed to sit side by side? Could there be filename conflicts? Will the chainloader derp out trying to figure out which volume to look for?

http://forums.opensuse.org/english/get-technical-help-here/install-boot-login/409020-installing-11-1-next-10-3-share-boot-partition.html

Link above vaguely suggests I should not do this, but does not provide a very rigourous answer.

Any help or suggestions appreciated,

Yankee

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i seriously advise looking into LVM. It'd simplify things for you greatly. –  Sirex Jul 16 '13 at 22:51
    
Hmm, okay. Willdo, thanks! –  Yankee Jul 16 '13 at 22:59
    
I say that because it'd mean you can have one lvm partition with the /home, swap, and / for each linux installation on it, making your whole drive 4 partitions (windows, /boot, and 2 lvm partitions). –  Sirex Jul 16 '13 at 23:54
    
Yeah, thanks. It'll also give me an excuse to finally learn LVM. It's one of those terms I always see while installing a distro, but never messed with because I had no idea how to use it. But, I'll definitely be looking into it. –  Yankee Jul 17 '13 at 0:00

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

How would Grub2/Linux behave if I set /dev/sda2 as the /boot mountpoint for two different Linux distros?

Assuming you don't allow the installer to automatically overwrite the boot partition and that the filesystem of sda2 is supported in both kernels, there will be no issues.

Are kernel stuffs allowed to sit side by side?

The boot partition can contain as many kernel images as physically possible.

Could there be filename conflicts?

Common files such as stage 1, stage 2 and config files will be the same for the grub package from the two distros. Install it once from one distro.

Will the chainloader derp out trying to figure out which volume to look for?

No.

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Excellent, sir. Thank you. –  Yankee Jul 16 '13 at 23:46

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