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This is a discussion on Installing several OSes on a single hard drive within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. There are several OSes I haven't used and want to try out. I'd like to have a hard drive with


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Old 02-24-2019, 12:10 AM   #1
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There are several OSes I haven't used and want to try out. I'd like to have a hard drive with the following OSes

1. Windows 7
2. Ubuntu Linux
3. Solaris
4. Unix
5. Suse Linux

I've read some guides on how to do it with 2 or 3, but what about this many? I also know there are several ways to do it, I'm trying to learn what I can about, would probably want to do some partioning and put each OS on it's own.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:39 AM   #2
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Solaris is a version of Unix. All Linux, Suse or Ubuntu are derived from Unix Kernel. Unix is not free. It is not portable. Linux and Solaris use the same Swap file. So, if you have Linux installed on a drive and install Solaris, or Unix, it will take over the Linux Swap file and you won't be able to run Linux.
Windows uses totally different file system and format. So, you can have two or 3 partitions and install Windows on one and Ubuntu on another, and maybe Suse.
But this would be much easier if you had separated HDD's for each OS.
Can I install Linux and Solaris on the same drive?
https://searchdatacenter.techtarget....tem-comparison
https://www.askdavetaylor.com/are_un...he_same_thing/
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:13 AM   #3
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Yes, a Solaris OS partition and Linux Swap partition use the same ID. On the plus side though, Linux no longer uses a swap partition, but uses a swap file instead. Despite this, I would strongly recommend using virtual machines for the different OSes instead of try to partition one hard drive to house all of them. With a VM, you won't have to worry about partitioning the disk since each VM will have a virtual disk entirely for use only by itself. Secondly, I wouldn't advise installing the different OSes on actual hardware, especially since Solaris' compatibility on non-Solaris hardware is very limited, even more than that of Linux. Virtualization in this case, in my opinion, is the best deployment strategy for testing these.
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:51 PM   #4
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by spunk.funk View Post
Solaris is a version of Unix. All Linux, Suse or Ubuntu are derived from Unix Kernel. Unix is not free. It is not portable.
Yes, I had found out Solaris is Unix, however, it does appear to be free according to this, at least https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/l...se-167852.html

Though, it is only for development purposes, what about just running and using programs on it?
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:31 PM   #5
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Secondly, I wouldn't advise installing the different OSes on actual hardware, especially since Solaris' compatibility on non-Solaris hardware is very limited, even more than that of Linux. Virtualization in this case, in my opinion, is the best deployment strategy for testing these.
When you say "on actual hardware" you mean actually installing them on a disk partition of your hard drive, rather than virtualization, correct? I was a bit confused since all OSes run on hardware, obviously :) even if you are running one virtually it still uses your hardware to run it :)

I think I will probably go with your virtualization recommendation, and maybe in the future install on separate partitions. I guess I should do the testing first. Linux distros are free, and there the link in my post above this one where it (seemingly, correct me if I'm wrong, says I can use Solaris for free)

If I wanted to install other windows OSes on VMware, such as another windows OS or Mac OS, I'd need to pay for actual copies of that software.
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:31 PM   #6
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Windows 10 and the last 5 versions of Mac OSX are free. You Need to download the Mac OSX .dmg (Apple Image File) to a computer that is already running Mac OSX to burn the image to Flash drive on a Mac computer (Mac OSX images are larger then 5GB and cannot fit on one DVD).
Windows 10 can be downloaded but needs a Windows product key from Windows 7 on up to activate.
Unix is NOT free, but Solaris is, even though it is a version of Unix. All versions of Linux are free.
Using Virtual Machines are a great way to test out an OS without committing to install it on a HDD or partition. I have few VM's for Windows XP, Windows 8 and Ubuntu Using the free Oracle Virtualbox
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PC person View Post
When you say "on actual hardware" you mean actually installing them on a disk partition of your hard drive, rather than virtualization, correct? I was a bit confused since all OSes run on hardware, obviously :) even if you are running one virtually it still uses your hardware to run it :)

I think I will probably go with your virtualization recommendation, and maybe in the future install on separate partitions. I guess I should do the testing first. Linux distros are free, and there the link in my post above this one where it (seemingly, correct me if I'm wrong, says I can use Solaris for free)

If I wanted to install other windows OSes on VMware, such as another windows OS or Mac OS, I'd need to pay for actual copies of that software.
No, I really meant installing them on actual hardware. A virtual machine uses software-emulated hardware resources, e.g the motherboard, storage devices and controllers, display adapter/graphics processor, network controllers, sound controller, bluetooth adapter, TPM... These emulated hardware resources are provided by the hypervisor (the virtualization software like VMware) which is software running on the host OS. The host OS is installed on actual hardware, not emulated hardware. Of course you need actual hardware (for the host) and the host is in turn needed for the guest, but no, the guest is not using actual hardware to run. You can even use an actual partition on an actual disk drive to install the guest OS, in which case you would still have to partition the actual disk to accommodate each guest OS, but the hardware of the virtual machine will still be emulated. In other words, virtualization goes beyond simply installing the guest OS on actual partitions of an actual disk drive. The ability to use an actual partition on an actual disk depends on the hypervisor in use, since not all of them support this. Vmware Workstation Pro supports this, but great caution is advised when taking that route because the disk selection process is not as intuitive as it sounds and bad things will happen. So, ultimately, it is safer and easier to just use virtual disks, one solely and entirely for each VM, especially for novice users such as yourself.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:03 AM   #8
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Something else to consider... Live CDs. Yes, you said you wanted to install the operating systems, but you may want to try booting from a live CD / DVD first to see how much you like the Linux OS. I keep a couple of versions of Puppy handy for quick and dirty troubleshooting purposes. You may find as I did that you prefer Red Hat to the other distros. My current preference is Centos, but you should add Red Hat, Fedora, and Centos to your list. Live CDs gave me a chance to try different desktops without installing the entire OS.



If you really want to do all of the installs, learn GRUB. Also, buy a bunch of hard drives.



Others have mentioned VirtualBox. I recommend it too. When I was looking to examine multiple OS's years ago I did my own benchmark of VMs. For my needs, VirtualBox was the way to go. If you do the multiple installs, multiple partitions route, you can only run one OS at a time. With VirtualBox or another VM system, you can have as many running as your system will support. It's a lot easier to switch from one to another without rebooting the entire system.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:22 AM   #9
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Rather than install different OSes on a single drive, I would buy some used drives off e-Bay and install a different OS to each one. Some of the Linux OSes allow you to run them from a CD or DVD. Mint and PCLinusOS are a couple that do. If you like what you find, running the CD or DVD as a trial, then you could install the OS to a hard drive, knowing more about what you would be getting.
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
No, I really meant installing them on actual hardware. A virtual machine uses software-emulated hardware resources, e.g the motherboard, storage devices and controllers, display adapter/graphics processor, network controllers, sound controller, bluetooth adapter, TPM... These emulated hardware resources are provided by the hypervisor (the virtualization software like VMware) which is software running on the host OS. The host OS is installed on actual hardware, not emulated hardware. Of course you need actual hardware (for the host) and the host is in turn needed for the guest, but no, the guest is not using actual hardware to run. You can even use an actual partition on an actual disk drive to install the guest OS, in which case you would still have to partition the actual disk to accommodate each guest OS, but the hardware of the virtual machine will still be emulated. In other words, virtualization goes beyond simply installing the guest OS on actual partitions of an actual disk drive. The ability to use an actual partition on an actual disk depends on the hypervisor in use, since not all of them support this. Vmware Workstation Pro supports this, but great caution is advised when taking that route because the disk selection process is not as intuitive as it sounds and bad things will happen. So, ultimately, it is safer and easier to just use virtual disks, one solely and entirely for each VM, especially for novice users such as yourself.
The issue with using VMware to run it is you are using Linux THROUGH windows, so it's ultimately windows you are running it on, and you have to deal with problems windows has (if any) running the OS through it, whereas if it's only the Linux distro, chosen when you boot up your hard drive and choose the OS (after it's been installed on your hard drive, on it's own partition) it's solely Linux you are dealing with, right?

What I wanted to do was create a USB flash drive with several ISO and a few other hardware tools, like this, I think I want it, being able to choose which one I want to use when I boot from it-

1. Memtest
2. Acronis True Image
3. Red hat Linux
4. Suse Linux
5. Debian Linux
6. Ubuntu Linux
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PC person View Post
The issue with using VMware to run it is you are using Linux THROUGH windows, so it's ultimately windows you are running it on, and you have to deal with problems windows has (if any) running the OS through it, whereas if it's only the Linux distro, chosen when you boot up your hard drive and choose the OS (after it's been installed on your hard drive, on it's own partition) it's solely Linux you are dealing with, right?
Right!

Quote:
What I wanted to do was create a USB flash drive with several ISO and a few other hardware tools, like this, I think I want it, being able to choose which one I want to use when I boot from it-

1. Memtest
2. Acronis True Image
3. Red hat Linux
4. Suse Linux
5. Debian Linux
6. Ubuntu Linux
Alright.
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:08 AM   #12
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I did a little bit of thinking, and thought this is what I should put on the usb bootable flash drive.

1. memtest
2. Seagate tools- hard drive test
3. Red Hat Linux
4. Debian Linux
5. Mandrake Linux
6. Ubuntu Linux
7. Suse Linu8
8. Windows 7 64-bit

They are all isos except number 1 and 2, if they don't come as ISO's is there any way/tool I can use to put them on a USB flash drive so it will let me choose which one I want to use when I boot from it? I've found a few tools, but not sure they'll let me put all this on it. Such as Yumi, winsetup from USB and Xboot.

Not sure when you make something bootable how it's bootable, something has to tell the BIOS to look at a certain part of the USB drive to boot from it. I know you tell the BIOS to boot from whatever is it, but I don't know what it is it looks for on the drive/CD to boot from it. A flash drive with just files wouldn't be bootable for example.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PC person View Post
I did a little bit of thinking, and thought this is what I should put on the usb bootable flash drive.

1. memtest
2. Seagate tools- hard drive test
3. Red Hat Linux
4. Debian Linux
5. Mandrake Linux
6. Ubuntu Linux
7. Suse Linu8
8. Windows 7 64-bit

They are all isos except number 1 and 2, if they don't come as ISO's is there any way/tool I can use to put them on a USB flash drive so it will let me choose which one I want to use when I boot from it? I've found a few tools, but not sure they'll let me put all this on it. Such as Yumi, winsetup from USB and Xboot.

Not sure when you make something bootable how it's bootable, something has to tell the BIOS to look at a certain part of the USB drive to boot from it. I know you tell the BIOS to boot from whatever is it, but I don't know what it is it looks for on the drive/CD to boot from it. A flash drive with just files wouldn't be bootable for example.
You're right, you cannot simply copy files to the flash and expect it to be bootable. It needs a partition that has a special attribute that makes it bootable. The firmware or BIOS looks for this partition. This partition contains the needed boot files (OS bootloader). While you could manually tinker with commands to prepare the flash disk, it's best to use a tool that does it for you in a simpler way. For a multi-boot flash disk, I recommend AIO Boot. Take your time and go through the tutorials and documentation on that site, then use it to add those images/utilities (aka sources). Take care while using such tools because installing a bootloader on the wrong device can be catastrophic. For example, you can easily render Windows unbootable if you accidentally replace its bootloader with the one(s) installed by such tools.

Mandrake (Mandriva) was discontinued almost a decade ago, unless you're talking about OpenMandriva.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:11 PM   #14
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there are boot disks available now that have many of the tools you mentioned https://www.tenforums.com/software-a...scue-disk.html This is one of the best.This has a live environment.
Windows 7 as a Live OS is not bootable from a USB device, you can install it on a HDD from a bootable USB Flash Drive though.
The other Linux Live USB's you mentioned have to be on their own Flash drives to be a live disk, you cannot boot into one and choose your Linux OS. All live disk OS's would have to be separate drives. Flash drives can be partitioned, but Windows will only recognize the first partition. Only one partition will be bootable. Linux will recognize more then one partition on a flash drives.
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